Spidery Black Objects Seen On Mars

Strange black objects seen from 200 miles above the surface of Mars are generating interest and speculation that the unidentified objects could be anything from geysers to sunbathing colonies of microorganisms.

NPR presents several photos of the objects, including one taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Jan. 27, 2010, that appears to show “little black flecks dotting the ridges, mostly on the sunny side, like sunbathing spiders sitting in rows.”

The objects were first spotted in 1998. Interestingly, they appear when the surface of Mars begins to warm, showing up in the same location most of the time. And then when the Martian winter approaches, they disappear with the same precise regularity. The images have been brought into greater detail by Michael Benson in his book “Planetfall: New Solar System Visions.”


Most scientists, including teams from the U.S. Geological Survey, Hungary and the European Space Agency, have their own theories, but the leading explanation is that the objects are geysers of CO2 exploding from underneath the planet’s surface. And while the geyser theory is the most popular explanation, it has yet to be verified.

In the meantime, there are some interesting alternative theories, including one from a group of Hungarian scientists, who have speculated that the objects are actually colonies of photosynthetic Martian microorganisms that emerge each year to sunbathe in the warm weather.

What could these spidery black objects on the Red Planet be? Are they truly geysers, or some other uncanny creature or structure? Feel free to share your speculations with us!

Source & Image: Yahoo News

Mysterious ‘Spaceball’ Crashes in Namibia

A strange metal ball dropped out of the sky and slammed into the remote grassland of northern Namibia recently, according to press reports. The 14-inch-wide (35-centimeter) metallic sphere hit the ground about 480 miles (750 kilometers) north of Windhoek, the African country’s capital. It left a crater 13 inches (33 cm) deep and 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) across, the Agence-France Presse (AFP) reported Thursday.

The metal “space ball” weighs 13 pounds (6 kilograms). It has a rough surface and appears to consist of two halves that were welded together, according to AFP.

“It is not an explosive device, but rather hollow, but we had to investigate all this first,” police deputy inspector general Vilho Hifindaka told AFP.

However, Hifindaka and his colleagues still don’t know what the object is or where exactly it came from. They’ve contacted NASA and the European Space Agency for help, AFP reported. Locals apparently heard several small explosions a few days before the ball was found. Similar spheres have also been found in Australia and Central America over the last two decades, local authorities said.

Quite a bit of space junk has rained from the sky this year. In September, for example, NASA’s defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) — a 6.5-ton craft that monitored climate from 1991 until 2005 — plunged into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

 

Source: msnbc.com

Image: technabob.com