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White Christmas: Snow is guaranteed to fall on these icy planets and moons

Snowstorms are common to planet Earth, but you may not know it snows elsewhere in the Solar System. Express.co.uk reveals the places beyond our planet where you may also find snow and ice.


The Martian poles of Mars boasts ice caps that shrink and grow according to the seasons.

These ice caps consist mainly of water identical to the type found on Earth.

However, the snow that falls on red planet Mars there is made of carbon dioxide – the same ingredient used to make dry ice on Earth.

CO2 is in the Martian atmosphere and it freezes and falls to the surface of the planet as snow.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has snapped the sand dunes around Mars’ north pole, which are seasonally covered with carbon dioxide snow and ice.

White Christmas: Ice is found on dunes on crater floors on Mars (Image: NASA)

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White Christmas: (Image: Getty)


Ringed planet Saturn’s moon, Enceladus features geysers capable of spewing water vapour into space.

There, the water vapour freezes and falls back to the surface as snow.

Some of this icy discharge can escape Enceladus to become part of Saturn’s rings.

The water vapour originates from a heated ocean sitting beneath the moon’s desolate surface.

All of this ice and snow make Enceladus one of the Solar System’s brightest objects.


Neptune’s largest moon is Triton. – one of the Solar System’s coldest surface.

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Triton’s atmosphere is mainly composed of nitrogen, similar to Titan.

This nitrogen freezes onto its surface covering Triton with ice made of frozen nitrogen.

Triton also has geysers like Enceladus, although they are smaller and composed of nitrogen instead of water.

White Christmas: Io has “snowflakes” made out of sulphur (Image: Getty)

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White Christmas: Triton also has geysers like Enceladus (Image: Getty)


There are dozens of moons which orbit Jupiter and one of them, called Io, has “snowflakes” made out of sulphur.

In 2001, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft detected these sulphur snowflakes just above Io’s south pole.

The sulphur spews into space from a volcano on Io’s surface.

Once in space, the sulphur quickly freezes to form snowflakes that fall back down to the surface.


There may well also be snow far outside of the Solar System.

Kepler-13Ab is a hot, giant planet 1,730 light-years from Earth.

The planet is nine times the size than gas giant Jupiter and it orbits in close proximity to its star.

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope detected evidence of titanium oxide in this planet’s upper atmosphere.

On the cooler side of the exoplanet facing away from its host star, the planet’s strong gravity might cause the titanium oxide to fall down as “snow”.

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