Abstract patterning in a velvety black on white looks organic, like the scaly back of an exotic reptile, seen through a microscope. It could also be an interpretation by a traditional Chinese painter of a distant mountain range, or volcanic islands jutting up through a fog-shrouded sea. This view actually shows a detail of Mars’ seasonal polar caps, which are made up primarily of carbon dioxide frost. This frost sublimates (changes from solid directly to gas) in the spring, boosting the pressure of Mars’ thin atmosphere. Scientists are studying this region to gather data about climate effects on Mars.