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What is this curious cloud on Mars?

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posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 02:19 AM

Originally posted by WarriorOfTheLight

Originally posted by charlyv
Mars seems geologically dead.
That cloud is characteristic of a plume.
My money is on a meteor strike. It makes the most sense, and this is probably the only event that could push debris and dust that high in the atmosphere.

How big was this meteor? thats one hell of a plume/cloud A meteor could not cause that much distubance

Objects with diameters smaller than 10 m (33 ft) are called meteoroids (or meteorites if they strike the ground). An estimated 500 meteorites reach the surface each year, but only 5 or 6 of these are typically recovered and made known to scientists.

And anything bigger than that are tracked by NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, or at least we would have know to watch for this event such as was the case with Shoemaker–Levy9
edit on 24-3-2012 by WarriorOfTheLight because: (no reason given)

Mars has a very thin atmosphere. Meteors penetrate martian atmosphere literally without losing any cosmic velocity.
That is one of the reasons there are so many large craters on it's surface, and deep ones as well.

One meteor, and Iron, the size of a volkswagen, punched a hole in Arizona a mile wide about 50k years ago. Just that small object knocked down anything standing in a 50 mile radius, and scientists say it most likely kicked dust up into the atmosphere at least that high. And this is Earth. If it hit Mars, the hole would be much larger.

From Earth, we cannot locate meteors this size that enter Mars atmosphere or meteoroids near it (small asteroids) unless they are also cometary and put out a gas . They have to get much closer.

posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 03:17 AM

Originally posted by Illustronic

Originally posted by CCLLCCLL
reply to post by elevenaugust

Obviously an earth based space faring agency is farming oxygen on Mars. They probly creat some gigantic O2 eruption and give it time to just settle. Breathable air and a brand new real estate market. This is what happens when you let money pigs run the world.

Why would anyone go the distance to farm oxygen on Mars when it proves to have so very little? That is too much sci fi movie watching, the largest thing man has ever launched to Mars is Curiosity, and it wont get there for nearly 4 years yet.

What makes you so sure of that? There are many members here that are convinced the TPTB are hiding Antigravity-technology and that the NASA is a smokescreen.

posted on Mar, 25 2012 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by DissentFromDayOne

ROFL ... if you think that is a photo of "mars" I have some seaside property in Arizona to sell you. THERE ARE NO PLANETS, just the sun, moon, earth, and stars. Look again at that looks like a smooth orange or old tennis ball with some goo on it.


Then you quote the bible talking about satan lying.

Are you too, or do you really beLIEve the hogwash you posted?

Still I guess, sometimes people can still astound me on ATS. Even after the hoax threads, and occasional full on delusionals.

Trust me and the rest of the people on Earth, Mars and the other planets are real.

edit on 3/25/2012 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 06:02 AM

Originally posted by sealing

Wouldn't this be of interest to NASA ?

I'm sure there's a nice Down to Mars explanation.

As per usual then?

NASA will cop it off as swamp gas or some other unlikely scenario

posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 06:16 AM
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water...Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

As Mars approached opposition, Lavelle of Java set the wires of the astronomical exchange palpitating with the amazing intelligence of a huge outbreak of incandescent gas upon the planet. It had occurred towards midnight of the twelfth; and the spectroscope, to which he had at once resorted, indicated a mass of flaming gas, chiefly hydrogen, moving with an enormous velocity towards this earth. This jet of fire had become invisible about a quarter past twelve. He compared it to a colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently squirted out of the planet, "as flaming gases rushed out of a gun."

H.G. Wells

/"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one!" he said

posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 01:27 PM

Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by abeverage

The magnetic regions of Mars are almost entirely in the southern hemisphere. While there are some magnetic regions near the north pole, they are very weak, the strongest being up to 50 nT. By comparison the Earth's field is about 58 µT at 50º latitude. More than 1,000 times stronger.

The Martian aurora (which has been observed) was associated with region with the strongest magnetic field.
edit on 3/24/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)

Not sure where you were going with this other than to say it was possibly an aurora? The strange cloud was viewed in the Southern hemisphere. And I know it has been imaged, (but not from an amateur).

posted on Mar, 26 2012 @ 01:37 PM
reply to post by Qumulys

Any impact able to create a cloud that large at 150 miles above the surface should be easily viewed by MRO and easily detected as a fresh impact crater.

I am still leaning towards a strange form of aurora, but hopefully we will know soon or in a few weeks.

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 12:13 PM
To add to this thread, if this was an impact from a larger debris cloud then would it of been from a large celestial impact to release MARS debris so high up in atmosphere? And if so then with MARS being EA*RTHs neighbor why was there not a data share of this celestial object coming close if that is what caused this Visual impact response seen..

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 12:56 PM
To those saying it couldn't be from an impact keep in mind that gravity on Earth is three times stronger than on Mars. Air pressure on Earth is approximately 177 times greater. I'm not 100% but it seems to me these factors would contribute to potentially much larger plumes as a result of an impact or volcanic activity. I'm sure someone here can conclusively confirm or deny this.

Again, I don't really know - just throwing that out there. Looking forward to hearing more in upcoming days.

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 01:30 PM
I'm still waiting what NASA says about this planetary event....

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 04:54 PM
reply to post by Arken

Me too! But I guess I would prefer an in-depth report that takes a few months rather than a rushed response that turns out to be completely wrong. But, I can't wait months! I'm so conflicted!

Actually, I am wondering where elevenaugust has gotten too??? Hope your OK EA! Your threads are without doubt the most consistently interesting on ATS, please don't have been hit by a bus!

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 06:34 PM
reply to post by Qumulys

I'm OK, thank you!

I wait in fact for the last MRO MARCI pictures to be released today, as it could gives us important clues of what's happened on Mars last week.

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:07 PM
reply to post by elevenaugust

Ok, nothing on the MRO MARCI weather (that was just released) report to see.

However, the guy who made the discovery (Wayne Jaeschke) contacted the NASA guys:

I was in communication with researchers from NASA, JPL, the Space Science Institute shortly after the amateur community made them aware of the event and they allocated any and every resources they could muster to take closer look

So maybe we will see some hi-resolution pictures of the event, stay tuned!

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 07:17 PM
I'll guess an ice volcano, but the liquid may not be water.

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 08:57 PM
Planetary Impact.

posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:09 PM
reply to post by elevenaugust

Glad you're ok!
So, going on that, it would leave out frozen CO2 'clouds'. Possibly also discount, or at least diminish further the aurora theory, but then again I'm not sure if it had the capabilities to study Martian aurora's anyway, so it could still be on the table.

I'm still sticking to my initial thoughts that it was an impact, also seeing as it was visible in all spectrum's would indicate to me dust/rock/ice/ejecta. But that's just a hunch. Can't wait for the hires images!

posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 05:53 AM
Some fresh news from the Yahoo! group:

Check out this article form Alan Boyle: "Mars' mystery cloud explained" when it says:

So, over the past week, professionals and amateurs have been working together to collect imagery and analyze the hazy spot.

"It's most likely a condensate cloud/haze, H2O in composition," Bruce Cantor, senior staff scientist at Malin Space Science Systems, said in an email that was circulated to other experts. "Similar type of phenomena have been seen in early-morning orbital observations in the past."

See here for this previous 2003 observation.

Checking scenarios
Jaeschke said that he's been in contact with other astronomers who are looking at data from the Mars Color Imager, or MARCI, which is one of the instruments on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. "To date, the data shows that there was no abnormal dust activity at Mars' southern latitudes, further reducing the possibility that this was some sort of high-altitude dust storm, impact strike, or other similar phenomena," he said.

The fact that MARCI saw no abnormal cloud activity during its passes at 3 a.m. and 3 p.m. local Mars standard time suggests that the mystery cloud was a transient feature — for example, morning clouds that dissipated by the afternoon on Mars. "Still, researchers are suspect of normal cloud activity, due to the large size of the phenomenon and apparent altitude," Jaeschke said.

One of the more exotic scenarios suggests that the morning clouds were lit up by localized auroral activity, sparked by a recent string of solar storms. "Mars doesn't have a magnetic field similar to that on Earth, but Mars Global Surveyor mapped 'umbrella-like' localized fields back in 2004," Jaeschke said.

The Martian mystery cloud was one of the subjects discussed during this week's Space Hangout, hosted by Pamela Gay with Emily Lakdawalla, Ian O'Neill and yours truly as commentators:

The likeliest explanation for the mystery cloud seems to be the one Cantor came up with: It's a seldom-seen but far from unprecedented manifestation of Martian morning weather. For more of the expert amateur opinion, check out the Unmanned Spaceflight website, the Cloudy Nights online forum and the Mars Observers group on Yahoo.

So case solved?

edit on 31-3-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)

edit on 31-3-2012 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 07:33 AM
reply to post by elevenaugust

Ahhh when it was mentioned MARCI saw nothing unusual in the weather, I missed the caveat that it wasn't able to see it at the time...

So, I guess that's it then! Just a happy little cloud doing its thing... Up very high... Interesting that they are leaning to H2O rather than CO2 clouds though, as a H2O cloud that size would say to me the possibility of rain, or more likely snow perhaps?

Anyways, that's probably as close to an answer as is going to be had, thoroughly enjoyable thread good sir!

posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 07:43 AM
reply to post by Qumulys

Thanks friend!

I also received two replies on the Yahoo! list that are very interesting as they tackles some technical aspect on how this cloud could have been created in the general atmospheric Mars circulation:

Wayne Jaeschke (the guy who discovered the cloud):

There are still some open questions, though. For example, why was the cloud
only visible at the specific location various imagers captured it? Why
didn't it move? What caused it to increase and then decrease in visibility?
Why did it appear around the 11th and then again around the 20th?

As to CO2 vs. H20, I would think that molecular water would be more likely
to reach a higher altitude than CO2, due to being a smaller, lighter
molecule. Also, being a polar molecule, the water can more readily align
(perhaps over the crustal magnetic field located where the cloud was
spotted) and the passing CME provided the energy necessary for condensation?

And the answer of Mark Richardson:

It all depends just how high up the feature was, but if it was >60km or so the problem is that the temperatures are so low there simply isn't enough vapour - even at saturation - to provide sufficient optical depth. We did some basic calculations of this in the McConnochie paper for THEMIS (on My guess is that Bruce was saying water in contrast to dust (i.e. really saying "not dust") - lower in the atmosphere we only think of dust or water composition, so it's sometime easy to forget the 3rd particulate, even though it dominates in the mesosphere.

(One exception to this may be somewhat lower mesospheric clouds over the region around Tharsis where very deep topographic 'convective' forcing might lift dust and water (though for water there is the issue of adiabatic cooling, just like in the "freeze drying" of rapidly upward moving air in deep convective plumes over the tropics on Earth). - but not relevant here)

Dust plumes are somewhat harder to get deep in to the atmosphere elsewhere. Even though the tops of (global or very large) dust storms can get very high, this happens because the whole atmospheric circulation gets "stoked-up" by dust absorbing sunlight and heating the atmosphere. An individual small dust storm (like the smaller events that happen all the time along the ice cap edge) don't seem to get anywhere near this deep - maybe few km to 10 or so km.

The limb object was odd in how it stood still and was maintained for several days. As with all of this, I don't actually know what it was, but my guess is that it may have been part of a large-scale standing wave in the atmosphere and we were seeing where a longitudinal zone of upwelling adiabatically pushed temperatures to the point where co2 ice condensed (which might be quite a bit below the actual CO2 frost point, depending on availability of ice nucleation). Or it might have been some very long zonal wavelength gravity (bouyancy) wave. Since it seems to have been a rare event, it must have been unusually strong of an forcing.

posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 04:24 PM
Here's the last animations from Wayne Jaeschke himself:

First is a 9-frame RGB animation from 2:02ut to 2:51ut:


and an 11-frame near-IR (742nm+) animation:


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