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Arsia Mons Anomaly?, Recent Mars Express Imagery shows odd feature
Hungry4info
post Sep 25 2018, 12:02 AM
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Is that a Plume on Arsia Mons?
https://scilogs.spektrum.de/go-for-launch/i...-on-arsia-mons/

Images of the Tharsis region show the emergence of a new prolonged feature that appears to cast a long shadow. It is not visible in this attached image from 06 August 2018.
Attached Image


Then we can see something newish near Arsia Mons (the vertical streak) in this image from 19 Sep 2018.
Attached Image


And then most striking is this image from 23 Sep 2018, where it appears that a significant shadow is cast (in the direction of the streak in the last image, admittedly).
Attached Image


I'm not familiar enough with Martian meteorology to know if this is just a normal occurrence, but it does look weird, at least to me. Hopefully someone will have ideas. If the answer to this is obvious then feel free to lock and/or delete the thread.


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Explorer1
post Sep 25 2018, 12:16 AM
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A 2015 image shows something similar, though less dramatic, from the MOM: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-...cloud-mars.html
Seems to be just an ordinary cloud...
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djellison
post Sep 25 2018, 12:47 AM
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QUOTE (Hungry4info @ Sep 24 2018, 04:02 PM) *
Is that a Plume on Arsia Mons?


Just a cloud casting a shadow. It's been seen before.

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mcaplinger
post Sep 25 2018, 01:13 AM
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Clouds around the Tharsis volcanoes have been observed since before spaceflight. The classical name of Olympus Mons, Nix Olympica or "The Snows of Olympus", refers to such clouds.


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Disclaimer: This post is based on public information only. Any opinions are my own.
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Hungry4info
post Sep 25 2018, 01:35 AM
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QUOTE (Explorer1 @ Sep 24 2018, 07:16 PM) *
A 2015 image shows something similar, though less dramatic, from the MOM: http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-...cloud-mars.html


That looks pretty convincing. Thanks!
I apologise if I contributed to clutter on the forum.


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nprev
post Sep 25 2018, 05:07 AM
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I think that it was an excellent 'teachable moment'. smile.gif It's easy to forget that Mars' atmosphere, though exceedingly thin by terrestrial standards, is still capable of producing surprisingly substantial water and CO2 clouds more frequently than might otherwise be assumed.


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Floyd
post Sep 25 2018, 10:56 PM
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Hungry4info--Not clutter, a learning experience for many of us following along. As they say in another context "if you see something, say something". It could be the next blue blob.


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cndwrld
post Sep 27 2018, 01:10 PM
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I work on the Mars Express mission. I can tell you that some of the scientists on the mission are pretty interested in it. So I wouldn't classify it as just another cloud.

And for us, it validates the use of the low resolution VMC camera as a real science instrument. Getting it up and running, scheduling the images and creating the automated processing stream was a lot of work. Having a global overview image can be very useful, as this cloud shows.


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JRehling
post Sep 27 2018, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Sep 24 2018, 10:07 PM) *
It's easy to forget that Mars' atmosphere, though exceedingly thin by terrestrial standards, is still capable of producing surprisingly substantial water and CO2 clouds more frequently than might otherwise be assumed.


Taking my own pictures of Mars, I'm much more conscious of that than I was when I "merely" perused spacecraft imagery, which is often up-close and often avoids the clouds.

It's not an overstatement to say that there are often/usually clouds in the following contexts: the sunrise limb, the sunset limb, the winter polar regions, above the five tallest volcanoes after sunrise or before sunset. I'd say that it's rare to see a picture of Mars without clouds in at least one of those locations. Here's a picture of mine taken in June 2016 with a 6" telescope that shows Arsia, Ascraeus, and Pavonis as clouds on the right limb. It's easier to see them this way than when they're cloudless. Olympus Mons, experiencing early afternoon, is visible cloudless to their upper left.
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Hungry4info
post Sep 27 2018, 09:58 PM
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The most recent image of Arsia Mons, from 24 Sep.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/esa_marswebcam/44207538984/


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JRehling
post Sep 28 2018, 11:54 PM
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Wow, that cloud is interesting. The total absence of anything similar near the other volcanoes is striking.
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nprev
post Sep 29 2018, 06:11 AM
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Orographic 'trail clouds' from the Tharsis Montes are far from uncommon, but this one does seem to be remarkably persistent. Wonder if the excess suspended dust from the storm caused/is causing accretion of ice and/or solid CO2 around the particles? If so, there could be some surface deposition under the cloud as they get too heavy to remain suspended in the atmosphere.


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dvandorn
post Sep 29 2018, 04:25 PM
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Hmm... I know dust storms "puff up" Mars' atmosphere, making the average air column be deeper and thinner. I believe this is due to solar heating happening at the tops of the dust clouds more than at the surface.

I wonder if such a puffing up of the atmospheric column would make adiabatic cloud formation at higher altitudes more likely? It sort of appears so.

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Steve5304
post Oct 1 2018, 02:38 AM
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I dunno...looks pretty convincing to me...some sort of outgassing. Anybody know the wind patterns in those regions? There is also a total absence of anything like it..anywhere else.


Going back to see older images.
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Steve5304
post Oct 1 2018, 02:59 AM
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Went back to 2009 it was visible also almost exactly identical cloud feature coming off the same locations of the caldera. Nothing peculiarly interesting about the terrain...but there is alot of "holes" and Caves"

Could not resolve anything in older soviet/viking images..or ist was not present.. Be very interesting to get some new Intel. It sure looks like venting of some sort.

Nobody knows the state of martian volcanos. Some say they went cold 50 million years ago. Others say no..still active.
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