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Author Topic: What are the Martian surface features visible in images from Phoenix?  (Read 3038 times)

Offline Atomic-S

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Viewing a picture from the Phoenix lander, I observe small-scale features in the Martian surface which look very much like features on a much larger scale. That is of interest because the features on the large scale are, I understand, thought to result from impacts, the flow of magma, or the flow of water. It is hard to imagine this sort of explanation at this small scale, with the possible exception of impact. in regards to certain types of features.

The features in question are, seen near but not in where Phoenix had dug: a very shallow approximately circular crater which has three much smaller but round mini-craters at one edge; right next to it an elongaged crater of sort of irregular peanut-like shape; an area where the surface is characterized by shallow riffles (which is true of much of the area near the lander), a pair of very long, compared to their width, depressions, arranged sequentially suggesting that they are part of the same feature and have a common cause, the boundary of which is serrated by the fact that the feature contains roundish partial mini-craters within it.  In fact, if one looks further at the picture, one will find a number of places where craters or craterlike formations exist in alignment. 

By what I see from the digging, the soil would seem rather powdery combined with rocks. Given that texture, how do we end up with features at this scale, which resemble features many miles across that, I understand, are thought to be associated with a much different physics (lava, water, etc.)?


[MOD - please try to make the subjects of your posts into questions - thanks - CS]
« Last Edit: 13/06/2008 09:14:06 by chris »


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Can you post some photos?
 

Offline chris

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On the podcast we interviewed Arizona State University researcher William Boynton, who is part of the Phoenix Mission, a couple of times recently.

In the first interview he talks about the mission goals for Phoenix: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/921/

And in the second interview, which may be of interest to you given what you said above, he talks about some of the initial surface topographical findings that have been made:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/923/

Chris
 

Offline qazibasit

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i can only comment after visualizing it.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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The picture I was referring to appears to be the very one in http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/interviews/interview/923/ . Unfortunately, the reproduction on the web page is not as clear as it was in the newspaper, so it is difficult to see the features I described.
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Look at http://150.135.110.195/images.php?gID=6410&cID=67

Look at the portion of the picture to the upper right of the trench. You will see a row of 3 craters and then a rock more or less vertically, and to the left of that 2 larger craters that are sort of elongated in the direction of the line joining their centers, and between both is a very shallow crater with four "toeprints" along the upper right rim (the whole structure reminscent of an animan's footprint), and some little tiny roundish craters scattered all around the area. And to the immediate right of the trench are depressions and lines that tend to flow vertically in the picture which are suggestive of flow lines, but then look right down near the bottom edge of the picture and see a depression in the form of an arc that does not fit into that sort of an idea.  All these sorts of features are seen also on much larger scales (in other images from other missions).
 

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