Blue Mars: Experience the South Polar Region of Mars

Welcome to the South Polar region of Mars. We usually think of Mars as red and desert-like. In reality, Mars is very cold, and sometimes it even snows near the poles.

Days on Mars are a little longer than on Earth, and this day is coming to an end. Notice the blue sunset? That’s right, here on Mars, the sky is reddish during the day, but turns blue at sunset!

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Liquid water once covered much of Mars, but there is still a lot of water here in the form of ice. The permanent polar ice is mostly made of water, but every winter an extra layer of carbon dioxide ice forms on top and then melts in the spring. The terrain on Mars shows it was once truly a water planet. Robotic missions have discovered evidence of ancient lake beds, rivers and streams.

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This area is known as Angustus Labrinthus, a strange network of ridges near the South Pole. NASA scientists nick-named it “Inca City” because in early photos it looked a little like the ruins of an ancient civilization.

Mars is only half the size of Earth, but has almost as much land. That’s because Earth is still mostly covered with oceans. Scientists once thought all the liquid water on Mars was gone. However, in 2018, scientists used radar signals from the Mars Express space probe to detect what may be at least one saltwater lake below the south polar ice cap.

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Explore Blue Mars in Virtual Reality

Want to see a blue sunset on polar Mars for yourself? You can with the new Mars VR experience from Science Planet! Contact us to find a museum or science center near you that is exhibiting this unique experience.

Are you a museum, science center or school? Learn more about the Science Planet VR collection