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. ]
(Image: © HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. Arizona), NASA)
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