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Possible new classification opportunity for concretion spherules (blueberries) on Mars.

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posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by jonnywhite
 


And this illustrates perfectly why we can't rely on morphology alone. If everybody just accepted this as decisive evidence and anounced the discovery of extraterrestrial life, it could be one of the biggest blunders in the history of science.




posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 05:33 PM
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Eriktheawful -

Others have offered reasonable explanations for what it could be, based on other supporting evidence (climatic conditions present on Mars at this time, and other geological processes that have been directly observed and tested here on Earth, as supporting evidence).

It is up to you to decide what you want to believe. I and others will entertain all speculations, but in certain cases can not commit to a firm acceptance. Simply because there is no way to test it.

I'm not being immature, insulting, or unreasonable here (please do not compare me to other posters on here that do act that way), when I suggest that what is in your OP may not be life, but may only be mineral formations that look like that.
I realise that you are trying to bring the discussion back to some kind of scientific basis and that is reasonable. If anything at all, others have only cited the existing spherule concretion hypothesis. I am not, repeat not, saying that concretions do not exist because they obviously do exist in the images.

Yes, these are hypothises of mine not a theory, but how does anyone get theories about Mars when they are not involved with NASA, and when there is no other data on these structures available? No other images with different shadows, no other measurements testing the blueberries which look as if they are fungi, or for that matter, the 'flattened formation' in this image which I am referring to. There is peripheral data for atmosphere, etc as you and others mention, and maybe data for concretions too, but we do not have access to allow us to test what we need, to determine the truth of our hypothises. Pretty much a dead end huh?

wildespace -

It looks like some flattened formation, possibly attached to the spherical thing, possibly not.
Then why couldn't this actually be a fungus stalk? Because you have been told that the measurements we have from the rovers do not support such a hypothesis? Yet, I have brought to the table the mark anthony quote above of supporting evidence of ancient spherical life which are not concretions.

What you are doing is using different ambiguous language because you dont want to make a fool of yourself if you are wrong. Lots of "possibly" and "maybe"s to cover your backside and stick to the accepted understanding of scientific colleagues. Thats sad because it does not move towards investigating a hypothesis which has some surrounding and supporting circumstancial evidence in the form of these other images I have linked to. Why not move your position and embrace a hypothesis which is not mainstream science?

Example
If you have a black and white image of many spherical balls on the ground with differing tones of grey but the only colour image you have as supporting data shows red balls, are you going to assume that the only colour represented in the grey tone image is red?

This is like the spherical objects you know as concretions on Mars and could not possibly be anything else since there are only measurements/data to support a concretion theory.

So make up a new hypothesis and test it for the other grey tones in the black and white image. However, you cannot just say "Does it fit in with the data I already have showing only red balls?" because this is limiting your view of the possibilities in the situation. Yes, the data you have shows red balls, but there are other possibilities which may exist if you had more data (such as other colour images of the spherical balls on the ground maybe showing other colours)



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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wildespace -

And this illustrates perfectly why we can't rely on morphology alone. If everybody just accepted this as decisive evidence and anounced the discovery of extraterrestrial life, it could be one of the biggest blunders in the history of science.
I know you are not replying to me, however, this is exactly my point in the previous post. We cannot move towards an acceptance of et life if we dont dip our toes in to test the water. That toe-dipping includes a hypothesis about the round structures not JUST being concretions, but being some kind of life form. That way we might actually get NASA to release the data of those other round structures and the 'flattened formations' to allow science to move to a place which accepts ET life which currently it does not.

If they truly wanted to find current life for us on Mars they would have tested and released data on anything which might possibly be hiding it.

I just dont believe they want to find it, thats all - do you? Certainly there is no evidece to suggest they are trying very hard and only doing the minimum possible to avoid criticism.



posted on Aug, 3 2013 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


There is absolutely no harm at all in you showing a picture of something on here and speculating about it. I don't have a problem with that. In fact, when Arken and others on here post pictures and say what it looks like, I do indeed most of the time see the shapes they are suggesting.

Posting microscopic pictures, and speculating that it might be something is harmless as I'm concerned. Speculation can often lead to fact down the road.

My only concern is when someone posts something and announces it as a fact, and will not entertain the thought that they might be wrong, but instead, call those that call their announcement into question: "Close minded." , "No imagination.", etc.

There are those on here that will quickly post that something MUST be a rock. I can understand why they feel that way too. In some cases, I think they might be making that proposal too quickly, as in the case of microscopic images.

Like I said, if ALH84001 taught any of us anything, there is a problem when announcing that something is fossilized life too quickly. It also shows us that something might be possible, even after extensive testing is inconclusive.

Please don't stop posting and giving your thoughts on something. It would make this place boring. I and others might get frustrated in trying to convince you that it's a rock, but I can tell you the secret, which is:

Don't make it absolute. Tell us how it LOOKS like something. I certainly can't argue with you on that, and I do enjoy looking at the images. You can suggest something, and just use the phrase "I might be wrong". Posts like that certainly gets stars from me, as I do feel good that people are looking at things and using their imaginations, but not insisting that they must be right, with no evidence.

You have to admit, if everytime you started a thread here on ATS, if the only replies you get are: "Yep!" "You're right!" and "Yes I see it too.", you'd end up bored of this place. Having someone like me challenge what you are saying should keep you on your toes (as reading your posts, and questions, plus looking at your pictures, keeps me on my toes).

Yes, we do have those who post minimally on here, with insults and immature posts. Ignore them. Concentrate on posts like mine, or even those who agree with you, but write a verbose reason as to why they agree with you.



posted on Aug, 4 2013 @ 05:54 PM
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but not insisting that they must be right, with no evidence
The trouble with this is that the evidence - however much is supplied - is just not good enough to convince those who are comfortable with the idea of 'rocks' only on Mars.

I have supplied images which support the suggestion of
a) spherical fruiting fungi bodies
b) what looks like the actual stalk of a fruiting body in an image
c) Acknowledgement that concretions could exists as well
d) we may be looking at something like Pachytheca, a peculiar, vegetable little sphere

What else can be done to convince anyone of anything which is not in their comfort zone. We HAVE to come up with a method which is good at introducing new ideas to those folks who are rather luddite in nature who do not want to change their thinking.

Science is supposed to be moving forward, but if we continue to say to ourselves "These are the conditions on Mars", then anything outside our belief system will not get a look in. Even though we have data to "prove" the conditions, it is still a belief that nothing can exist in this environment. Nature continues to constantly surprise us.

As an example, it is entirely possible that non carbon based life forms exists somewhere, but if we continue to think that there has to be water, oxygen, and what-we-know-as-food available we will completely miss the signs and evidence for ET life on other planets. It is also entirely possible that sizes may radically differ from what we know here, so larger than the largest whale/elephant and smaller than the smallest shew or vole or insect AND they could be FAR more intelligent than us. Non-carbon life forms may be intelligent, look like a rock, yet have intelligence, senses and abilities which far exceed our own carbon-based skillset. Like some SciFi films, they may not even have a physical body. (now thats a scary thought eh?)

I have encountered many people who say they would love to find ET life on other planets, but realistically, how can they say this while still holding on tightly to their fixed ideas of what is possible given what we believe. I just think most of these people are too scared they just might find it and in a form which is frightening.

I know it is scary for those who cannot conceive of these things but we MUST consider these possibilities if we are to move forward with our scientific investigation. Otherwise we might as well give up and go home, not bothering to explore other worlds at all.



posted on Aug, 4 2013 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by qmantoo

but not insisting that they must be right, with no evidence
The trouble with this is that the evidence - however much is supplied - is just not good enough to convince those who are comfortable with the idea of 'rocks' only on Mars.

I have supplied images which support the suggestion of
a) spherical fruiting fungi bodies
b) what looks like the actual stalk of a fruiting body in an image
c) Acknowledgement that concretions could exists as well
d) we may be looking at something like Pachytheca, a peculiar, vegetable little sphere

What else can be done to convince anyone of anything which is not in their comfort zone. We HAVE to come up with a method which is good at introducing new ideas to those folks who are rather luddite in nature who do not want to change their thinking.



I agree with you that people (scientists too) need to keep an open mind.

You have expressed your frustration in trying to convince people of possible life based upon the evidence that you are providing them with. So let us take a look at that for just a moment.

The evidence that you have provided is photographic in nature and are single moments in time. Some photos from the rovers can be stereo in nature, so we have some pictures that have a few seconds to a few minutes of difference in time.

The rest of your evidence is speculative in nature. Some of it is in the form of questions, which are always good to ask, such as trying to understand the atmospheric conditions on the surface of Mars by asking about the pressure, water formation (frost), wind, and their effects on objects in some of these picture.

Some of us have attempted to answer those questions with data that has been collected about Mars for decades now by probes that have flown by, been in orbit, landers, and the rovers themselves. There are also ways for scientist to study conditions on Mars with equipment here on Earth (but not as good or as accurate as being there).
Some of these things you have expressed a disbelief at. For that, there is not much the rest of us can do but shrug and spread our hands helplessly at. There is not much I, or anyone else can do if you decide to believe that what you've been told about Mars is wrong or a lie. Why anyone would do this for decades (and it would have to be world wide) is not something I can fathom.

So your evidence is pictures, and speculation. Some of us require a bit more than that.

For example:

Definition Of Life requires organisms to have certain traits or characteristics. Organisms do not have to have all of these, but at least some:

1) Homeostasis - regulation of internal environment
2) Organization - composed of 1 or more cells
3) Metabolism - many ways of creating or using energy to sustain itself
4) Growth - growing in size or replacing of cells
5) Adaption - ability to change over time in response to external environment
6) Response To Stimuli - many different things to this
7) Reproduction - no need to explain this.

A single picture may not be enough to show any of the above. And yes, as you said, some form of alien life may exist that shows none of these traits.

However, if that is the case in say one of the pictures you have shown, then how are we to know that it is in fact life of some sort? What if, as you suggested, there is alien life that exists only in the form of pure energy, and worse, it's energy that we can't even detect with the instruments that we have?

The only thing we can do is speculate that something like that might exist, but finding it could be rather hard (if not out right impossible for now).

Unfortunately pictures from the rovers will have a hard time showing us any of the seven traits I just listed. Not completely out of the realm of possibilities if we get really lucky.

What would be better is showing the "fungi" in your pictures on a cellular level. Multiple pictures showing possible growth. Showing before and after pictures after heat is applied (stimuli response, adaption, etc).

Pictures showing those things would be much better evidence than single pictures that are showing us a shape only.

There are exceptions to this: a image of an actual plant of some sort or a much large complex organism like an insect, etc with movements, tracks, or anything like that. Up close, non over zoomed images of something like that would help.

I know people have shown a lot of images from the MSL saying: Look, a lizard! or Some other animal.

Some will say: NASA is covering it up! They don't want us to know!

My question about that is: why? What exactly does NASA have to fear in showing us plants or primitive organisms? Why would all the space agencies around the world, and all the scientist in the world lie to us about Mars?
Could every single scientist in the world that has studied Mars keep that kind of conspiracy quite for this long?



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 02:53 AM
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What would be better is showing the "fungi" in your pictures on a cellular level. Multiple pictures showing possible growth. Showing before and after pictures after heat is applied (stimuli response, adaption, etc).
How are we going to get heat or any stimulus to be applied on Mars? Certainly NASA might be able to do it somehow, but you or I definitely could not. If they dont want to do it for whatever reason(see below), then this is never going to happen.

... However, if that is the case in say one of the pictures you have shown, then how are we to know that it is in fact life of some sort?
We dont know. As I said, without access to what NASA have, we cannot possibly know. That is why it is so ridiculous that so many people are both shouting ROCK and others ALIEN.


Pictures showing those things would be much better evidence than single pictures that are showing us a shape only.

and how likely is it that the rovers would return to the same place and take another image of the same area of rock? That is never going to happen.


why? What exactly does NASA have to fear in showing us plants or primitive organisms?
I am sure people have responded to this question before but it seems that the government had a report written for them which told them that the population could not handle this information. It was the Brookings Report. That is probably the true reason why nothing has been disclosed. That is not a conspiracy, but is fact that it was mentioned in that report that the population may not be able to handle the news.

Just one quote from that Wikipedia article on the Brookings Report which for me says it all.

"It has been speculated that, of all groups, scientists and engineers might be the most devastated by the discovery of relatively superior creatures, since these professions are most clearly associated with the mastery of nature, rather than with the understanding and expression of man. Advanced understanding of nature might vitiate all our theories at the very least, if not also require a culture and perhaps a brain inaccessible to earth scientists." – page 103, n.34


Erik, I feel your science requests for evidence are not going to be possible. The most we can do is to find multiple images from different angles and point to similarities and speculate what these things are. How any scientists does any science on the Martian search for life, I dont know. It is impossible to prove anything which is probably why no-one wants to stick their head up to say anything.

However, we have water at the Martian poles, we have water in the gullies at dawn and overnight and we have water beneath the surface as seen by the rover digging in the ground. Why not a water-based life? There are plenty of water-based organisms living here on earth in very harsh environments.

A small residual cap remains throughout the year; the larger northern cap is water ice, the southern is probably also water ice, but with a frosting of dry ice.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 04:46 AM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


The Brookins Report is a favourite card to play by the conspiracy theorists, but I just don't see the governments and the whole worldwide scientific community base their position on one speculative report from the 60s.

I'd like to stress the word speculative.

There's also an informative thread about the report: www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 05:01 AM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


Here is a very simple question re the so called stalk how many images have you seen that in, and if your speculation were true we should have seen a lot more of them on other images don't you think.

I wont speak about your other conclusions of what you think you see in the OP images as you are well aware of what I think of your interpretation of images.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


The Brookings Report was put out several years before I was born in the mid 60s. Reliance on it in this day and age, almost 50 years later, would be wrong. The world and many cultures in it have changed in those 50 years.

Just look at entertainment as far as "Aliens" go. During the last 50 years, we have movies and TV shows depicting "aliens" not in just a bad light, but also a good light, where as prior to the Brookings Report, it was pretty much all bad, that just about every alien out there was going to enslave us or suck our brains out.

However, even if we go by that report, take a look at this:


"If plant life or some subhuman intelligence were found on Mars or Venus, for example, there is on the face of it no good reason to suppose these discoveries, after the original novelty had been exploited to the fullest and worn off, would result in substantial changes in perspectives or philosophy in large parts of the American public, at least any more than, let us say, did the discovery of the coelacanth or the panda." – page 103, n.34


And here in your OP we are talking about fungi and microbes.

The report does have positive ideas in it too:


"The knowledge that life existed in other parts of the universe might lead to a greater unity of men on earth, based on the 'oneness' of man or on the age-old assumption that any stranger is threatening. Much would depend on what, if anything, was communicated between man and the other beings . . ." – page 183


So lying to us about the conditions on the martian surface, or trying to hide evidence of primative life simply makes no sense. It would be too massive to cover up or keep secret, and they (whom ever they are) would have everything to loose, and nothing to gain by it.

As for us not being able to see the things I talked about: you are correct. You and I can't do this. It's up to those that are actually exploring Mars.

We can sit here and complain that they didn't send the equipment needed to explore these areas for life. But then I'm reminded of someone looking for gold or oil. You don't just dig or drill in any old place. You need to figure out WHERE to drill or dig.

If there is current life on Mars, it shouldn't be going anywhere. If the MSL were to discover something that hints greatly at life in certain places, then those exploring Mars will have a better idea of where to look.

Twice now, we've sent landers to Mars to specifically investigate the possibility of micro life on Mars. Viking and Phoenix. Both times the results were inconclusive.

It's like throwing darts at a dart board's bullseye but being blindfolded. You throw, and hope you get lucky.

Mars and any fossilized life, or possible current life is not going anywhere. It will still be there for more probes over the next 50 years or more.

The only sense of urgency I have is: I'm not getting any younger either, and I would really like to be alive still when they do finally discover life elsewhere.

But at least their are other exciting things going on, such as New Horizons about to fly by Pluto, giving us the very first detailed images of it's surface. I've been dreaming about that since I was a kid when Voyager 1 first flew by Jupiter in the 70s.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 10:48 PM
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wmd_2008

Here is a very simple question re the so called stalk how many images have you seen that in, and if your speculation were true we should have seen a lot more of them on other images don't you think.
I have posted threads about lichen and fungi which show other stalks and fruiting bodies of fungi. Did you see those? Maybe there are a lot more images of fungi as well, but guys like you are adamant that this is not anything unnatural and is merely a flattened formation (whatever that means?) I have said that I have posted a number of different parts of circumstancial evidence from different angles of possibilities( including here). Why are these not enough to satistfy you? Because science data says that it is not possible for current life to exist on Mars. Certainly not larger than microbe-sized too.

You keep asking me the same questions but really it is all about asking YOU what you need to be convinced there MAYBE something in my hypothesis. Images of this which appear to be fungi fruiting bodies, numerous growing buds from holes in rocks, possibly spores on the ground, possibly a stalk, and even science which may suggest that what we are seeing is ancient Earth Pachytheca - (Late Silurian to Early Devonian) Algae consisting of single spherical body 1.5-7 mm diameter composed of an inner and outer zone. The circumstancial evidence is mounting up if only someone sciency would pick it up and run a little way with it.

Again, I am not denying there are small spherule mineral concretions on Mars, we have seen those in images too. So you can be correct as well as open to new hypotheses that some of these are fungal in nature.

eriktheawful

The Brookings Report was put out several years before I was born in the mid 60s. Reliance on it in this day and age, almost 50 years later, would be wrong. The world and many cultures in it have changed in those 50 years.
This is true, however, it is not wrong to rely on it as it will probably be used as the basis for other more recent reports.

Other governments will have produced similar reports and it takes a very brave scientists to change the pattern and go against what previous science has said. Of course these are speculative in the first instance because the reports contain opinions based on research and data done by others.

Now, if you can show mw a more up-to-date report published by a government within the last 50 years I would be most interested to read it, but I doubt it will have anything much different to say apart from the same old stuff based on older reports which can give authority and conviction to the new one.

The EU has a department specifically to handle contact with ET, but for what? Just a money funnel and more jobs for the boys. I agree that it is better to be prepared for this kind of thing, but maybe a little premature perhaps?

Yes, life has moved on with scifi and Star Trek etc, but there is still the belief by a huge number of people that we are alone and there is no life out there. In a way, it would be good to start to intruduce the idea to people who are fixed and rigid, but it seems that there is a great deal of built-up resistive force which is stopping these ideas from getting out to become mainstream. Even if we did not discover any life, it might still be a useful exercise is mass flexibility of thinking.


The only sense of urgency I have is: I'm not getting any younger either, and I would really like to be alive still when they do finally discover life elsewhere.
OK, but you should and obviously do, feel some kind of pride in scientific methodology.

For science, denying things exist because they cannot, (due to the data not supporting it) may be a rather blinkered view of reality and against the investagative nature of true science. Yes, it is safe but still blinkered. The problem we have is that money rules the world and no-one with money is going to hire someone who is too far out there on the fringe.



posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


My point about the report is that when I asked the question of "Why would anyone lie about the conditions on Mars? Why would anyone lie or try to cover up primative past or present life on Mars?", that report was used as a reason to cover things up.

But, even as old as that report is, the report itself says the exact opposite, at least as far as simple life is concerned.

When Percival Lowell published his books about Mars and it's "canals" that he saw (and here we have a very well respected scientist going out on a limb here), he speculated greatly that Mars either had, or had once had a great intelligent civilization.

No one panicked. Religions were not turned on their ears. No governments were over thrown over it.

Instead, the public was very excited by the speculation. And that was between 1895 and 1908.

Then in 1909 the new and much larger telescope at Mt. Wilson showed that what Lowell thought were canals were actually geological features.

I'm afraid that you are wrong where how many people believe in alien life. Recent polls indicate that at least half the the US population do indeed think that there is life out there:

Most Americans Beleive That Life Is Out There

Alien Poll Finds Half Of Americans Think Alien Life Exists

And the interesting thing about those polls is that the other half are not saying "Nope." Two thirds of that other half are simply "Unsure".

So again, I just can not fathom any reason for every single space agency and every single university in the entire world would lie or cover up anything about Mars climate, or any kind of simple life (past or present).

Now, if it were some intelligent civilization past or present, then yes, I could understand why certain people think it's being covered up (all though I don't agree with that either). That at least makes more sense at least as far as conspiracies go.

(a little humor here) But even then I don't buy it. We discover some ancient ruins on Mars with Curiosity, and I can tell you right now, NASA won't cover it up, because Obama would use it. He'd make a huge announcement to the world, and try to make it look like it was discovered because he was the president.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 03:32 AM
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And the interesting thing about those polls is that the other half are not saying "Nope." Two thirds of that other half are simply "Unsure".
So again, I just can not fathom any reason for every single space agency and every single university in the entire world would lie or cover up anything about Mars climate, or any kind of simple life (past or present).
No, neither can I. I think you are saying that if there was life then we would know about it. Yes, you would have thought so, but what is this 'fungi stalk' then? A piece of rock with no association of any of the other pieces of the puzzle? If we are going to discover life on Mars or the Moon, then we have to make sure that NASA are really trying hard to find it. Currently, they are not.


Now, if it were some intelligent civilization past or present, then yes, I could understand why certain people think it's being covered up (all though I don't agree with that either). That at least makes more sense at least as far as conspiracies go.
On the other hand, it does not make any sense for NASA to apparently not want to find life. Anything which is strange needs to be investigated, doesn't it? There are just too many instances where they have not made the effort to explain things they have found such as the "fossil" or the piece of rover found lying on the ground.


I'm afraid that you are wrong where how many people believe in alien life. Recent polls indicate that at least half the the US population do indeed think that there is life out there:
Unfortunately there is a huge difference between being asked about something from an academic standpoint and actually realising that this is FACT. What I am saying is that people probably think they could handle this but I dont think many could when it came down to it. Out there is so so different to up close and personal. No-one has thought of the ramifications of alien life. However, I bet there are at least one report been written on that too.



posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 04:36 AM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


Where did you get the idea that NASA don't want to find life, or that science has decided that Mars is and has always been lifeless? No such thing. Science doesn't deal in absolutes, it discovers and learns from discoveries. We haven't found any signs of extraterrestrial life yet, but we may do so in the future. There might not be any life on Mars, but there may be life on Europa, or some other place in the Solar System.

Curiosity rover is currently studying the martian environment to help determine whether Mars was habitable in the past. NASA are gearing the next Mars rover to specifically look for signs of past life. Given this "curve" of exploration, chances are the next rover after that will be looking for signs of present life. So I don't see how someone can say that NASA (or scientists in general) don't want to find life there, or that they have already decided that Mars could never support life.

You said you gave up on science, and you seem to have a hard time understanding what science is and what it does. In that case, let scientists do their job (which they understand, and which produces real results), and stop trying to make it look like you know better than them. I know I don't, which is why I don't go around telling people "look, here is a picture of what looks like fungus on Mars, which proves that there's life there and that NASA have been lying to us."



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:32 AM
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You said you gave up on science, and you seem to have a hard time understanding what science is and what it does.
I thought we were not supposed to get personal about all this.

If 'blueberries are spherules of hematite what are the 'whiskers' on the outside of them seen in many images?

What are the coverings over the ball-shaped hematite spherules in the first few images in thei thread?

If science has an explanation of hematite concretion spherules for these round 'blueberries' then it has to account for ALL the different questions which arise due to the images we see.



posted on Aug, 28 2013 @ 10:15 PM
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Two blueberries with obvious holes in them.


Bottom left in original image here
=====================================

Now the end of a blueberry which 'fits' onto a "stalk-thing" perhaps (bottom centre)


center right of original image

===========================================
collapsed decomposing/shrinking fruiting bodies - as you can see this proposed fruiting body is spent and has released all of its spores and is now biodegrading back to nature which happens the same way on Earth.



(See centre right of original here)

-------------------------------------------------------------
This is another one when it has just started to collapse and is not so far along the decomposing & shrinking process.


(top left quadrant of original here)



posted on Aug, 30 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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I also want to point out that in some places there are so many blueberries that they cannot in my opinion, have come from rocks by being weathered out as concretions or by being washed downstream by a river over the course of millions of years. If they had been washed downstream, then they would be bunched up into areas not spread evenly across the landscape.

Look at this image of blueberries below (Victoria crater I think) because I think that a fungal growth from spores is more likely in this situation than either of the two above scenarios. I could be wrong of course.



The above image was found in this thread



posted on Aug, 30 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


The more I got to looking at this picture, the more it was bugging me as I don't remember it looking like that. So I went on a hunt.

That picture is from Google Earth:



Here is the original images taken by Opportunity on Sol 1162, the True Color image:



Source For Image

And also, here are the same images, only as False Color:



Source For Image

My first thought was: 'great. We have 3 different colored images.'

So I decided to download the high resolution TIFF Warning: it's over 68 MB

I zoomed in to look at the rover's tracks:



The small rocks do indeed look like the martian "blueberries".

Wondering at their size, I kept in mind that Opportunity's wheel base is 1 meter, measured from center track to center track. In my photoshop program I counted the amount of pixes, using the tracks closest to the camera to get how many pixels would equal 1 meter or 1,000 millimeters.
I then zoomed in more to the round rocks (blueberries / fungi or whatever they are), and picked one large one, and one small one and counted the pixels.

What I found was that on the average, the small ones measure about 12.5 millimeters across, where as the larger ones measure up to 19 millimeters or more.

Small enough to be "blueberries"? Well the wikipedia says that the martian blueberries are about the same size as a BB, and a BB is 4.5 millimeters across.

But I shrug at that, as not all blueberries appear the same size in the rover pictures we've seen.

However, it gave me an idea. I went back and looked at the zoomped in picture of the rover track. On the edges of the track, you can see that it looks like the blueberries have been pushed into the ground.

Martian soil has the consistency of flour and is several centimeters thick. The blueberries are suppose to be made from Hematite which has a hardness of 5 to 6 Mohs.

Opportunity weighs 180 kg (400 pounds) and are made from machined titanium which has a hardness of 9.0 Mohs (diamond is 10), so look out blueberries, rover wheels are much harder than you.

I decided to do what I've told you to do many times in other threads: do an experiment.

First, I put about 1 centimeter thick flour in a baking dish:



Next, I sprinkled BBs onto the surface of it:



So there is my soft martian soil.....and the BBs are the blueberries.

Now, I don't have any machined titanium on hand, so I made do with a plastic pill bottle (after all my idea wasn't to crush the BBs, just to see if they get pushed down into the soil):



So I rolled the pill bottle across the "soil" and this was my result:



The blueberries do indeed get pushed down into the soil.

Keep in mind, I was using a plastic (not titanium), cylinder shaped (not torroid shaped), pill bottle, and I only pushed down about 0.5 kg (instead of 180 kg of weight). Even so I think I got a very good result.

So why pushed down and covered in the soil and not destroyed fungi is what I'm thinking?

Well, I would think the fungi, if it were that, as a living thing with tissue of some sort would leave some sort of trace, or even if it disintigrated , there should be some spore trace (it is a dark color after all), but instead, we see bright soil tracks, and even see some of the blueberries pushed into the soil.

Does this mean I'm right and you're wrong?

I wouldn't say that. I would say I've made a good argument for the blueberries being hematite and not fungi of some sort, but you did bring up some very good questions, and I could see it being a very large patch of fungi that the rover drove through.

So it's not beyond my imagination. But after what I've done tonight, I pretty much believe that we are looking at a type of hematite mineral that has been pushed into the soft martian soil by titanium wheels from a rover that weighs 400 pounds.



posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 06:24 AM
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Erik,
The MER wheels are 26cms in diameter and I have a feeling that you, or someone else said that they were around 30cms in width.

That was a good idea to do that experiment. I cannot help feeling however, that if these were hard concretions, then they would still be showing pressed into the regolith like your bb gun pellets are after the pill case have rolled over them. At least some of them would be peeping out from the dusty surface.

I agree that the colours are not necessarily correct, however, it was nasa who called them blueberries I believe - becase their colour was towards the blue end of the spectrum I assume.

Another thought I had was that if they were fruiting bodies, they may be very fragile with thin outer walls. Rather like puff-balls or other fungi, they may just disintergrate when something heavy rolls over the top of them. However, I do agree that it is strange there are no evidence of anything after the wheel has passed. If either of our suggestions (hard or soft spherules) were correct, then there would likey be some residue - either skin from soft-bodied fungi or pressed-in hard spherules. There is neither.

The rover wheel is flat rubber, not like the moon rover a mesh of steel and the wheels themselves only move at 1cm per second (max 5cm per second) which means they hardly move at all. stopping every 10 seconds for 20 seconds rest to evaluate the terrain

Spirit (and its twin, Opportunity) are six-wheeled, solar-powered robots standing 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) high, 2.3 metres (7.5 ft) wide and 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) long and weighing 180 kilograms (400 lb). Six wheels on a rocker-bogie system enable mobility over rough terrain. Each wheel has its own motor. The vehicle is steered at front and rear and is designed to operate safely at tilts of up to 30 degrees. Maximum speed is 5 centimetres per second (2.0 in/s);[16] 0.18 kilometres per hour (0.11 mph), although average speed is about 1 centimetre per second (0.39 in/s).


At that speed, I cannot see the dirt sticking to the wheels and then falling back again to cover anything it has driven over, so I wonder why we are not seeing any debris from these 'blueberries'?

The other thing we have not addressed is where are these round spherules coming from which cover this area? Wind and water would cause bunching like a high-tide mark, not an even distribution like we see here. Wind blown spores may cause the same pattern perhaps?


edit on 1 Sep 2013 by qmantoo because: wheel width



posted on Sep, 1 2013 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by qmantoo
 


I've never talked about the size of the wheels for Spirit or Opportunity (only the effects they have in the martian soil). So that must have been someone else.

I did talk about (in another thread) the size of Curiosity's wheels:



Which are 50 cm (20 inches), back a month or two ago.

However here, I measured the wheel tracks from center to center for the width of the tracks at 1 meter (like going in front of a car and measuring the wheel base with a tape measure, from the right wheel to the left wheel).

Take a look at my last image that I posted: you can see the flour stuck to the pill bottle with hardly any pressure placed on it.

My experiment is not perfectly correct by any means, as my "wheel" is made of plastic, smooth, and had hardly any weight placed on it (but I did move it about 2 in per second).

I could go out and buy a LOT of flour and many more BBs, spread it out on the ground, then get in my car and roll my SUV over it and see what happens. It weighs about 1 ton. But that is a lot more than what Opportunity weighs.
Or I could use just the weight of the spare tire and see what happens, also, I'd need to roll it over the same spot 3 times since the rover has six wheels.

My point is: we have a rover, that has 3 wheels on either side, that weighs 400 pounds, slowly rolling over this terrain, made up of very soft soil, a few centimeters on the average thick.

Wheel one pushes the objects into the soil. Wheel two does the same thing, and wheel three also rolls over the same spot, with quite a lot of weight.

I would say my argument that the spheroids being hard and pushed into the soil by a roundish object that has a great amount of weight on it, three times has merit.

Especially when you look at the zoomed in TIFF image and see that along the edges (where the weight of the wheels is a lot less) you can actually see some of them pushed into the ground.



As for how they got there: not sure, but then I do not think those are all blueberries either.



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