A spring sunrise over the surface of Mars' south pole.

- Image ID: C0DTDW
Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: C0DTDW
A spring sunrise reveals a bizarre landscape unlike any other in the Solar System. Frozen carbon dioxide and water ice form long, meandering troughs over Mars' south pole, looking from orbit like a giant fingerprint. This illustration suggests how this terrain might look from a perspective much closer to the surface: an altitude of a few hundred feet. While it is not known exactly what processes shaped this landscape, the troughs are believed to have formed through collapse and widening by sublimation of carbon dioxide and water ices.