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January 27 2013

On Mars, Dry Ice 'Smoke' Carves Up Sand Dunes


The seasonal thawing of carbon dioxide ice near Mars' north pole carves grooves in the region's sand dunes, three new studies reveal.

The discovery, made using observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft (MRO), reinforces that the Red Planet's surface continues to be transformed today, even though Mars' volcanoes have died out and its liquid surface water apparently dried up long ago.

"It's an amazingly dynamic process," Candice Hansen of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., lead author of one of the studies, said in a statement.

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