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Arsia Mons Anomaly?, Recent Mars Express Imagery shows odd feature
Paolo
post Oct 2 2018, 07:38 PM
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QUOTE (Steve5304 @ Oct 2 2018, 07:17 PM) *
I believe this is the first of its kind...I think Mars 3 had one on it but crashed.


there were seismometers on the Vikings, but they had all sort of problems
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serpens
post Oct 4 2018, 02:04 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Oct 1 2018, 12:31 PM) *
This is a well-known phenomenon that has been well-documented for many decades......


Absolutely. And just to prove it:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lunexit/8610048267/
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PaulH51
post Oct 13 2018, 10:40 AM
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And another from a few days ago?

Attached Image


poorly converted from 18-283_00.38.27_VMC_Img_No_8.raw (10 Oct 2018) I'm still trying to get to grips with the processing of these VMC raw images


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nogal
post Oct 25 2018, 04:16 PM
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Dated Oct 25th, here is an update from Mars Express which includes an explanation of the cloud.

Mars Express keeps an eye on curious cloud


Fernando
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wood_s
post Oct 25 2018, 04:23 PM
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FYI, we've put up a short web article about it with input from the HRSC, OMEGA and VMC science teams

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Sc...n_curious_cloud

it includes this great image of it from HRSC
http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/20...ud_21_September

there should be more VMC images of it coming over the next few weeks!
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Steve5304
post Nov 6 2018, 05:18 PM
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So...lets ask some questions here as the phenomenon persists...

Why this mountain and not the other ones?

We are not looking at a volcanic eruption. But something is creating a reaction at the peak of this mountain.

Water Ice? It must be sublimating then, is a glacier up there? Just asking questions!
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mcaplinger
post Nov 6 2018, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (Steve5304 @ Nov 6 2018, 09:18 AM) *
Why this mountain and not the other ones?... It must be sublimating then, is a glacier up there?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/science/...arsia-mons.html
"The clouds form when water-laden air is pushed upward along a mountain. Cooler, thinner air cannot hold as much water, causing some of the moisture to condense and freeze, forming clouds."

Presumably Arsia gets these clouds more often due to its specific topography and its location relative to the winds driven by global circulation. All of the volcanoes get clouds at times. See "The seasonal behavior of water ice clouds in the Tharsis and Valles Marineris regions of Mars: Mars Orbiter Camera Observations", Benson et al, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/artic...019103503001751 (paywalled, unfortunately.)


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ectoterrestrial
post Nov 7 2018, 05:03 AM
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Without advocating for the Arsia complex as a source of warmish volatile emission, lets think about things that make it unique on Tharsis.

-Youngest Tharsis shield volcano. ~130 Mya
-Largest caldera by far, D = ~100km.
-Only of the big 4 in the southern hemisphere.

It doesn't seem especially conclusive to note this has been observed before, so is a purely atmospheric phenomena. In an ancient, fractured system like Arsia (and her sisters) you'd expect this kind of venting for long after the main event is over.
Also, cloud formation on the downwind could be expected whether the vapor source is local or upwind. Formation of the clouds could be a seasonal event

Here are what I see as two possible scenarios for local volatile release.
-Only Arsia has a special fractured system that is open to the atmosphere.
-All 4 have this degree of fracturing but Arsia is in a location preferential for cirrus formation.

Given the freakishly large scale of all things Tharsis, this shouldn't be a huge surprise.

(I see the usual planetary mapping squad is in attendance. Question. Is there an online MOLA globe? Without running my own version of Google Earth. I gave my physical version to a childrens museum ~10 years ago)


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hendric
post Nov 8 2018, 08:44 PM
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Is Arsia Mons the only place with lava tube skylights? The only articles I could find were around the 2007 research paper.


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nprev
post Nov 9 2018, 12:27 AM
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QUOTE (nogal @ Oct 25 2018, 09:16 AM) *
Dated Oct 25th, here is an update from Mars Express which includes an explanation of the cloud.

Mars Express keeps an eye on curious cloud


Fernando



I ask everyone on this thread to please read this article very carefully. To repeat:

1. This is a known phenomenon that has been observed for decades.

2. The mechanism producing it is widely--and I would say universally--accepted by the scientific community.

3. Active vulcanism is not required to explain the observations.


To amplify the last point: Although absence of evidence is indeed not evidence of absence, there is no reported corroborating evidence of modern volcanic activity on Arsia Mons such as hot-spots observed in infrared or a noticeable change in atmospheric composition or mass, which would be expected given the very low atmospheric density and consequent rapid diffusion throughout of any large amount of added gases. There is just the cloud itself, which again can be explained without adding outgassing.


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Ron Hobbs
post Nov 9 2018, 01:41 AM
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QUOTE (hendric @ Nov 8 2018, 12:44 PM) *
Is Arsia Mons the only place with lava tube skylights? The only articles I could find were around the 2007 research paper.


A team of seventh graders in California found one on Pavonis Mons in the THEMIS data.

Seventh Graders Find a Cave on Mars

They requested that HiRise take an image, which was done.

Pit on the Eastern Flank of Pavonis Mons

It is a great story of amateurs making discoveries in space.
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cndwrld
post Nov 9 2018, 01:13 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Nov 9 2018, 01:27 AM) *
I ask everyone on this thread to please read this article very carefully. To repeat:

1. This is a known phenomenon that has been observed for decades.

2. The mechanism producing it is widely--and I would say universally--accepted by the scientific community.

3. Active vulcanism is not required to explain the observations.


To amplify the last point: Although absence of evidence is indeed not evidence of absence, there is no reported corroborating evidence of modern volcanic activity on Arsia Mons such as hot-spots observed in infrared or a noticeable change in atmospheric composition or mass, which would be expected given the very low atmospheric density and consequent rapid diffusion throughout of any large amount of added gases. There is just the cloud itself, which again can be explained without adding outgassing.

Right. I think Mars Express people are interested in it now just because we happen to be seeing it with a great Sun angle, at a point in the orbit where we can get multiple instruments viewing it simultaneously. The cloud isn't mysterious, just cool, and we're getting good pictures.


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hendric
post Nov 9 2018, 09:31 PM
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I found a paper by Mike from a decade (!) ago.

https://www.slideshare.net/esaops/2-july-20...trument-1752209


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JRehling
post Nov 10 2018, 04:15 PM
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This famous (in my mind, anyway) image taken during Viking 2's approach to Mars shows a similar trail from Ascraeus Mons in 1976.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mar...by_Viking_2.png

A useful thing to remember about clouds is that the boundary between a cloud and clear air can represent an exceptionally small difference in conditions. All you know from the boundary is that conditions beyond the cloud did not support the formation of condensation. It may have been very close to doing so. And the three Tharsis volcanoes are not identical, even though, at a glance, they look like a matched set.
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nprev
post Yesterday, 05:14 PM
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ADMIN MODE: This thread is right on the knife edge of being closed. Arsia Mons is not erupting or otherwise venting, and further speculation of that nature WILL result in permanent closure. Posts hidden. Please refrain from any further speculation of that nature.


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