MIT exometerologists, scientists, scientists who study weather patterns in space, have calculated the size of the snowflakes that occur on Mars.
The atmosphere on Mars is almost entirely comprised of carbon dioxide. This means that when ice crystals form, they are really creating dry ice. Each snowflake is probably a quarter of the size as ones found on Earth.
These small crystals, measuring as small as eight micrometers, would look more like fog when falling instead of snow. To grasp how small this is, eight micrometers is approximately the same size as a red blood cell in a human being.
Researchers analyzed observations made by two Mars-orbiting spacecraft to calculate the size of snowflakes on the Red Planet, which are composed of carbon dioxide rather than water.
“These are very fine particles, not big flakes,” study co-author Kerri Cahoy, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, said in a statement. An astronaut standing among snow particles falling onto the Martian surface “would probably see it as a fog, because they’re so small,” Cahoy added.
The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Geophysical Research.