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Mystery Photo

What in the world is it?

Mystery Photo
Don’t peek at the answer until you’ve given this a good try! Then, scroll down a bit and the truth will be revealed to you.

Credit: (NASA)

What In the World Is It?

Sure. You’re right. It’s the surface of Mars taken by a Viking lander. But what’s that white stuff out there between the rocks? Snow? In a way, yes. But it’s not composed of water ice. The snows of Martian winter are composed most of carbon dioxide ice. And what about that reddish soil? Our first views of the Martian surface came from the Viking Lander 1 and Viking Lander 2. They indicated a surface and soil that is mostly old impact debris with sand-blasted gravel. The soil is rich in silicon (Si), iron (Fe), and iron oxide (rust) giving the Martian soil its reddish hue.


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