Mars is a “winter wonderland” in this frosty photo.

The wintry icy landscape over the southern hemisphere of Mars.  The image was taken by the Mars Express in May.

The wintry ice scenery over the southern hemisphere of Mars as seen by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. (Photo credits: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

A newly released image of Mars shows an icy scene with red and white bands dancing across a frosty landscape near the planet’s south pole.

While the snowy scene may evoke the feeling of a “winter wonderland” on the Red Planet, it was actually captured on May 19 by the European Space Agency’s Mars Express Orbiter. This means that the cold image actually represents springtime in the southern hemisphere of Mars as Mars ice began to recede.

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