Strange Object On Mars Surface/See Update Below
There are two objects approximately ten feet apart. This picture shows them
up better by increasing the brightness and the contrast.The inset shows the relative sizes of the objects.
I downloaded the large version (9MB) from the Nasa site right after it appeared on it. I noticed something in the foreground, but dismissed it as a piece of the chute/balloon assembly. When I saw the piece on Rense the other night, I immediately pulled the downloaded jpeg up and simply did an unsharp filter twice in Photoshop, and then lightened the overall tones a bit to get more fine detail, without distorting pixels.
There is something extraordinarily strange on the ground there. It looks as though it could be a number of things. A vestige of dead "vegetation" of some kind? A fossil of a dead martian insect or animal? Or, some living thing? It just doesn't look like anything on the lander and its surrounding deflated impact balloons, or anything else that might explain such an unusual object. Some have speculated that it might be a piece of the lander's descent and impact system that fragmented during impact, but when anyone who examines this in Photoshop can see that this thing looks "organic."
Just to let you know, the big image is still up, it's here:
They archive things every few days so you have to look around. Personally i think the anamolies are pieces of debris from the landing craft. If you look in the lower right, there's another scrap that's blue, red, and foil in color, clearly NASA related.
From Dave Jackson
I was able to download the image today and there are a number of peculiar items in the image. Besides the two that were pointed out previously, there is one item, in the bottom right hand corner, which sits on top of soil that was disturbed by the lander either during landing or airbag retraction.
All of the items of interest in this picture all appear to have been "blown" in the same direction (roughly right/forward of the lander). With this information, and looking at the item resting on top of the disturbed soil, my best guess is that these are items that were used to tie the lander down during flight/entry, and have blown right/forward once they were "cut" away from holding the lander on it's platform.
From Dave Nelms
Thanks for your kind words. You sound like
my kind of guy.
Yes, when I first spotted the object, friends and I joked about it being shot in Arizona. And the possibility of a fossil being planted by the rover to enhance Dubya's chances of a Mars mission, thus re-election. We'll see, but for now, I'll tell you this: there's more to come!
Keep an eye on Rense!
At 10:16 PM 2/6/2004, you wrote:
Saw your article on Rense.
Here's my (conspiracy) theory.
The rover is not on Mars. It's a hoax. It's out in some desert somewhere and the govt wants us sheeple to think we made it to Mars. The dried vegetation or dead animal you spotted would have proved this is a fabricated, staged event, so they had to hide it.
Reasons? USA can boast we are the first to get there. Make China, Russia etc spends billions trying to get there too. They must try now, to prove they have the engineering, finances, and skills to compete.
Second, government big-shots siphon billions off of the NASA budget for their buddies (contracts for parts, etc.)
Third, keep the stupid American public busy while they steal the country while nobody is watching.
Yes, I am a conspiracy theorist. It's a hoax, and you busted them.
I'm assuming that you are the one who posted the rense article.
I believe that it is likely a fulgurite: http://tektitesource.com/Fulgurites.html
Scroll down to the pictures of fulgurites with branches.
ful·gu·rite (P) Pronunciation Key (flgy-rt, -g-, fl-)
n. A slender, usually tubular body of glassy rock produced by lightning striking and then fusing dry sandy soil.
It sure looks like it could be dry and sandy soil.
Keep looking - I'm the guy who found the 'trailer park' at Cydonia.
From David Maynard
The picture in question is still available at Nasa's excellent "Astronomy Picture of the Day" archive http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap040204.html .
I believe the object is a Martian fulgurite. A fulgurite is made from sand fused into glass by a lightning strike. They have a characteristic branching shape reminiscent of the object in the photo. http://www.amnh.org/learn/musings/SP01/mb.htm is an good explanation of Earthly fulgurites. http://www.menzelphoto.com/gallery/big/lightning6.htm is a very nice photograph of fulgurite from Arizona.
Even though the Martian atmosphere is only about 1% as dense as the Earth's, Martian dust storms are thought to put enough statically charged particles into the air to cause Martian lightning. High voltage Martian Lightning is described here: http://mars.astrobio.net/news/print.php?sid=50 .
Nasa should use this Opportunity to investigate the object and publish its findings.
Thank you for creating such an informative and entertaining web site that constantly explores that fractal boundary between knowledge and speculation.