Spidery black objects on Mars surface raise speculation
2012-10-05 0:00

By Eric Pfeiffer | The Sideshow



Someone alert Ziggy Stardust, there appear to be spiders on Mars.

Strange black objects seen from 200 miles above the surface of Mars are generating interest and speculation that the unidentified objects could be anything from geysers to sunbathing colonies of microorganisms.

NPR presents several photos of the objects, including one taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010, that appears to show "little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows."

The objects were first spotted in 1998. Interestingly, they appear when the surface of Mars begins to warm, showing up in the same location most of the time. And then when the Martian winter approaches, they disappear with the same precise regularity. The images have been brought into greater detail by Michael Benson in his book "Planetfall: New Solar System Visions."

Most scientists, including teams from the U.S. Geological Survey, Hungary and the European Space Agency, have their own theories, but the leading explanation is that the objects are geysers of CO2 exploding from underneath the planet’s surface.

"If you were there, you’d be standing on a slab of carbon dioxide ice," Phil Christensen of Arizona State University told NPR. "All around you, roaring jets of carbon dioxide gas are throwing sand and dust a couple hundred feet into the air. The ground below would be rumbling. You’d feel it in your space boots."

And while the geyser theory is the most popular explanation, it has yet to be verified.

In the meantime, there are some interesting alternative theories, including one from a group of Hungarian scientists, who have speculated that the objects are actually colonies of photosynthetic Martian microorganisms that emerge each year to sunbathe in the warm weather.




.What the objects may look like up close. (Artist rendering)



Article from: news.yahoo.com






Related Articles
Weather On Mars Surprisingly Warm, Curiosity Rover Finds
Mars rover Curiosity finds signs of ancient stream
What Would It Mean If There Used To Be Life on Mars?
Curiosity Finds Pyramid Rocks on Mars
Mystery Spheres on Mars Baffle Scientists


Latest News from our Front Page

Wrongfully treating academic debate as anti-Semitism
2015-05-29 19:23
The principle of academic freedom at our universities is under attack by those seeking to shield Israel from criticism by silencing dissent, shutting down discussion and imposing a stifling atmosphere of intimidation at the University of California, in particular. A coordinated set of petitions, including a letter signed by 57 rabbis, asks UC administrators to adopt the State Department's definition of ...
White prof. publishes 'Ten Cracka Commandments' for whites
2015-05-29 19:45
A hip hop symposium recently inspired a professor at Lehigh University to develop a list of "Cracka Commandments" intended to help white people accommodate the imminent "black spring." Christopher Driscoll, a visiting assistant professor of religious studies at the private university in Bethlehem, Penn., posted the list of commandments last Friday following a lecture on the white appropriation of rap. According to ...
Maine Senate Votes to Eliminate Concealed Handgun Permits
2015-05-29 17:57
State may become sixth in nation to not require permits for concealed handguns Senate lawmakers in the northeastern state of Maine have approved a bill that would eliminate the need for concealed carry handgun permits, instituting a concept popularly known as "constitutional carry." In a 21-14 vote Thursday, the republican-controlled Senate approved L.D. 652, "An Act To Authorize the Carrying of Concealed ...
Anglo-Saxon Sword and Helmet from Staffordshire Hoard Reconstructed
2015-05-29 0:49
Thousands of metal fragments from the Staffordshire Hoard have been reconstructed into two "significant" new 7th Century objects. Researchers have pieced together parts of a silver helmet and a previously unseen form of sword pommel. The hoard, which is valued at £3.2m, was found in a field near Burntwood, Staffordshire in July 2009. Both items have been put on display at Birmingham's Museum ...
ALEC corruption: Legislators and corporate lobbyists meet in secret at Savannah resort
2015-05-28 23:59
The Georgia Legislature has a message for voters: don't ask us about our meetings with corporate lobbyists behind closed doors. The 11Alive Investigators tracked lawmakers to a resort hotel in Savannah last week, where we observed state legislators and lobbyists mingling in the hotel bar the night before they gathered in private rooms to decide what new laws would best serve ...
More News »