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Fraser
2006-Aug-17, 03:36 AM
Scientists now have an answer for the strange dark spots near the south polar ice caps on Mars. As the ice cap warms in spring, jets of carbon dioxide erupt, spraying dark material onto the surface. The discovery was made using the cameras on board NASA's Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. They provided detailed images of the fan-shaped dark markings, which are typically 15 to 46 metres (50 to 100 feet) across, and can appear within a week.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/08/16/seasonal-jets-darken-the-surface-of-mars/)

hemo_jr
2006-Aug-17, 08:49 PM
Wouldn't these "jets" be more properly described as geysers?

The term geyser does not have to refer to hot water only. After all, erupting fountains of liquefied nitrogen on Triton are referred to as geysers as well

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Matt

VanderL
2006-Aug-21, 06:07 PM
Wouldn't these "jets" be more properly described as geysers?

The term geyser does not have to refer to hot water only. After all, erupting fountains of liquefied nitrogen on Triton are referred to as geysers as well

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Matt

You're right, but the problem I see is that after reading the paper, the team didn't show any jets! The news releases all talk about "dicovering" jets, complete with an artist's impression. I don't believe it.

There is only the conjecture that the seasonal features seen on Mars' South Pole could be the result of "dusty jets". Nothing in the paper shows jet activity in action and nothing in the paper shows why only a specific region on Mars shows these features, while other parts of the South Pole the complete North Pole don't show these features at all. I think the explanation is farfetched and incorrect.

Unless they come up with images showing these jets, I remain very sceptical.

Cheers.