The baffling case of the tiny craters on the Meridiani dunes

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jatslo

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The only actual comparison I see involves the insect trap posted * HERE *; that's right, none of you, including me, are stating anything but conjecture/speculation in the matter of micro-craters. Surely there are terrestrial examples that we can compare; heck, maybe there are lunar examples too. Where is the evidence for extraterrestrial impacts on a terrestrial Martian landscape; where? This thread is doomed as *Phenomenon* until someone actually starts analyzing and comparing samples.<br /><br />Nothing anyone says is quantifiable without actual evidence that states otherwise, and this statement is not limited to just NASA, and news agencies either. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
 
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centsworth_II

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Theorizing using well documented, physical phenomena which follow immutable laws of physics such as meteor or volcanic primary or secondary ejecta, or geologic activity is one thing. Plopping a lifeform into the mix is another. I might even be tolerant of theories involving microscopic life which I happen to think may actually exist on Mars (beneath the surface). <br /><br />There is no basis in our physical reality for proposing the existence of macroscopic lifeforms on the surface of Mars. Quite simply because the metabolizm required to suport macroscopic life must be aerobic and the environment on Mars (to the extent that there is any air at all!) is anaerobic.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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jatslo

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What? That lion ant trap thing is real. Where are the impact samples from meteors, volcanic eject, and/or lightning from your fingertips? I have seen nothing even remotely close to resembling micro-crater empirical observations/phenomena on Mars or anywhere.<br /><br />theorizing? Lets get several hypothecations together, before we start talking about theories. Surely, papers are being submitted currently, right?<br /><br />The odd angle of one that I saw makes a release of gas improbable, I think. The gas should move vertical.
 
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bonzelite

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<font color="yellow"><br />Theorizing using well documented, physical phenomena which follow immutable laws of physics such as meteor or volcanic primary or secondary ejecta, or geologic activity is one thing. Plopping a lifeform into the mix is another. I might even be tolerant of theories involving microscopic life which I happen to think may actually exist on Mars (beneath the surface). </font><br /><br />contempt before investigation <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /> <br /><i><b>immutable laws of physics</b></i>?<br /><br /><font color="yellow"><br />There is no basis in our physical reality for proposing the existence of macroscopic lifeforms on the surface of Mars. Quite simply because the metabolizm required to suport macroscopic life must be aerobic and the environment on Mars (to the extent that there is any air at all!) is anaerobic. <br /></font><br /><br />i'd count you out of a mars investigation mission real quick. i'm recruiting genius thinking people who blaze new trails. not languish in dead pasts and naysaying. none of us know how the craters form. and none of us know the nature of the martian ecosystem, if there is one. <br /><br />jatslo's idea of outgassing to create a sort of bubble/implosion sinkhole is a pretty good idea, as i said. it does not require some exotic biology, either. i don't see why he was scorned for that when pockets of gas may be there. how is that so off-the-wall? <br /><br /><br />
 
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dragon04

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<font color="yellow">i'd count you out of a mars investigation mission real quick. i'm recruiting genius thinking people who blaze new trails.</font><br /><br />Fair enough, but I would think that with the sheer amount of resources required, and the amount of time allowed to <b>be</b> on Mars, the mission can't be driven by tiny craters or potential "faces".<br /><br />Mission planners would have to carefully assess the location and objectives of the mission. Given the constraints put upon such a mission, the curious and the baffling would likely not get much attention. It's a matter of practicality.<br /><br />Were I planning surface activity of a Mars mission, I can assure you that Cydonia would be disregarded. I would feel that the first Mars mission and likely the next subsequent few(if there were additional missions) would ostensibly be searches for exobiology in the places most likely to be harbors for life.<br /><br />The narrow minded skeptical types build the foundation that the trail blazing open minded followers get to build their houses on. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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tap_sa

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A general notification: The antlion post was a JEST.<br /><br /><br />Note to self: Never again jest about extraterrestial life in Mars threads.
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="yellow">"Note to self: Never again jest about extraterrestial life in Mars threads."</font><br /><br />Ordinarilly this would be fine. Unfortunately when there are posters around that really do think that creatures are burrowing about in Mars' dust drifts, it only encourages them. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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plutocrass

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<font color="yellow">Ordinarilly this would be fine. Unfortunately when there are posters around that really do think that creatures are burrowing about in Mars' dust drifts, it only encourages them. </font><br /><br />Somwhere, somehow, Sir Edgar Rice Burroughs is laughing.
 
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dragon04

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<font color="yellow">Note to self: Never again jest about extraterrestial life in Mars threads.</font><br /><br />Troll feeder. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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jatslo

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centsworth_II: "... <font color="orange">Ordinarily this would be fine. Unfortunately when there are posters around that really do think that <i><b><font color="lightyellow">micro-meteors are impacting the</font></b></i> Mars' dust drifts, it only encourages them.</font> " If you could provide evidence for your idea, we could then take this to another intellectual notch.
 
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bonzelite

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<font color="yellow"><br />Fair enough, but I would think that with the sheer amount of resources required, and the amount of time allowed to be on Mars, the mission can't be driven by tiny craters or potential "faces". </font><br /><br />are you assuming that would be my entire reason to go to mars, then? to look for faces? and antlions? little green men? totem poles? you got to be kidding me if you take that position. we go there because we should. period. <br /><br /><font color="yellow"><br />Mission planners would have to carefully assess the location and objectives of the mission. Given the constraints put upon such a mission, the curious and the baffling would likely not get much attention. It's a matter of practicality. <br /></font><br /><br />the whole of mars, then, is not curious and baffling?! <br /><br /><font color="yellow"><br />Were I planning surface activity of a Mars mission, I can assure you that Cydonia would be disregarded. I would feel that the first Mars mission and likely the next subsequent few(if there were additional missions) would ostensibly be searches for exobiology in the places most likely to be harbors for life. <br /></font><br /><br />when did Cydonia come into the picture? wha? who said anything about that? anywhere on mars would be cool, indeed. what is this stance you have assuming this cydonia/antlion boogey man idea of all "believers?" that is not at all the way it is <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" /><br /><br /><font color="yellow"><br />The narrow minded skeptical types build the foundation that the trail blazing open minded followers get to build their houses on.</font><br /><br />more sarcastic jabs from you? why? you've built this whole assault upon presumptions and stigmas. you have no idea what is really on mars. it goes without saying to anyone that mission issues will be dictated largely by "practical" means and what not. the scope of the mission will be to attain specific science goals
 
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jatslo

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Hey bonzelite, <br /><br />I had yet another thought; <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> the weather on Mars, which includes clouds, could cause cater-ing too. For example, if processes involving evaporation, which accumulates into clouds, then those clouds could produce tell tale ice crystals that fall when they reach a specific gravity. I realize that an actual rain drop would not be possible, because of temperature, but I can visualize a hailstone or two occurring. Surely there are clouds, and the particles could accrete matter, and when those particles research a specific gravity, they will tumble to the ground. As for the odd angle of some craters; a not so symmetrical shape could float down like a feather that sways from side to side in the breeze that envelopes the Martian landscape.<br /><br />How would a crystal form in the Martian atmosphere, only to fall later, and if this is the case, then why have we not detected fallen crystals on the surface of Mars?<br /><br />PS ... The above is a general question for all those that apply.
 
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bonzelite

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interesting idea. this:<font color="yellow"><br />How would a crystal form in the Martian atmosphere, only to fall later, and if this is the case, then why have we not detected fallen crystals on the surface of Mars? <br /></font><br />sublimation due to UV?
 
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jatslo

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I guess fallen ice would decompose just like everything else, and if the rate of decomposition is greater than the volume of fallen ice, decomposition wins for sure. Have you ever walked under a cloud, and seen fewer than a few large droplets; I have?
 
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bonzelite

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yeah, it does. it does not look at all like an impact crater. there is no ejecta or ramparts buttressing the periphery of it. it looks like a sinkhole. maybe the martian sand dunes have this entirely unique behavior unto themselves given their enviromental conditions and structures. very interesting.
 
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jatslo

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Things just do not happen all by themselves, so suggesting current events, as in recent, reaffirms the possibility that something is active on Mars, and what that something is remains to be seen. My conjecture/speculation involves fluids under the surface of Mars that erode cavities that later collapse. Like I said previously, evidence that dust devils impact any one object at least once per year is real because both spirit and opportunity experienced them. Any micro-crater will not last more than one year, as a result, which makes them geologically recent.
 
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exoscientist

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Related to the "sapping" explanation and the "sinkhole" explanation is that these depressions could be manifestations of karst. <br /> Karst terrain is due to acidic water dissolution of evaporitic deposits such as carbonate and sulfate: <br /><br />A karst PRIMER. <br />http://csweb.winona.edu/semnwrb/files/general/sprkarst/sprkarst.htm<br /><br /> Here's a report that examines this possibility at Meridiani:<br /><br />Possibility of Karst Morphology on the Martian Surface at the Meridiani Landing Site from Comparison with Terrestrial Analogs.<br />Sz. Bérczi, Eötvös University, Department of General Physics, Cosmic Materials Space Research Group, H-1117 Budapest, Pázmány Péter s. 1/a.Hungary,(****@ludens.elte.hu)<br />Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI (2005) 1051.pdf<br />http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2005/pdf/1051.pdf<br /><br /> It gives this image as an example:<br /><br />http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/opportunity/20040408a/06-JT-01-sol70-B074R1_br.jpg<br /><br /> The report has a nice diagram showing that on Earth such karst terrain is connected to cave systems, which raises the possibility it might also exist at Meridiani.<br /><br /> This report discusses detecting cave systems remotely:<br /><br />REMOTELY SENSED CAVE DETECTION ON EARTH AND MARS.<br />C. A. Drost, J. J. Wynne, M. G. Chapman, J. S. Kargel, T. N. Titus, and R. S. Toomey (US Geological Survey, 2255 N. Gemini Drive, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, ****@usgs.gov; Dept. of Hydrology, U. of A., Tucson, AZ 85721; Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1066.<br />Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVII (2006) 2103.pdf<br />http <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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telfrow

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<b>Opportunity ::
Navigation Camera :: Sol 788</b><br /><br />Link <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <strong><font color="#3366ff">Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will to strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.</font> - <font color="#3366ff"><em>Tennyson</em></font></strong> </div>​
 
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bonzelite

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what i still find bizarre and ever-fascinating is the variety, morphology, of some martian terrain, however familiar looking, is quite odd and enigmatic and alien, like the above pic. the layered clifflike formations are embedded in a dunefield with paving stones. unless JohnClarke can speak to this formation in terms of earthly analogues, i cannot relate it to anything. some formations, then, appear endemic to mars only and nowhere else.
 
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