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Mars Discovery! Two Types of Snow Fall on the Red Planet

Mars landscape featuring Mount Sharp captured by Curiosity rover 2012 (NASA/Getty)

Scientists might have to start working on a sled instead of a rover for the next trip to Mars.

A spacecraft orbiting Mars has detected carbon dioxide snow falling on the Red Planet, making Mars the only body in the solar system known to host this weird weather phenomenon.

While searching through observations made by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter from the winter of 2006 and 2007, scientists observed dry-ice falling on the Martian south pole.

The research team examined measurements the Mars Climate Sounder made while looking at clouds,  including one behemoth 300 miles wide, from directly overhead, and from off to the side. These combined observations clearly revealed dry-ice snow falling through the Red Planet’s skies, researchers said.

Dry ice requires temperatures of about minus 193 degrees Fahrenheit to fall, reinforcing just how cold it is on the Martian surface.

Skiers here in the Rocky Mountains may get envious of the dry-ice covered slopes on some of Mar’s mountains.

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