Turning the Red Planet white

Scientists from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in France have found that Mars' atmosphere can produce violent snowstorms, particularly after the sun has set and temperatures plummet, providing new insights into weather patterns on Mars and could helping in future colonisation of the planet. Although Mars may appear to have a cold, dusty, and dry appearance, according to the researcher's findings it also experiences intense snowstorms generated by strong gusts of wind. The new findings come from the analysis of data from NASA's Phoenix lander in 2008, which detected possible snowfalls in water ice in Martian soil, but at the time could not be explained. By combing the Phoenix's readings with observations from the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, the researchers suggest that Red Planet experiences more intense snowfalls compared to what scientists previously thought, but the volume of snow output in these localised storms would still be meagre. To find out more check out Martian weather kicks into high gear at night.