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.
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Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space
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