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Mystery haze over Mars


wheresthetorch?
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Looks like a dust storm to me but not sure how it happened with such a thin atmosphere. Maybe a meteorite strike?, but again would Mars atmosphere be capable of throwing up a dust cloud so big and so high?.

Maybe a volcano on Mars has awoken?.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Whatever the cause it looks like its south of Solis Lacus (the eye of Mars). Not sure there's anything volcanic in this area, its a long way from the Tharsis region. Neither does it look anything like an aurora. Something seems to be throwing dust high into the atmosphere. An impact may do that as could a volcanic eruption as already mentioned. Or may be Richard Burton got it right back in the 1970s and they're already on their way. EEK!!

Mike

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Seen Damian Peach mention it on twitter a few hours ago, very interesting. Hopefully a cause can be found for curiosity's sake. First thing that popped into my mind was the plumes on Jupiter after shoemaker-levy 9 for some reason.

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It looks very much like dust, which I've seen cover half of the planet before - in 2003. But how it got off the planet like this? Mike has already covered the first things that came to my mind as well: Volcano? Impact? Hmmm.....

Any rovers loose in the area? First seen in 2012, eh? No one has nailed it down since?  I think I'll go prowl some slightly more scientific sources rather than rely solely on the BBC. If I manage to find anything, I'll be back.

Clear & Dusty Skies,

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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I'm back.

The only media outlets I can find talking about this are far from scientific ones. Seems only mainstream news is trotting this story out. It's from 2012. It's credited to "amateur-astronomers," and the only theory that's new is that it may indicate that our current knowledge of the Martian atmosphere is in need of revision.

I won't hold my breathe.

Clear Skies & Dusty Roads,

Dave

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Dave, 

Why not go straight to the paper itself...?

 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14162

So that suggests a couple of things it could be, but no conclusive evidence of what it is. It certainly is curious. Given the colour of the plume compared to the surface colour...............i'm going with a dust storm. Quite how it rose so high given the lack of atmosphere on Mars is anyone guess.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Dave, 

Why not go straight to the paper itself...?

 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14162

Right you are - seems the news rolled in today in Nature, and at Space.com, which works with NASA:

http://www.space.com/28573-mystery-plumes-on-mars.html?cmpid=559073

Glad to find it there, rather than in the National Enquirer with the headline: PROOF! Elvis Alive on Mars!

But the mystery remains intact.

Clear & Dusty Skies,

Dave

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