posted on Jan, 27 2004 @ 01:20 AM
Those are imprints in the soil from the lander's airbags. The soil in that area is taking such good "impressions" from objects pressing down on
them that you are seeing the seams and joins from the airbags laid out in the soil.
The behavior of this "soil" is looking more and more like it is at least slightly moist... I'm beginning to strongly suspect that the brine
explanation may account for a lot of what we've seen so far on Mars: The reports of dark liquid stains in a variety of overhead shots, the "magic
carpet" behavior, the soil surrounding Opportunity... heck, there are even frames showing what looks like recent flows with evaporation and
salt-like mineral residue left behind coloring the rocks.
Let's hope that the investigators aren't "wedded" to some exotic electrostatic process, and that they at least allow for the possibility of liquid
brine in the area.