Are trees growing on Mars?

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What seem to be pockets of spruce-like trees emerging from the dunes of Mars have had people abuzz.

011410mars.jpg On Wednesday, a NASA probe returned unbelievable photographs of the Red Plant's surface with trees popping up. Unfortunately, researchers now believe the "trees" are actually the result of landslides. The dark streaks are likely dark basaltic sand debris and erupting dust clouds, according to Candy Hansen, a member of NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team. "The streaks are sand, dislodged as ice evaporates, which slide down the dune," Hansen tells The Sun. "At this time of the Martian year the whole scene is covered by CO2 frost." The detailed photo was taken from orbit around Mars by one of the world's most powerful cameras known as HiRISE.

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    This page contains a single entry by Nikki Muehlhausen published on January 14, 2010 9:44 AM.

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