Connecting dots on Mars

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kogelmans
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Connecting dots on Mars

Post by kogelmans » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:20 am

Does anyone know why these knobs and craters around Tyndall Crater on Mars seem to be connected? I found lots and lots of these connecting features around there, but I couldn't find anything about them on the web. Any suggestions?

Width of the picture is about 170 km. It is taken from the Themis daytime IR Mosaic. The features themselves are about 100 m wide and are not visible in the nighttime IR mosaic.

Thanks!

Daan Kogelmans

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Last edited by kogelmans on Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

kogelmans
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Re: Connecting dots

Post by kogelmans » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:32 am

Here is a close up of the connecting features in visible light(?). If I'm not mistaken there's a dustdevil to the right. Can they be the cause of the features? Width of this image is about 2 km and it is from a spot about 400 km southeast of the Tyndall Crater.

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rstevenson
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by rstevenson » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:38 am

I doubt if dust devils could be convinced to follow a chain of hills like that. This is in an area of Mars which shows a lot of large and small cracks, for want of a better word, created by no doubt a variety of geological forces, including volcanism. To my eye the "trails" follow the hills and only coincidentally intersect craters, further suggesting volcanism as the trail maker. It's interesting that they are so sharply delineated in daytime IR, not at all in nighttime IR and only mildly visible in visible light. Something -- perhaps a particular type of sand -- on the trails is more easily heated by sunlight, or more readily reflects sunlight.

Rob

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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by kogelmans » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:12 pm

To my eye the "trails" follow the hills and only coincidentally intersect craters, further suggesting volcanism as the trail maker.
I don't know about that. All the trails seem to go from knob to knob or crater to crater. I've hardly seen trails that are not between two "knobs" (but I will check on this). So how can volcanism be the cause?

I agree that the dustdevils are not a very likely cause either.

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rstevenson
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by rstevenson » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:36 pm

kogelmans wrote:
To my eye the "trails" follow the hills and only coincidentally intersect craters, further suggesting volcanism as the trail maker.
I don't know about that. All the trails seem to go from knob to knob or crater to crater. I've hardly seen trails that are not between two "knobs" (but I will check on this). So how can volcanism be the cause?
By "hills" I meant the same thing you're calling knobs. It looks to me as if those trails are long shallow valleys, with those knobs either somewhere along them or at the intersection of two or three of them. It therefore seems likely they're causally connected. I suggest volcanism because it's the only thing I can think of. :)

Imagine the trails are ancient cracks in the crust, and at the time those cracks occurred volcanic activity was more likely than now. The cracks are weak spots in the crust and an intersection of cracks even more so, so it seems the most likely place for a small volcanic cone to develop would be along the cracks or at their intersections. It's possible that the cracking and volcanism may have been related to the impact that made the Tyndall Crater itself.

As mentioned on this page, lack of craters is possible evidence of magma flows over the surface of Mars. The area where these trails are is quite smooth compared to nearby cratered areas, which was my first hint that volcanism might be involved.

I hereby volunteer to go and find out more about the area. :D

Rob

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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by kogelmans » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:15 pm

Ah ok, I see what you mean... Good that you mention it. I'll have too look more closely at the images to see if your theory might be correct.

Ofcourse you're welcome to investigate too! :) Hehe, this seems like a detective-game...

I hope I have time to find out more tonight.

Daan

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bystander
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by bystander » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:29 pm

rstevenson wrote:I hereby volunteer to go and find out more about the area. :D
We expect a full report, complete with collages :wink:

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Aug 22, 2010 6:46 pm

kogelmans wrote:Does anyone know why these knobs and craters around Tyndall Crater on Mars seem to be connected? I found lots and lots of these connecting features around there, but I couldn't find anything about them on the web. Any suggestions?
A quick search turned up this report, which is along the lines of what Rob suggested. It is stated that similar lineaments (wrinkle ridges or faults) and domes are seen in terrestrial volcanic fields.
Chris

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neufer
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by neufer » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:15 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
A quick search turned up this report, which is along the lines of what Rob suggested. It is stated that similar lineaments (wrinkle ridges or faults) and domes are seen in terrestrial volcanic fields.
So it's basically all Rob's fault then.
Art Neuendorffer

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Chris Peterson
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:23 pm

neufer wrote:So it's basically all Rob's fault then.
Better that than his wrinkles!
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kogelmans
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by kogelmans » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:36 pm

Yeah, I think I must agree with that view. Sure seems to be the case. Bummer, I thought I had found tracks of an alien rover on Mars. But it was fun though :) Thanks for all the help!

Now that we're busy, I found this in the same area, just a little bit to the south. Looks great doesn't it? :)

Image

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neufer
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by neufer » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:10 pm

kogelmans wrote:
I found this in the same area, just a little bit to the south. Looks great doesn't it? :)
ImageImage
Art Neuendorffer

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rstevenson
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Re: Connecting dots on Mars

Post by rstevenson » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:24 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
neufer wrote:So it's basically all Rob's fault then.
Better that than his wrinkles!
I will now pretend to a dignified silence. Better that than an eruption, or worse yet, a movement.

Rob