A strange black object seem from 200 miles above Mars surface generates interest and speculations that the unidentified objects could be anything form anything from geysers to sunbathing colonies of microorganisms.
The objects were first spotted in 1998. Interestingly, they appear when the surface of Mars begins to warm, showing up in the same location most of the time. And then when the Martian winter approaches, they disappear with the same precise regularity. Michal Besnon talks about the images on his book “Planetfall: New Solar System Visions,”
I have no idea what these things could be! Very interesting that they appear when the planet surface is warm… Hopefully as time goes on we will be able to get better pictures and videos and maybe even someday a sample of whatever this is.
Most scientists, including teams from the U.S. Geological Survey, Hungary and the European Space Agency, have their own theories, but the leading explanation is that the objects are geysers of CO2 exploding from underneath the planet’s surface.
“If you were there, you’d be standing on a slab of carbon dioxide ice,” Phil Christensen of Arizona State University told NPR. “All around you, roaring jets of carbon dioxide gas are throwing sand and dust a couple hundred feet into the air. The ground below would be rumbling. You’d feel it in your space boots.”
And while the geyser theory is the most popular explanation, it has yet to be verified.
The Spidery Black Object is not the first thing found on Mars surface. Here are other sample of other mysterious findings.
The Rabbit Plant
The photo (actually a mosaic of photos stitched together to create a 360-degree panorama) from which this close up was made was taken by the Opportunity rover in early February. The large panorama; it’s about 8MB) reveals a desert-like landscape with rolling hills, outcroppings of layered rock and round imprints of the lander’s airbags. But there are a few oddities in this photo for which we’d like to see some official and definitive explanation.
Further to the right and up a bit in the same panorama is another anomalous object resting on the surface. This object, looking here like a model of the Space Shuttle, doesn’t appear to be a rock; the shadow it casts gives it the appearance of laying on top of the soil rather than being partially buried in it, as the other Martian rocks are.
The Bow Tie
One more unnatural-looking object jumps out of the panorama mosaic. It appears further to the right and closer to the lander inside what seems to be a depression strewn with pebbles. (The imaginative person might say these “pebbles” look like small bunches of foliage of some kind.) The object is a strip of something with a dark middle and two white ends.
Scientists say it is highly unlikely that there is any freestanding or flowing water on Mars, and almost certainly no life. So we’d like to get a good explanation for this photo taken by the Mars Express orbiter. In stark contrast to the surrounding familiar rust-red rock of the planet is this ribbon of blue-green “something” in a canyon. If we were to see such a feature in an aerial photo of the Earth, we would quickly assume that it is a body of water.
There is no dough that this races the speculation that Mars is a place of endless mysteries. We are the beginning to explore this other world, it’s obvious that we are looking forward for news discoveries and, perhaps, some remarkable surprises.