Skip to comments.Mysterious cloud over Mars puzzles onlookers, invites conspiracy theories
Posted on 10/26/2018 1:41:46 PM PDT by ETL
Although Mars' atmosphere is comprised of vastly different elements than Earth's and is approximately 100 times less dense than our own, the planet does have clouds. But one strange, curious cloud near a massive volcano is puzzling onlookers..."
The cloud, described as "curious" by the European Space Agency, was first spotted over the Arsia Mons volcano on the planet on Sept. 13 by the Mars Express spacecraft. The ESA does not believe it is a volcanic cloud since no volcano has been active on the planet in about 50 years, but rather they believe it is a water ice cloud.
"In spite of its location, this atmospheric feature is not linked to volcanic activity but is rather a water ice cloud driven by the influence of the volcanos leeward slope on the air flow something that scientists call an orographic or lee cloud and a regular phenomenon in this region," the ESA said in a statement on its website.
The space agency noted that the cloud has grown and changed shape throughout the day. It grows "in length during local morning downwind of the volcano, almost parallel to the equator, and reaching such an impressive size that could make it visible even to telescopes on Earth," the ESA added.
Mars' winter solstice on its northern hemisphere occurred on Oct. 16 and the ESA noted that a "seasonally recurrent water ice cloud," like the aforementioned cloud, has formed along the southwestern flank of the volcano in the past. The Mars Express craft and others have actually observed the cloud in 2009, 2012 and 2015, the ESA said.
Despite the proclamation from the ESA, that has not stopped conspiracy theorists on the internet proclaiming it could be from the volcano or something else.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet.
On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet.
The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 km above the same region of Mars on both occasions. By comparison, similar features seen in the past have not exceeded 100 km.
"At about 250 km, the division between the atmosphere and outer space is very thin, so the reported plumes are extremely unexpected," says Agustin Sanchez-Lavega of the Universidad del País Vasco in Spain, lead author of the paper reporting the results in the journal Nature.
The features developed in less than 10 hours, covering an area of up to 1000 x 500 km, and remained visible for around 10 days, changing their structure from day to day.
None of the spacecraft orbiting Mars saw the features because of their viewing geometries and illumination conditions at the time.
However, checking archived Hubble Space Telescope images taken between 1995 and 1999 and of databases of amateur images spanning 2001 to 2014 revealed occasional clouds at the limb of Mars, albeit usually only up to 100 km in altitude.
But one set of Hubble images from 17 May 1997 revealed an abnormally high plume, similar to that spotted by the amateur astronomers in 2012.
A curious plume-like feature was observed on Mars on May 17, 1997 by the Hubble Space Telescope.
It is similar to the features detected by amateur astronomers in 2012, although appeared in a
different location. Credit: JPL/NASA/STScI
Obviously global warming from all of the SUVs there.
Volcanoes do that on Earth.
I have met the author. He's very sure of himself ...
He has appeared on "Ancient Aliens". He fits in there perfectly.
Years ago the temperatures on Mars were increasing, as was earth’s (may they still are on Mars). I mentioned that to a person in a sarcastic way. “Yeah, this global warming is getting so bad that even Mars is hotter now.”
“Oh man, I didn’t know that. We really have to get going on running everything on solar and wind before it’s too late.” Sad part - he was an environmental “scientist”.
Does look like the cloud formations we get off of high lone peaks on earth with the right weather (Mt. Hood, etc.)
Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat!)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
From Texas's 18th district
On a visit to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2005, Jackson Lee made embarrassing news by asking if the Mars Pathfinder had taken an image of the flag planted there in 1969 by Neil Armstrong.
Prior to the 110th Congress, Jackson Lee served on the House Science Committee and on the Subcommittee that oversees space policy and NASA.
Mars sneezed. It’s a booger.
a really big smokestack?
What! No Uranus jokes?
Obviously global warming from all of the SUVs there.
You met the author?
Dead Mars, Dying Earth Hardcover March 1, 2000
by John E. Brandenburg (Author), Minica Rix Paxon
Is it Al Gore...or Al Gore in drag? (a horrible thought!)
This digital-image mosaic of Mars Tharsis plateau shows the extinct volcano
Arsia Mons. It was assembled from images that NASAs Viking 1 orbiter took
during its 1976-1980 working life at Mars. Image credit: NASA / JPL / USGS.
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