Red Planet Heats Up: Ice Age Ending on Mars

mars-north-pole

The north polar ice cap of Mars is seen in this mosaic view, which scientists made by combining data from the European Mars Express spacecraft and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The spiral features help scientists understand how ice ages on Mars work.

Credit: ESA/DLR/FU-Berlin/Ralf Jaumann

Mars is emerging from an ice age, a finding that could shed light on the past and future climates of both Mars and Earth, researchers said.

The orbit of Mars regularly undergoes changes that greatly affect how much sunlight reaches the planet’s surface, which in turn can strongly alter the Red Planet’s climate. Similar orbital variations called Milankovitch cycles are known to happen on Earth.

– See more at: http://www.space.com/33001-mars-ice-age-ending-now.html#sthash.9mlfNKVV.dpuf

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