Skip to comments.Spidery black objects on Mars surface raise speculation [Was David Bowie right?]
Posted on 10/04/2012 3:41:05 PM PDT by grundle
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Love the Bowie reference!
Looks like the shell of a giant Martian lobster!
Dunes - windblown formations.
I’m guessing the black is some kind of mineral deposit and the big things are dunes. (photo taken from 200 miles up)
I bet Major Tom’s a junkie.
Why not Zoidberg?
Never mind. Its just Weird & Gilly.
Didn’t you all watch B5
Those are Shadow attack vessels!
... for your consideration.
Aren’t those things like the worms in Dune (the creatures that make the spice?)
“Send men... to summon WORMS!”
“from geysers to sunbathing colonies of microorganisms. “
Sometimes I think nasa employs second graders.
Ugh, Martian sand Ticks, hate’em.
Just like earth ticks but 25 feet across.
I saw something in the new photo from the mars over that will stir the conspiracy theorists. It looks a bit like a bird standing on a rock.
Center right in the middle distance about even with where the mountains start coming into view.
That does look like a shell!!
I’d like to see a larger area view.
Those black spots are Paul “Muadeeb” and the Fremen catching a ride on spice worms. There, I solved the riddle.
That is one heck of a rock formation
Reminds me of the old episode from 1950 on a radio show “Dimension X.” The story was called “The Martian Death March” written by Ernest Kinoy. It was about a man, in 2027 recalling his boyhood with his father on Mars back in 1997 where he witnessed an old man leading Martians on a march from their reservations to another place to live. The Martians were tall and skinny and were called “Spiders.” It sort of remind me of the civil rights marches that would occur later in that decade and onward into the 1960’s
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