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Strange black objects seen from 200 miles above the surface of Mars are generating interest and speculation that the unidentified objects could be anything from geysers to sunbathing colonies of microorganisms.

NPR presents several photos of the objects, including one taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010, that appears to show "little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows."

The objects were first spotted in 1998. Interestingly, they appear when the surface of Mars begins to warm, showing up in the same location most of the time. And then when the Martian winter approaches, they disappear with the same precise regularity. The images have been brought into greater detail by Michael Benson in his book "Planetfall: New Solar System Visions."

Most scientists, including teams from the U.S. Geological Survey, Hungary and the European Space Agency, have their own theories, but the leading explanation is that the objects are geysers of CO2 exploding from underneath the planet's surface.

"If you were there, you'd be standing on a slab of carbon dioxide ice," Phil Christensen of Arizona State University told NPR. "All around you, roaring jets of carbon dioxide gas are throwing sand and dust a couple hundred feet into the air. The ground below would be rumbling.

And while the geyser theory is the most popular explanation, it has yet to be verified.

In the meantime, there are some interesting alternative theories, including one from a group of Hungarian scientists, who have speculated that the objects are actually colonies of photosynthetic Martian microorganisms that emerge each year to sunbathe in the warm weather.

[url="http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/spidery-black-objects-mars-surface-raise-speculation-184239849.html"]source[/url]

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Posted

neat? :huh:

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Posted

I bet its nothing more that higher accumulations of dust/dirt..

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Posted

too bad there isnt a winter image to go along with the images posted.
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Posted

[quote name='littleneutrino' timestamp='1349448910' post='595227543']
too bad there isnt a winter image to go along with the images posted.
[/quote]

To see if the spiders are wearing coats ?
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Posted

Pretty neat. Since there are areas on Mars that can hit 80-90 degrees F, it's very possible it could be some sort of organism soaking in the rays.

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Posted

They should launch a probe and study it. IMO the government should be expanding NASA's budget, not cutting it.
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Posted

[quote name='Tyler R.' timestamp='1349449831' post='595227581']
They should launch a probe and study it. IMO the government should be expanding NASA's budget, not cutting it.
[/quote]

Totally agree, NASA took a monumental leap backwards when the shuttle was retired. Just goes to show what disarray NASA is in with it's funding when they don't have a replacement system ready to go from day one. As far as I'm concerned we should never have stopped going to the moon, we would have had a permanent human presence on the moon today had we not. It would have made the leap to mars more likely, perhaps a bit cheaper and with a little less effort...perhaps.

People just aren't as excited about space as the once were so there is no political will. Thickies would rather sit in front of a TV / Internet all day and be zombified into believing the crap that's shoveled down their mouths or have more interest with who cheated on who via Facebook/Twitter than be inspired by something that's actually meaningful to this race.
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Posted

[quote name='Hum' timestamp='1349440583' post='595227121']
Strange black objects seen from 200 miles above
[/quote]

Thats all i had to read to know this is not science. The SI is the only system for science, designed by scientists for scientists. The pound, the inch and other US units are based on the metric system. It is the base of your stupid system, which by the way WAS NOT given to you by a non existent god but instead your past British overlords.
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Posted

They spent a billion dollars sending the rover to mars. Actually, both the new rovers to mars.

Why the hell didn't they sent it to the 'town' of mars, or 'the face of mars'. . .
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Posted

[quote name='Big b0b' timestamp='1349451358' post='595227641']
They spent a billion dollars sending the rover to mars. Actually, both the new rovers to mars.

Why the hell didn't they sent it to the 'town' of mars, or 'the face of mars'. . .
[/quote]

The landing site has good possibilities of water traces, which in turn gives higher possibilities of finding signs of life.
These are facts as opposed to the "guesses" of the other things.

[url="http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/timeline/prelaunch/landingsiteselection/aboutgalecrater/"]http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/mission/timeline/prelaunch/landingsiteselection/aboutgalecrater/[/url]

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Posted

Looks like a dune.

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Posted

If you look closely, you can see a little Martian Dune buggy speeding across the dune!
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Posted

It's in an ancient riverbed, so a Martian turtle shell?

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Posted

If we want the spice we have to deal with the worms.
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Posted

Drive Curiosity over to it!
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Posted

I blame Obama for this martian sandworm!
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Posted

Life on Mars -- ready to eat us.

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Posted

[quote name='Iridium' timestamp='1349451324' post='595227639']
Thats all i had to read to know this is not science. The SI is the only system for science, designed by scientists for scientists. The pound, the inch and other US units are based on the metric system. It is the base of your stupid system, which by the way WAS NOT given to you by a non existent god but instead your past British overlords.
[/quote]Or maybe they decided to convert it to the target audience. You know, the way you are suppose to do when writing an article or trying to explain something to someone. People find the dumbest things to be nazis about.

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Posted

[img]http://www.nextdimension.org/other/doom3/trite.jpg[/img]

A leg buried ?

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Posted

[quote name='fehu' timestamp='1349464538' post='595228205']
I blame Obama for this martian sandworm!
[/quote]But everything that is wrong today is because of Bush. Obama said so himself. So you are really just blaming Bush for this sandworm.

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Posted

In 2010 Odyssey 2 little black shapes started multiplying and look what happened to Jupiter :D


[img]http://withfriendship.com/images/i/44413/2010-odyssey-two.jpg[/img]

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Posted

[quote name='ILikeTobacco' timestamp='1349476740' post='595228721']
Or maybe they decided to convert it to the target audience. You know, the way you are suppose to do when writing an article or trying to explain something to someone. People find the dumbest things to be nazis about.
[/quote]
Hahah, says someone thinking that not joining the other 95% and ramming their own countries system down our throat is not actually closer to nazism. Also the US public should know the language of science, ignorance is never a good excuse.

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Posted

It must be Mardi Gras time on Mars. That party is bangin!

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Posted

[quote name='welchmen22' timestamp='1349458785' post='595227979']
If we want the spice we have to deal with the worms.
[/quote]

cool movie!

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