Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spirals on Mars

I'm not one to credit extra-terrestrials for anything unusual here on Earth or out in space.

But this is pretty darned weird.

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

But really, there's nothing that unusual here. Mars is known to have had a hot, volcanic past, and the spirals you see here actually have their parallel here on Earth
"This is the first time lava coils have been identified on an extraterrestrial setting," study lead author Andrew Ryan at Arizona State University told "The most surprising thing about these features when I first saw them was how well-preserved they are."

Ryan spotted all these coils, ranging from 16 to 98 feet wide (5 to 30 meters), by eye.

"You can't see them unless you zoom in really close, and even then they're really subtle — it's pretty dusty there, so the images are just a pale gray color, and they don't really jump out until you boost the contrast, so it's not surprising at all to me that they've been overlooked before," Ryan said.

Still pretty weird-looking, though.

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