Amazing pics show winter wonderland hidden amongst the red dunes of Mars

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    NASA has released new photos showing a stunning winter wonderland on Mars.

    Cube-shaped snow, icy landscapes and frost are all part of the Red Planet’s coldest season, according to the space experts.

    Shots of the landscape, which reaches minus 123c, were taken by the HiRISE – High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment – camera that is onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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    The space agency said: "When winter comes to Mars, the surface is transformed into a truly otherworldly holiday scene.

    “Snow, ice, and frost accompany the season's sub-zero temperatures. Some of the coldest of these occur at the planet's poles, where it gets as low as minus 190 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 123 degrees Celsius).

    “Cold as it is, don't expect snow drifts worthy of the Rocky Mountains. No region of Mars gets more than a few feet of snow, most of which falls over extremely flat areas.

    "And the Red Planet's elliptical orbit means it takes many more months for winter to come around: a single Mars year is around two Earth years.”

    NASA boffins went on to clarify what exact space snow looks like.

    According to them, it comes in two variates.

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    The first is water ice, while the second is carbon dioxide – or dry ice, to us mere mortals – and because the air on Mars is so thin and the temperatures so cold, the snow becomes a gas, before it even touches the ground, although the dry ice does settle.

    Sylvain Piqueux, a Mars scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California said: “Enough falls that you could snowshoe across it.

    If you were looking for skiing, though, you’d have to go into a crater or cliff side, where snow could build up on a sloped surface.”

    Unlike the UK, snow on Mars only falls at the poles, under cloud cover or at night.

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