ORLANDO, Fla. – How cold is too cold?
The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 degrees Celsius) at a Russian research station in Antarctica in 1983, according to Guinness World Records.
On Mars, the temperatures can get as low as -190 degrees F.
Mars is in fact a very cold planet by human standards: NASA says the mean temperature on the Red Planet is around -85 degrees F. But it’s also a very dry planet, so you won’t find tons of snow across the planet like you will on Earth, but NASA’s many missions have found frost.
Mars gets two types of frost and snow: water-ice and carbon-dioxide ice (dry ice). Snow only occurs at the poles. Dry-ice snow is the only snow that reaches the ground, and because of the way carbon dioxide molecules form, the snowflakes are cube-shaped.
Frost from water-ice and dry ice is more likely across the planet. When it thaws it takes on some interesting patterns, reminding scientists of spiders of Dalmation spots.
You can see some of these patterns in this video from NASA.
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