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View Full Version : Does it Snow on Mars?



Mr. Milton Banana
2004-Jun-16, 11:45 PM
Do water or carbon dioxide snow flurries occur on Mars? If not, why not?

:-k

ToSeek
2004-Jun-17, 12:09 AM
I don't think there's enough atmosphere for precipitation. There is enough for clouds, but you need enough so that the clouds can condense water vapor (or water particles).

Chip
2004-Jun-17, 01:14 AM
I don't think there's enough atmosphere for precipitation. There is enough for clouds, but you need enough so that the clouds can condense water vapor (or water particles).

So much for rain on Mars, as for snow, I followed ToSeek's motto and Googled this (http://humbabe.arc.nasa.gov/mgcm/faq/rain.html).

atomoid
2004-Jun-17, 10:06 AM
You could call it frost (an example being the very thin accumulations pictured by Viking during the winter), which if the local weather conditions in some places allow it to accumulate, will in some sense substitute for snow and the erosional properties that go along with it.

Perhaps frost packs could build up in sunless mineralized heat-sink pockets and eventually collapse by weight or melt if conditions change fast enough to beat sublimation, or perhaps dissolve salts and minerals enabling chemical interactions to form rinds on the rocks in the UV and atmospheric gases.

As for snow flurries, could they be possible under certain weather conditions? Think about dust storm fronts interacting with fronts of air containing relatively moist air. here we have conditions that if have the right combination of factors, might enable nucleation and precipitation at the interface.