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    Default Kaboom... new crater on Mars... is that water underneath?

    Astronomers Have Spotted a New Crater on Mars That's Like Nothing They've Ever Seen


    CARLY CASSELLA 18 JUN 2019


    The planet Mars does not bruise easily, but when it does, the result is practically a work of art. A fresh impact crater, spotted in April by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), is unlike anything astronomers have seen before.

    Remarkable for both its size and its impact waves, the black-and-blue mark stands out like a sore thumb on the planet's red, dusty surface.

    The dramatic, enhanced-colour scene shown below was captured using NASA's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, orbiting 255 kilometres away (158 miles).







    Each year Mars is bombarded by more than 200 asteroids and comets, and while some of these leave similar dark smudges or other remarkable features, University of Arizona planetary scientist Veronica Bray told Space.com that this new crater is one of the most impressive she's seen.

    In the thirteen years that the MRO has been observing Mars, few events have compared. While the actual space rock fragment responsible looks to be about 1.5 metres wide (5 feet), the crater itself is much larger, roughly 15 to 16 metres wide (49 feet to 53 feet).

    Such a tiny culprit would have probably burned up or eroded in Earth's much thicker atmosphere. Even on Mars, these incoming rocks can often shatter upon entry, creating chains of craters - like a machine gun pummelling the surface of the planet.

    In this case, however, the rock must have been more solid than usual, because the entire thing managed to slam into one spot in the Valles Marineris region, which sits near the Martian equator.

    "What makes this stand out is the darker material exposed beneath the reddish dust," explains the announcement on the HiRISE website.

    Indeed, the impact wave is clear to see. This is the dark zone in the very middle of the image, where dust has been pushed aside to reveal the rocky surface underneath.

    The exact nature of the geography in this region is still uncertain, but Bray says the surface below is probably basalt. And the blue in the image, she adds, is likely a bit of ice that was hiding under the dust as well.


    https://www.sciencealert.com/gorgeou...est-we-ve-seen

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    Default Re: Kaboom... new crater on Mars... is that water underneath?

    In other Mars news

    Curiosity Detects Unusually High Methane Levels


    This week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever measured during the mission — about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv). One ppbv means that if you take a volume of air on Mars, one billionth of the volume of air is methane.

    The finding came from the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) tunable laser spectrometer. It's exciting because microbial life is an important source of methane on Earth, but methane can also be created through interactions between rocks and water.

    Curiosity doesn't have instruments that can definitively say what the source of the methane is, or even if it's coming from a local source within Gale Crater or elsewhere on the planet.

    "With our current measurements, we have no way of telling if the methane source is biology or geology, or even ancient or modern," said SAM Principal Investigator Paul Mahaffy of NASA's Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

    The Curiosity team has detected methane many times over the course of the mission. Previous papers have documented how background levels of the gas seem to rise and fall seasonally. They've also noted sudden spikes of methane, but the science team knows very little about how long these transient plumes last or why they're different from the seasonal patterns.

    The SAM team organized a different experiment for this weekend to gather more information on what might be a transient plume. Whatever they find — even if it's an absence of methane — will add context to the recent measurement.

    Curiosity's scientists need time to analyze these clues and conduct many more methane observations. They also need time to collaborate with other science teams, including those with the European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter, which has been in its science orbit for a little over a year without detecting any methane. Combining observations from the surface and from orbit could help scientists locate sources of the gas on the planet and understand how long it lasts in the Martian atmosphere. That might explain why the Trace Gas Orbiter's and Curiosity's methane observations have been so different.


    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/cur...methane-levels

    Martian cow farts............????

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    Default Re: Kaboom... new crater on Mars... is that water underneath?

    As there is some doubt about the red color seen on Mars, would the blues be suspect as well? Are these the true colors of Mars?
    The quantum field responds not to what we want; but to who we are being. Dr. Joe Dispenza

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    Default Re: Kaboom... new crater on Mars... is that water underneath?

    According to this article: https://www.sciencealert.com/gorgeou...est-we-ve-seen

    Excerpt from the article:

    The exact nature of the geography in this region is still uncertain, but Bray (University of Arizona planetary scientist Veronica Bray) says the surface below is probably basalt. And the blue in the image, she adds, is likely a bit of ice that was hiding under the dust as well.


    HiRISE has quite a few sensors so it does not record colors that way a consumer camera does: Here is the document explaining: https://www.uahirise.org/pdf/color-products.pdf

    Excerpt from the document
    Experiment Data Records (EDRs) -- This is the raw data, usually in 28 channels for each
    image. Only users with specialized needs (such as producing topographic models from
    stereo pairs) will need to access these images. In addition, if there are concerns about
    whether or not an unusual color marking is an artifact, it is best to examine the EDRs.
    The color data is constructed from 6 CCDs out of 14 total: RED4, RED5, BG12, BG13,
    IR10, IR11.
    Last edited by Intranuclear; 25th June 2019 at 16:39.

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    Default Re: Kaboom... new crater on Mars... is that water underneath?

    Some may take the blue to be ice, but I would guess presence of copper or cobalt. The colors are enhanced, but, it probably is blue. Wouldn't the object have generated enough heat to sublimate most forms of ice?

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