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White blobs on Mars

White blobs on Mars
Click for full image.

Time for another “What the heck?” image. The photo to the right, cropped to post here, was taken on May 18, 2021 by the high resolution camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It shows what appears to be a series of white circular features aligned with a ridge line.

Are these eroded craters? Maybe, but their alignment with those ridges suggests otherwise. If you look at the full image, you will see further parallel ridges to the north and south, also with similar circular blobs lined along them. Furthermore, the flat surrounding terrain, part of the northern lowland plains north of the resurgences from Valles Marineris, has a scattering of very normal looking craters, with distinct rims and even some glacial material within. As this is at 44 degrees north latitude, the presence of glacial material inside craters is not surprising.

Thus, the white blobs are likely not craters, but some form of eruptive material from below, coming up along those ridges which are probably faultlines. The whiteness suggests that material is water ice, but this of course is unconfirmed.

The question is of course, why? What would cause water ice to erupt along these faultlines? And why are such features not seen elsewhere? Faults and underground ice are common on Mars. Yet, I don’t remember seeing features such as this in any other Martian images.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


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  • They’re probably mud volcanoes. Sediments that were under subsurface pressure released along a fault line,

  • Bill Farrand: Makes sense. It is also what I proposed. But why so white? And they look very different than any other theorized mud volcanoes I’ve seen in other Mars pictures. For example, they show little or no vertical topography.

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