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Originally posted by spinkyboo
The bigger, middle one - looks like a volcano.
This HiRISE image was intended to investigate the nature of the volcanic materials at this location. However, the image was taken in early spring for this location in the southern hemisphere and so the ground is covered with bright frost except for some dark splotches found in discrete patches. This is where the sunlight has penetrated the frost and initiated defrosting around discrete spots.
Clearly something is different about the patches where this defrosting has started before any other locations. One possibility is that these are (frost covered) dark sand dunes that heat up more easily than the surrounding terrain. However, we will need to take a new image in the summer time to really know what is happening here
Originally posted by Phage Have at it with your crayons.
Originally posted by zorgon
They don't know for sure.
As to giant trees on Mars? Hmmmm well someone is stacking timbers