HomeSpace NewsBizarre 'polygons' appear in Mars spring image

Bizarre ‘polygons’ appear in Mars spring image

Polygons crack across the Martian surface as hidden ice expands and contracts with the seasons. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UArizona)

It’s springtime on Mars and the mysterious polygons are in bloom, a new image from the orbiting High Resolution Imaging Experiment (HIRISE) camera shows.

Recorded on March 30, the image reveals a patchwork of white zig-zags cracking across the Mars soil at high latitudes, with occasional sprays of black and blue mist fanning out between them. The zig-zags and colorful sprays are signature features of Martian spring, when hidden reservoirs of subterranean ice butt up against the dry Martian surface, researchers at the University of Arizona — which manages the HIRISE mission — wrote in a statement (opens in new tab) on Monday (June 20).

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