Huge Tower (5 Km high) in Hellas Planitia Region on Mars!

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posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 11:16 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 11:19 AM
It looks like it could be a Volcanic Neck. Because of Mars lack of plate tectonics the Volcanic Necks on that planet would grow much larger than here on earth. Thats my bet.

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 11:45 AM
Why is this a "tower"?
Why can't it just be a natural formation...or computer error or some combination of the two (or other factors)?
I have yet to see any finite evidence of anything that can be considered an aritificial structure on Mars. Lots of interesting speculation and fanciful imagination, but...usually there's a gap between reality and the shores of our perception, and that's where imagination fills in the blanks.
I guess if you want it to be a tower, then it's a tower.
Is anyone here a trained geologist?
Perhaps they can shed some light on the situation.
edit on 10/20/11 by Matthew Dark because: Wasn't done talking yet.

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 11:45 AM

Originally posted by Nutstomper
It looks like it could be a Volcanic Neck. Because of Mars lack of plate tectonics the Volcanic Necks on that planet would grow much larger than here on earth. Thats my bet.

It seems more like a data glitch because it looks like a low hill at one resolution, but suddenly "rises to 5 km out of nowhere" when you zoom in slightly closer.

The amount this computer-generated landscape suddenly rises when you zoom in on it is NOT only a function of zooming in closer, as shown below:

Then, just "one click" of the mouse wheel closer:

It seems to me that a hill of some sort exists there (as seen in the first image), but as you zoom in closer, the GoogleEarth data seems to contain some sort of glitch that makes the elevation jump much higher -- higher than you would expect.

If it was only a function of seeing it bigger because it is being viewed closer, then the base would also be proportionally wider -- and it isn't.

edit on 10/20/2011 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 11:58 AM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

I think thats more a rendering issue , the draw distance must have a certain value as to be able to produce a graphic result up to a certain distance and only when you zoom in is the rest of the height values available , you get the same result in 3d modelling on pc games , you can set the view distance on the graphics engine on every game to be able to draw more objects in the distance !
I think this is the same issue .

It sure is an interesting artifact none the less

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 12:01 PM
It was mentioned early on by a poster that it was akin maybe to Devils Tower here on earth. Isn't DT here on earth a 'basalt' extrusion of volcanic origin? Shouldn't there likewise be some volcanic area around this Mars Tower? Do the pics. show such? I think the defenition of the Mars Tower may be slightly askew, or not quite representarive of the actual anomoly ie. shape and girth. At any rate an upthrust in the geologic terain there should have 'clues' around the area of the tower consistant with volcanic or tectonic activity. I'm far from an expert, I know less than nothing, these are just some of my thoughts on the properties of such a occurance that would cause an uplift of these proportions. I wonder if there are other references to this tower in infared, or xray or whatever camera photos they have taken of 'it'. Well at any rate, if it is a 'tower', it is very unusual, and we might want to re-think otherworldly geologies.

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 12:02 PM
reply to post by Matthew Dark

We humans have artificial structures / rovers on mars , so why cant there be other artificial structures there !
its not out of the realms of possibility is it !

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 12:03 PM
reply to post by sapien82

Thanks for the information.

However, I still contend that the elevation data could be incorrect. If that one data point (the data point describing the top of that hill) is wrong, then the computer-generated topographic information could be wrong.

If this is considered along with the fact that there isn't anything that casts a long shadow in the actual real pictures of that area makes me think it is a glitch in the computer-generated topography

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 12:13 PM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

Ok so lets assume its the data point , and the height map is wrong , mars is a huge place , there would be many more incorrect data values if one managed to be incorrect then surely there would be others.
That means there is an error of say 1% that at least 1% of all data points could be wrong , then we would be seeing many many more huge spires !

what do you think ?

See thats , why NASA should take orders from the tax payers , when we find things like this , we need to immediately divert the rover and orbiting satellites to its attention to see what the hell it is !

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by sapien82

Not all data errors are going to be elevation spikes. The Mars Rover Spirit drove about 4.8 miles in 3 years, they are not 'world travelers'. All rovers except spacecraft are relatively local, they go to a place and find as much as they can like the men on the moon.

I don't think its understood by some here that the elevation data is not from photography, its recorded distance it takes for a laser to leave a transmitter and return to a receiver, this data becomes a designation of something like a number, that is coordinated to a grid that is a number, and all of these numbers have to be transmitted back to earth in binary, a series on just 1's and 0's, so you can imagine the billions of bits of data it takes to fill an area on a grid. Photography comes in after the data is given a grayscale image to map a terrain lattice of polygons and the grid of photography is aligned with the terrain map as projected coloring, or part of the skinning of the terrain and texture information can be added by the mineral spectrometer data and other wavelength photography. How much of the data recorded that is skinned on the terrain map is what only the assemblers know for sure and only they know were there are gaps in the data or data averaging was used to seamlessly fill gaps. Assembling the data is subcontracted out by NASA and performed usually by University students, for instance in the case of HiRISE, it's students at the University of Arizona.

edit on 20-10-2011 by Illustronic because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 01:23 PM
proof that mars is a base for humans and the makers of Viagra are the kings of it!!!!!!

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Illustronic

Ok so would this binary data be available in the public domain , if it was then surely we would be able to take a look at the data ourselves , or better yet contact the students who processed that region , and ask them to take a look at it ! If its binary then it doesnt lie its either yes or no .
However as it was humans who processed it , then therein lies your error !

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 02:50 PM

Originally posted by BRITWARRIOR

Well, well... what an smug Ignorant turd you are my friend

a one line reply of name-calling?

clearly you are the humble intelligent one.
edit on 20-10-2011 by BohemianBrim because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 03:27 PM
Here's the source of the "tower:"

That one red point represents a data point as measured by the Mars Global Surveyor's Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA). As the Mars Global Surveyor made orbits around the planet, MOLA sent out pulses of laser light and measured the time it took for them to bounce back. From this, they can determine the height of the terrain. After many orbits, what you get is a map of the height, as measured at a series of points. For instance, here's an image that shows the measured points in an area covering about 1° of latitude and 0.5° of longitude (about 65 square kilometers) surrounding the "tower:"

Here's the scale that shows what color goes with what altitude:

MOLA can't tell what the terrain height is between points, but in general, it's assumed the terrain follows a smooth gradient between points. This how Google builds their 3D terrain, assuming that the ground slopes in a straight line between these measured points.

Let's go back to our one red point:

In that image, each square represents about 0.001° of latitude and 0.0005° of longitude, or a somethinng that's about 60 meters on a side. So we have a red datapoint in the middle that, according to our color scale, represents an altitude of about 3200 meters. And then we have blue datapoints, just about 150 meters to the northeast and 120 meters to the southwest, that represent an altitude of -6400 meters. This gives a relative altitude difference of 9600 meters, or 9.6 kilometers.

So for this to really be a "tower," we have something that is less than 270 meters square, standing 9.6 km tall. I think it's far more reasonable to assume that this one single datapoint represents a faulty return. It would be improper to conclude that such an anomalous structure exists on the surface of Mars based on, literally, a single point of altitude data.

You can browse all of MOLA's data on the MOLA Query Page of the Planetary Data System.

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 03:35 PM
Haven't read through the entire thread yet, but this is only a data glitch in the DTM. It's a picture of a digital surface, not an actual photo of the surface of Mars. and is computer generated from the digital terrain data. There is a "spike" in the data at that point where the data are invalid..

I see these in the SRTM data for Earth all the time. They have to be fixed before you can get an honest view.

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 04:45 PM
Agree with the above posters- it's clearly a data glitch, not a 5km tall structure

Sorry to break it to you guys but from what I've seen so far (quite a lot of pics believe me) there aren't any artificial towers/buildings/domes on the moon, mars or anywhere else.... unfortunately

posted on Oct, 20 2011 @ 10:29 PM

Originally posted by Unity_99

Originally posted by kdog1982
There was a thread about this some time ago,and it was discovered that those "towers"
were actually dust devils.

Lol. Thats funny. I'm sure they would like to convince one that dust devils come in jagged tower formation mode. But they obviously think everyone is so silly and foolish they'll believe anything.

Good stuff here!

Altimetry is accomplished by sending signals of various kinds, like laser or radar, and measuring how long it takes to get a return, You get a return because the signal bounces off of "stuff" and comes back. The "stuff" it bounces off of is dirt in the case of planets.

Dust devils are made of dust.

Which is made from dirt.

Those particles will reflect signal, just like any other particles.

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:24 AM

Originally posted by CaptainInstaban

So is the data for the size and heiight of the cgi buildings obtained by programming the actual dimensions into the software, or is this directly derived from the satellite imagery?

In the case of the Google Earth 3D buildings, they are separate 3D models, most done in Google Sketchup, and imported into GE via KMZ files.

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 12:41 AM

Originally posted by sapien82
reply to post by Illustronic

Ok so would this binary data be available in the public domain , if it was then surely we would be able to take a look at the data ourselves , or better yet contact the students who processed that region , and ask them to take a look at it ! If its binary then it doesnt lie its either yes or no .
However as it was humans who processed it , then therein lies your error !

Yes, the MOLA terrain data is in the public domain, at several resolutions measured in degrees or fractions of a degree. As one travels north or south of the martian equator, lateral spacing in meters varies because the longitude meridians merge at the poles, and so get closer together. That's why the data comes in fractions of degrees rather than being measured in meters. The resolution in meters east-west changes as you get closer to the poles.

The MOLA data can be found as IMG files, and there is a program called "3DEM" that will process it into surface visualizations. 3DEM is no longer maintained, but it can be found archived in various places on the internet. It was written by Richard Horn, of Visualization Software LLC.

There are a variety of factors that will affect the accuracy of the data. Sometimes there is an "early return" reflected by something closer than the target and transient, which leaves a spike in the data that isn't really there, and has to be smoothed out. Other times, the target can be blocked by intervening terrain depending on the incidence angle, and a "hole" is left rather than the real data. The SRTM data around Mt Everest is a glaring example of that. Some times bits get dropped or flipped, and result in inaccuracies. Most of the data problems I've run into are holes or "negative spikes" which can be repaired by extrapolation if they're not too big. Sometimes, a hole is so big that the only choice is to fill in the data from another data set, which is usually of lower resolution, if it can be found at all, in accordance with Murphy's Law.

Positive spikes have to be clipped, and that again is usually done by comparing the dataset with another to find an approximation for the spurious data in the original dataset.

edit on 2011/10/21 by nenothtu because: of clarification

posted on Oct, 21 2011 @ 02:47 AM
I did an animation of the spike through a 360 degree rotation using 3DEM and the MOLA megt file for the area. Since I've not got a YouTube account, I can't upload it to link to it, but the rotation brings out interesting details. The data is the highest resolution available in that dataset, at 128 elevation measurements per degree.

You can see that there appear to be two adjacent measurements out of whack, one slightly higher than the other. The entire anomaly presents almost a knife-blade like appearance, being much wider in one direction than the other. The base appears to be either two hills or a single bi-lobed hill, and the superstructure appears as a webbing between the two raised much higher from the surface. The hill(s) at the base give it a nearly "buttressed" appearance, and the portion of the "tower" between them looks like a webbing strung between two anomalous data points, one for each hill or lobe. That would be a function of the extrapolation of the terrain between the two anomalous points. The peak or apex of the tower is very sharp indeed.

For anyone else who wants to play with it:

the 3DEM webpage is here,

the data can be found here,

and a tutorial on how to use the data with 3DEM can be found here.

The data file you'll want is " megt00n000hb.img " from that data page, and it's about a 130 MB download for that file. MOLA data in that format covers the entire planet in 16 130MB files plus 4 512 MB files for the polar regions.

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