NASA Probe Snaps Mars 'Trees'
Martian landslides create optical illusion
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2010 4:19 AM CST
Dust clouds erupt as frozen carbon dioxide melts off Martian sand dunes.   (NASA)

(Newser) – NASA's Mars orbiter has captured an image of what looks remarkably like rows of trees sprouting from the red planet's surface. The effect is actually an optical illusion, caused by erupting sand debris and dust clouds. The photo shows an area 240 miles south of Mars' north pole where the warmer temperatures of the Martian spring are melting frozen carbon dioxide and causing landslides, the Telegraph reports.