We Just Discovered Snow On Mars
Latest Nature Geoscience study states that it snows every night on Mars. This snowing is not as we as we see on Earth. On rusty red soil of Mars there are explosions of snow known as “ice microbursts”. Unlike the snow clouds we see on Earth, the clouds on red planet are very low, about 1 to 2 kilometers above the surface. The reason for low clouds is the air pressure increases rapidly, moving downwards, because of which the local temperature increases and causes the snow to reach evaporation-ready temperatures.
It is further explained by the author of the study that the thought snow precipitation occurs only by the slow sedimentation of individual particles is not the case on red planet and sudden snow explosion mechanism must have affected Mars water cycle.
Due to extremely thin atmosphere, the thermal insulation is low too on Mars, as a result the temperature on surface may drop as low as -73°C (-100°F) and on the equator and -125°C (-195°F) at the poles. This low temperature causes clouds of water to sudden and rapid crystallization.
Sunlight provides sufficient energy to make water at the equator to evaporate to form low pressure clouds. This rapid and localized redistribution of heat, the air currents around them become unstable as a result cause water ice crystals to dramatically fall out. Some reach the surface and some sublimate into gas. The short lived streaks of snowfall which fail to reach destination are known as “virgas”.