Another World — Mars' Strange Surface | Space Wallpaper

Another World — Mars' Strange Surface
What appear to be tiny oases in a vast pink desert are thought to be Martian sand darkened by melting carbon dioxide ice. (Image credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA)

What appear to be tiny oases nurturing a variety of trees in a vast pink desert are not, actually. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image in April of 2008 near Mars' North Pole. Experts believe the dark spots are wet patches of Martian sand that grew from melting carbon dioxide ice due to the spring Sun. In close up views of the image sand slides are evident from swirling clouds of dust. [See more photos from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. ]

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.