Alien Landscape: NASA publishes ‘strangest’ images of Mars yet


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What are the mystery shapes that NASA has photographed on Mars?

As you’ve probably noticed by now, Mars is colorfully beautiful. Thanks to NASA’s effort, we’ve been able to appreciate the Red Planet like never before.

Colorful Mars. Image credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIV. OF ARIZONA

Thousands of images beamed back from NASA’s satellites and Rovers on Mars have given us an unprecedented view of what our neighboring planet really looks like, and the latest set of images from Mars are perhaps the strangest yet.

This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of northern Meridiani Planum shows faults that have disrupted layered deposits. Some of the faults produced a clean break along the layers, displacing and offsetting individual beds (yellow arrow). Image credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIV. OF ARIZONA

NASA has managed to photograph one of the oldest basins of Mars and has detected a large area dominated by geometric shapes similar to honeycombs stretching across an area of about 10 kilometers.

Its origin is a mystery, but NASA speculates that they could be the product of ancient glaciers and wind erosion.

It’s an artistic scene unique to the red planet.

We can thank the HiRISE camera and the CTX – an instrument for real-time observations – on board of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) for the stunning photographs.

Image credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIV. OF ARIZONA

Each of the honeycomb-like geometric figures contains sand, suggesting that the region may have been subject to wind erosion, although NASA does not rule out the influence of other processes.

It talks about glaciers and volcanoes, going through lakes and tectonic activity.

In this image, NASA shows sediments on a slope at the limits of the southern highlands and the northern lowlands of the red planet.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIV. OF ARIZONA

The material of dark tones that is shown in the image indicates, in this case, that the wind was not responsible for the transfer of sand, points out the US space agency.

In this image, the MRO photographed linear marks in a huge depression that seems to be tilting downward. The wind drags the sand and raises it to then fall back to the ground and bounce in a sequence of repeated jumps, a geological process called ‘saltation’.

Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

As the Martian winter gives way to spring, the snow-covered surface forms begin to change shape with the heat of the sun.

NASA indicates that the snow and ice of Mars is not frozen water, but carbon dioxide, that is, ‘dry ice’.

When this ‘dry ice’ is exposed to the sun, it creates geometric patterns throughout the Martian surface.

Another one of the images by NASA allows us to take a look at these peculiar shapes. The ice, the sand, and the Martian gases react with each other forming ripples that extend through the dunes of the northern hemisphere in spring.

In mid-2017, an infrared taken by the MRO photographed the geography of a mysterious Martian crater.

Image credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

The image in question shows the characteristics known as ‘ejectas’, formed by the impact of materials against the ground.

Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

The tonalities of the image indicate that different types of rock and other materials rich in iron which converges in the area.

Their impressive colors indicate the presence of different rocks and minerals, including iron-rich minerals such as olivine and pyroxene.

The blue tones are areas rich in iron.

In this image, NASA shows us different shapes of molten rock flowing along the rim of a crater in Tharsis.

Image Credit: CC BY 3.0 / NASA/JPL/UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

The result is impressive multicolored lava waterfalls.

This region is reminiscent of Niagara Falls.


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