?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Astro-image of the day: The Spiders on Mars

Turns out that Ziggy had it right (sort of). Check out these amazing Martian features:

Click the image to see the story.

Sorry, these aren't huge Martians; they're surface features created by carbon-dioxide ice turning to gas below the surface. Unlike water-ice, when warmed by Spring sunshine on the dust above, C02 ice goes straight to gas, forming these amazing patterns as it bursts through the soil. The official NASA designation for these is "cryptic features," but popular names include "lace, lizard-skin, fans, and spiders."

Best,
Chris

Tags:

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
fortyozspartan
Dec. 13th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Is that the same stuff Arthur C. Clark thought was plants?
mckitterick
Dec. 13th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, could be. I think you're talking about the Cydonians. Love it!

Chris
fortyozspartan
Dec. 13th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC)
I just went and looked up where I read it: Good 'ole Daily Galaxy

Turns out they're one and the same but I wasn't sure because the photos I looked at weren't topographical. They look a bit different from the side than "3rd person." I was trying to rotate it in my mind's eye to figure out if it was the same feature or not.



Pretty neat design at any rate.

"I'm quite serious when I say have a really good look at these new Mars images," Clarke said. "Something is actually moving and changing with the seasons that suggests, at least, vegetation."
mckitterick
Dec. 13th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Right, Sir Arthur; couldn't be anything more likely, such as CO2 evaporation...
fortyozspartan
Dec. 13th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
It doesn't even look like vegetation to me in any of those pictures. Maybe it's because I'm geologically trained to rock your socks off.
ex_frankwu
Dec. 13th, 2007 06:31 pm (UTC)
Just to be clear - the lines are linear clouds of carbon dioxide in the air, rather than frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) on/under the ground?
mckitterick
Dec. 13th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
As I understand it, they're new structures in the ground created by the evaporation - so says the theory. Cool beans! Underground ice creating huge above-ground features.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

April 2019
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    

Comments

Powered by LiveJournal.com