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There are Plumes Coming Out of Mars; This is Literally How War of the Worlds Begins

Of all the times to come down with a cold...

WarOfTheWorlds_126

So scientists and astronomers have noticed the sudden appearance of hundreds of mile long plumes of… stuff on Mars, and two years later they still have no idea what may have caused them or what the plumes were made up of.

From io9:

When they do occur, the plumes only take about 10 hours to form, extending over an area measuring 620 by 930 miles (1,000 by 1,500 km) in both the north-south and east-west directions. They hang in the atmosphere for about 10 days, changing shape on a daily basis before finally disappearing. The apparent clouds extend up into Mars’s ionosphere and exosphere where the atmosphere is incredibly thin.

Plumes of stuff have been observed in 2012 and 1999, but as yet, after studying thousands of images of them, scientists have only two going theories, and both of them would require a significant reevaluation of how we understand Mars’ atmosphere.

The phenomenon could be clouds of particles like carbon dioxide or water. But the plumes clearly extend into the high reaches of Mars’ atmosphere where clouds have never been observed, because our distance from the planet and the thin atmosphere renders them invisible. Or, it could be a magnetic aurora, like the flashy one we’ve got on Earth. But if that were the case, it would be an aurora thousands of times brighter than any other similar observed phenomenons.

Well, I guess the good news is that even if explosions on Mars is literally the first sign of invasion in The War of the Worlds, at least they probably would have gotten here by now. Unless they’re secretly living among us.

(via BBC)

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