Angel, devil and blood-red heart appear at the Martian South Pole

It is summer at the south pole of Mars, and angels and devils come out to play. You can see them both in a stunning new image of the recently thawed pole made by the European Space Agency (ESA).

It must be said that the devils are made of dust. Just like on Earth, Martian dust devils it is formed when a pocket of warm air rises suddenly through a column of cold air, creating an upward current. (Unlike Earth, these dust cyclones can rise 6 miles or 10 kilometers high). You can see the scratch marks of such a cyclone in the dark region on the left side of this image.

And what about the angel? For an explanation, we will have to go to heaven. Take a close look at the “halo” around the angel’s head and you will notice the steep and sloping walls of an impact crater. According to a statement from ESA, this etheric feature is the product of a meteorite collision that dug deep into the crust of the Red Planet, building a crater and revealing the layers of ancient sediments below.

In this topographic map, the blue and purple regions have low altitudes, while the red, yellow and white regions have higher altitudes. Notice the deep crater around the angel’s head. (Image credit: ESA)