When researching for my question on extraterresitral snow, I learned about a rare snow formation called penitente which seems to be found on various (dwarf) planets, like Earth, Mars, and Pluto. Interestingly, these spike-like structures are an important place for life in extreme environments (on Earth) as shown by a study 2019 of penitentes in the Adnes, but this is not what I after.
My question: How abundant are penitentes in our solar system? Are they any estimates in terms of area covered or total ice volume present as penitentes per planet? I would also be interested in actual pictures of extraterrestrial nieves penitentes (including the image source).
How it looks like
Penitentes of the Atacama Desert, cropped from http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1522a/
The Reference list of the Wikipedia article already offers a nice reading list, but I feel the list is far from exhaustive. What I found worth bookmarking:
- A blog by Yurong Yu from February 2017 served me as a starting point.
- There is an 2019 article by T. Giang Nguyen, Christina L.Smith, Alexandra Innanen and John E. Moores called Simulating the formation of Martian penitentes
- The same John E. Moores published meeting notes called Penitentes at Tartarus Dorsa, Pluto.