The Weirdest Things Recently Found on Mars

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Mars is a crazy place. In recent years we’ve discovered some of the strangest things on the Red Planet: ice spidersSwiss cheese terrain, and perfectly spiral-shaped lava tubes.

And the more we explore our near planetary neighbor, the weirder the things we find get. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been circling Mars since 2006, provides the clearest and highest-resolution images of the planet’s surface. Looking through the image archive of its HiRISE camera, which can resolve things about a meter wide on the ground, reveals a vast supply of strange and wonderful things.

Here we share some of the orbiter’s most recent weird sightings from the last few months. The images provide incredible scientific insights into Mars. But, perhaps just as important, they are beautiful, fascinating, and reflective of the alien world that sits not too far from our own.

Written By: Adam Mann
continue to source article at wired.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. They should have put a video camera on the rover down there, then the general public would have been a lot more interested. Blue sky science leads to a lot more of the awe, wonder and interest that leads to much more funding for the practical science missions. Just imagine what it would have looked like to see ‘earthrise’ from the surface of mars in real time. Or a dust devil in motion, or a martian sunset and sunrise. I wonder how vivid the milky way would look from mars with its super thin atmosphere?
    If they where really smart they could set up a worldwide subscription 3D Mars Channel so people could tune in at any time and get a first person view of the surface of this alien planet as the rover travels across it. Just think about the about the amount of money they could make for future missions.

    • In reply to #3 by brown dwarf:

      They should have put a video camera on the rover down there, then the general public would have been a lot more interested. Blue sky science leads to a lot more of the awe, wonder and interest that leads to much more funding for the practical science missions. Just imagine what it would have looked like to see ‘earthrise’ from the surface of mars in real time. Or a dust devil in motion, or a martian sunset and sunrise.

      Perhaps you would be interested in one of these projects:-

      http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681289/citizen-scientists-crack-the-martian-code-image-by-image

      Citizen Scientists Crack The Martian Code, Image By Image

      A new project lets anyone with an interest in space comb through photos taken of the surface of the red planet to help NASA figure out the geology and weather patterns without sending more really expensive rovers.

      http://beamartian.jpl.nasa.gov/welcome

      http://www.universetoday.com/89325/citizen-science-help-find-life-on-mars/
      Interested in helping NASA scientists pinpoint where to look for signs of life on Mars?

      If so, you can join a new citizen science website called MAPPER, launched in conjunction with the Pavilion Lake Research Project’s >2011 field season.

  2. @ OP picture – Mars isn’t really blue and gold, it’s just that this picture was taken in infrared wavelengths to better show the composition of the sand here. But these dunes, known as “barchans,” would look striking in any light. (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

    I would suspect that unless these are ancient fossils, the particles must be fine dust to be moved by Mars’ thin atmosphere.

    However, they look very like barchans on Earth!
    http://photography.nationalgeographic.co.uk/photography/enlarge/barchan-dunes-photography.html

  3. What is weird is that the magazine thought that using the same person that writes their wine section could write about Science in the same manner and effect. I thought I was going to read about the scientific significance of these pictures.

    • In reply to #7 by carlos sutter:

      What is weird is that the magazine thought that using the same person that writes their wine section could write about Science in the same manner and effect. I thought I was going to read about the scientific significance of these pictures.

      The selection of pictures is interesting, but as you say the commentary (apart from the picture captions), does not show much scientific perception.

    • In reply to #7 by carlos sutter:

      What is weird is that the magazine thought that using the same person that writes their wine section could write about Science in the same manner and effect. I thought I was going to read about the scientific significance of these pictures.

      I read something recently to the effect that journalists specialized in scientific journalism are an endangered species. Personally, I think the lack of interest from the general public and budget cuts in news organizations are to blame for this sad state of affairs.

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