It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Originally posted by zorgon
Anyone stating an item in a photograph is "Just a Rock" is required to:
1) Give the type of rock
2) Explain how that rock was formed
3) Explain how that rock came to be at the location it is found in
4) describe in point form your expertise in geology
5) submit documentation to back your claim of it being a rock
Failure to meet these requirements may mean your comment is rejected by this office. An unqualified statement of 'its just a rock..' is no more valid than a statement 'its a building'
Explanation: What are these strange shapes on Mars? Defrosting sand dunes. As spring now dawns on the Northern Hemisphere of Mars, dunes of sand near the pole, as pictured above, are beginning to thaw. The carbon dioxide and water ice actually sublime in the thin atmosphere directly to gas. Thinner regions of ice typically defrost first revealing sand whose darkness soaks in sunlight and accelerates the thaw. The process might even involve sandy jets exploding through the thinning ice. By summer, spots will expand to encompass the entire dunes. The Martian North Pole is ringed by many similar fields of barchan sand dunes, whose strange, smooth arcs are shaped by persistent Martian winds.