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Originally posted by saturnus1962
reply to post by Parabol
That's a good question, not only regarding this anomalie but regarding quite a few of them; what are they doing in such a desolate location?
[edit on 29/8/2008 by saturnus1962]
Originally posted by internos
SuperSlovak, thanks for sharing this one
I fear that the best photos available of the object have already been posted If all that we have are these photos, nothing conclusive can be said, IMHO: there are some clues indicating a resembleance with a volcanic rock, but they are just clues: after looking at Spirit's traverse map i guess that there are no more photos of it:
honestly, is hard to say what it could be: its appearance is odd for sure, but in the other hand it looks to be consistent with a rock. The photos are of bad quality, the light doesn't help: it appears darkened, and this hides the details of the object, especially its texture. Anohter attempt that we can do would be to check the other cameras images from the same SOLs.
Sorry for not being helpful
And if they were rocks stacked on top of each other I believe the wind would have blown them apart. There are quite a few dust devils and storms blowing through that area.
The atmosphere of Mars is relatively thin, and the atmospheric pressure on the surface varies from around 30 Pa (0.03 kPa) on Olympus Mons's peak to over 1155 Pa (1.155 kPa) in the depths of Hellas Planitia, with a mean surface level pressure of 600 Pa (0.6 kPa), compared to Earth's 101.3 kPa, and a total mass of 25 teratonnes, compared to Earth's 5148 teratonnes. ~ Wikipedia
Originally posted by Lasheic
Naw, the wind on Mars isn't very powerful - even if it is extremely fast moving at times. This is because Mars's atmosphere is much much thinner than our own so there's only a fraction of the force exerted on objects in Mars atmosphere than there would be with an equivalent (but much denser) wind speed on Earth.
The new high-altitude cloud layer has implications for landing on Mars as it suggests the upper layers of Mars' atmosphere can be denser than previously thought. This will be an important piece of information for future missions, when using friction in the outer atmosphere to slow down spacecraft (in a technique called 'aerobraking'), either for landing or going into orbit around the planet.
These results are published online in the Icarus scientific magazine (vol. 183, issue 2, August 2006), in the article titled: "Subvisible CO2 ice clouds detected in the mesosphere of Mars", by F.Montmessin, J.L.Bertaux (Service d'Aeronomie du CNRS, Verrières-le-Buisson, France ), et al.
Mars is often depicted as a dusty place, and it is. But it can be cloudy on the red planet, too. And Martian clouds are sometimes more like terrestrial clouds than you might think.
In this photo, taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and released earlier this month, clouds surround several of Mars' towering volcanoes. One of them, Olympus Mons, soars 15 miles (24 kilometers) above the surface. What are the clouds made of? Water ice, say scientists at Malin Space Science Systems, which operates the spacecraft's camera.
Opportunity, back on the Meridiani Planum, took pictures of wispy clouds that look strikingly like cirrus clouds on Earth.
"This is just a totally spectacular image," said NASA rover scientist Michael Wolff as he presented the first image. And upon unveiling the second: "I can't get enough of these."
Wolff said the clouds are almost surely made of water ice. They've been spotted by orbiting spacecraft before and are known to occur near the equator -- where the rovers are -- only when Mars is at aphelion, or at its farthest point from the Sun on its elliptical orbit. During aphelion, about 40 percent less sunlight warms the planet, changing the climate,
On Earth, the condensing substance is water vapor, which forms small droplets of water (typically 0.01 mm of ice crystals) that, when surrounded with billions of other droplets or crystals, are visible as clouds. Dense deep clouds exhibit a high reflectance (70 to 95%) throughout the visible range of wavelengths: they thus appear white, at least from the top. Cloud droplets tend to scatter light very efficiently, so that the intensity of the solar radiation decreases with depth into the cloud, hence the grey or even sometimes dark appearance of the clouds at their base.
Unlike the Earth, where clouds are found around the entire globe, on Mars, clouds seem only to be found near the equator, as shown in this Hubble telescope image. This may be because water of Mars may only exist at equatorial regions.
As early as 1796 scientists were reporting "yellow", and "white" or "bluish" clouds in the Martian atmosphere. With data from the Mariner 9 mission, scientists could finally prove that the clouds were made of water. Mars Global Surveyor is providing more proof of the existence of water clouds.
More study is needed to understand just how the clouds come and go in the Martian atmosphere. For example, even though clouds have been found, there is no proof it actually rains on Mars! Precipitation of water depends upon how cold it is. The temperatures in the atmosphere may be too cold for water to fall to the ground as droplets.
Sure it's strong enough to kick up some pretty dense dust storms, but it wouldn't generally have the force needed to push over a large pile of rocks. This is why we're not really concerned with Mars's vicious looking dust storms in regards to establishing bases on Mars.
What is clear is that clouds hover over the caps as the weather starts to warm in the martian spring in the northern and southern hemisphere.
Orbiter data shows that those thin clouds vanish as the sun rises, and that the material falls back to Mars as frost or snow.
"This is clearly evidence that it snows on Mars," Smith said.
It's a far cry from the dry and dead world imagined by previous generations.
"The Mars we thought we knew was not the real Mars," says Ken Edgett, a geologist with Malin Space Science Systems of San Diego, California, which built the orbiter's cameras. "I'm personally surprised."
This is not to say that I support the idea that what we see in the photograph is a non-natural formation. The photos are rather blurry, and without a higher resolution picture and a more detailed survey of the surrounding landscape it's hard to say whether it's even a pile of rocks or a highly textured single rock that looks like a pile due to a trick of light.
These things can be deceiving. I recall seeing a YouTube video in which someone was displaying pictures of acres and acres of interconnecting ring patterns formed by tiny rocks. Looked very deliberate and intelligently made. However, as it turns out, it was a natural formation caused by frost heave.
Not to suggest that frost heave made the rock in the OP's post, but that without further information and investigation it would be rather difficult to discern whether the formation is natural or un-natural. Since we haven't ruled out a natural formation, there's no real reason to jump to the conclusion that it's non-natural.