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Business News/ Science / News/  Are there Spiders on Mars? ESA unveils truth behind the mysterious clusters seen on the red planet

Are there Spiders on Mars? ESA unveils truth behind the mysterious clusters seen on the red planet

Spiders-like clusters were seen on the Mars. While sharing the images and explaining the same, ESA said the dark spots on Mars were spotted near 'Inca City'.

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Spider on Mars

The European Space Age (ESA) recently shared pictures of the mysterious spider-like clusters on the planet Mars. The space agency has, however, clarified that these spider like dark features on the Red Planet form “when spring sunshine falls on layers of carbon dioxide deposited over the dark winter months." 

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“The sunlight causes carbon dioxide ice at the bottom of the layer to turn into gas, which subsequently builds up and breaks through slabs of overlying ice. The gas bursts free in martian springtime, dragging dark material up to the surface as it goes and shattering layers of ice up to a metre thick," ESA explained.

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Further explaining, ESA added, “The emerging gas, laden with dark dust, shoots up through cracks in the ice in the form of tall fountains or geysers, before falling back down and settling on the surface. This creates dark spots of between 45 m and 1 km across. This same process creates characteristic ‘spider-shaped’ patterns etched beneath the ice."

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According to the ESA, these dark spots were observed by ESA's Mars Express on the outskirts of a region nicknamed as "Inca City" in the southern polar region of the red planet. NASA's Mariner 9 probe discovered Inca City in 1972. Speaking on the formation of the city, ESA has stated that they are uncertain about the exact formation process of the city but added several possibilities that it could be due to sand dunes or materials such as magma or sand might be seeping through fractured Martian rock with some possibilities associated with glaciers.

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Published: 27 Apr 2024, 09:23 AM IST
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