Tags: snowstorms | mars | winter | olympics

Snowstorms on Mars Don't Stick, So No Winter Olympics There

Snowstorms on Mars Don't Stick, So No Winter Olympics There

Snow doesn't stick on Mars. (NASA)

By    |   Wednesday, 23 August 2017 07:12 AM

Snowstorms on Mars are possible, scientists think, based on findings of a new study that could change the way researchers view the weather patterns of the dusty red planet.

Researchers developed models that simulated Mars unusual temperature patterns with data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Global Surveyor, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists said they found patterns under Mars' water-ice clouds that revealed a "surprising" amount of air movement in the planet's thin atmosphere.

Researchers said the indication of some precipitation was initially picked up by NASA's Phoenix Lander when it came down near Mars North Pole in 2008, National Geographic said.

"Here we present numerical simulations of the meteorology in Martian cloudy regions that demonstrate that localized convective snowstorms can occur on Mars," the study's abstract said. "We show that such snowstorms — or ice microbursts — can explain deep night-time mixing layers detected from orbit and precipitation signatures detected below water-ice clouds by the Phoenix lander."

The first humans on Mars shouldn’t expect to be throwing snowballs when they arrive because the snowstorms don’t leave much snow, NatGeo said, with some failing to reach the ground.

"The amount of water overall is quite small," said Aymeric Spiga, study's co-author from the French National Center for Scientific Research, per the Times. "So you won't be able to build any snowmen on Mars with that, and you won't be able to put up a ski station."

Scientists believe snow plays a big role in Mars' water cycle.

"The snowfall, the downbursts, that's all very novel, very neat," said John Wilson of NASA's Ames Research Center, per NatGeo. "That probably is what's taking place in the real Mars atmosphere, and it's bound to have an impact on how water gets distributed."

Scientists would eventually like to use the information from the computer models to understand Mars' suspected watery past, NatGeo said.

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Snowstorms on Mars are possible, scientists think, based on findings of a new study that could change the way researchers view the weather patterns of the dusty red planet.
snowstorms, mars, winter, olympics
320
2017-12-23
Wednesday, 23 August 2017 07:12 AM
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