Ziggy plays the guitarAnd scientists in the UK are playing with big chunks of dry ice to figure out what’s behind a bizarre form of so-called aliens.Spider on mars. ”
Those patterns, seen in satellite imagery of the Red Planet’s southern poles, are not real spiders. But the black shapes carved on the Martian surface are creepy enough for researchers to call them the “araneiforms” (meaning “spider-like”) were discovered two decades ago after their shape.
Measured as far as 3,300 feet (1 km), the enormous shape is unlike anything. worldBut in a new study published in the journal on March 19 … Scientific reportScientists have succeeded in creating a shortened version of the spider in their lab using the pad. carbon dioxide Ice (also called dry ice) and the Mars atmosphere simulator When cold ice comes into contact with much warmer Martian-like sediments, part of the ice instantly changes from solid to gas. (A process known as sublimation) forms a leak formed cracks through which the escaped gas is pushed through the ice.
“This research presents the first set of empirical evidence for surface processes thought to alter the upper polar landscape. MarsStudy lead author Lauren McKeown, planetary scientist at the Open University of England, Said in a statementThe experiments show firsthand that the spider patterns we observed on Mars from orbit can be engraved by directly converting dry ice from solid to gas. “
Mars’ atmosphere contains more than 95% carbon dioxide (CO2). According to NASAAnd much of the ice and frost that forms around the planet’s poles in winter is also made from CO2. Education 2003The researchers hypothesize that spiders on Mars can form in spring when sunlight penetrates the translucent CO2 ice layer and heats the ground below. The heat caused the ice to sublimate from its base, creating pressure under the ice until it finally broke. The paint-up gas escaped through a crack in its plume, leaving behind a visible zigzag spider leg pattern seen on Mars today, the team hypothesized.
Until recently, scientists were unable to test such a hypothesis on Earth, where atmospheric conditions differ greatly. But in the new study, researchers built a tiny piece of Mars on Earth using a device called the Open University Mars Simulation Chamber.The team placed different sized pellets inside the chamber and then used a system that looks like it. It’s similar to the claw machine you see in local arcades to hold dry ice over the grain. The team adjusted the chamber to mimic the Martian atmosphere, then gradually reduced the dry ice block onto the grains.
The experiment proved that the spider sublimation hypothesis was valid. Regardless of the pellet size, dry ice tends to sublimate when it comes into contact with them and the escaping gas pushes upward, leaving spider-leg-like cracks along the way. According to the researchers, spider legs branch more when the seeds are finer and less when the seeds are coarser.
Although it cannot be concluded. But these experiments are the first physical evidence showing how spiders on Mars might have formed. Now, it’s not that great.
Originally published in Live Science.