Published: Tue, July 17, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

NASA explained the cause of "crawling spiders" on Mars

NASA explained the cause of

The spiders are not actually eight-legged arachnids, though.

This week, NASA has shared pictures of this creepy-crawly landscape view of the Red Planet as a part of the organization's Image of the Day series. The probe development and launch would cost the U.S. space agency about $2.2 billion, making it cheaper than the ongoing Mars Curiosity Rover, for example.

NASA explains that these creepy crawlies aren't actually spiders, but what's called "araneiform terrain". NASA says these are "spider-like radiating mounds that form when carbon dioxide ice below the surface heats up and releases". It shows what appears like silhouettes of spiders emerging from the Martian surface.

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The trapped carbon dioxide gas eventually builds up in pressure overtime and later becomes strong enough to break through the ice as a dust-spewing jet. Sometimes winds transport the dust to produce streaks. "The loss of the sublimated carbon dioxide leaves behind these spider-like features etched into the surface", said NASA.

NASA has posted an wonderful image of Mars spiders. Discovery of the organic molecules on the Martian surface is a big indicator but there are also many other natural processes that could have produced them without really ensuring in life, and this all prevent anyone from declaring the fact that it is proven that life existed on the red planet.

"Gas flows through these channels until it encounters a vent, where is escapes out to the atmosphere, carrying dust along with it". The scenic look at the planet's South Pole comes from the space agency's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and it shows "spiders" emerging from the ground.

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