171219期:火星北极的漩涡

火星北极的漩涡

火星北极为什么会有一个漩涡呢?每年冬天火星北极就会形成一个大约一米厚的新外层。该外层位于常年存在的水- 冰层上,由在稀薄的火星大气层中冻结的二氧化碳组成。由于火星的自旋,强风从极冠中心吹下并旋转-由此形成了北极高原的漩涡。该特写图片是产生于众多图像的透视镶嵌图,这些图像由欧洲航天局火星快车号拍摄、是从美国宇航局“火星全球勘测任务”号上的激光测高仪中提取的。对火星的未来几年规划包括“洞察号”-计划深入了解火星,火星2016探测器火星2020探测车-计划寻找过去和现在火星微观生命迹象。

译:银河说翻译组 Lee

The Spiral North Pole of Mars
Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin; NASAMGSMOLA Science Team

Explanation: Why is there a spiral around the North Pole of Mars? Each winter this pole develops a new outer layer about one meter thick composed of carbon dioxide frozen out of the thin Martian atmosphere. This fresh layer is deposited on a water-ice layer that exists year round. Strong winds blow down from above the cap’s center and swirl due to the spin of the red planet — contributing to Planum Boreum‘s spiral structure. The featured image is a perspective mosaic generated earlier this year from numerous images taken by ESA’s Mars Express and elevations extracted from the laser altimeter aboard NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor mission. New missions to Mars planned in the next few years include Insight with plans to drill into Mars, and ExoMars and the Mars 2020 Rover with plans to search for signs of microscopic Martian life — past and present.

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