...it was Dave 'Cinzano Bianco' Lister.
New photos gleaned by the Mars Express spacecraft in orbit about the red planet have failed to shed any light on the origins of an "enigmatic" elongated crater named Orcus Patera. The Martian crater Orcus Patera. Credit: ESA Interstellar alien spaceship prang skidmark? Orcus Patera lies on the border of Mars' Elysium and …
The X-37B goes missing for two weeks then this gets reported? Too much of a coincidence for me.
Quite obviously, the staff at the Reg are trying to cover up the existence of the DARPA sponsored, CIA black budget financed, militarized version of PARIS which got a wee bit off course and created the embarrassing crater. Those titanium straw tubes, Kevlar stealth covering and Maverick missile warheads pack quite a whallop when moving at Mach 15.
it was one small step for God, one giant leap for Godkind ?
Or perhaps it was a God-sized game of planetary hopscotch. I can't imagine he really likes to spend all eternity being stuffy and God-like ALL the time. At some point, dropping little buggers into the big pit has gotta get boring as hell. Yeah, it's funny the first few million times to hear them screaming and begging as you let go, but after a while, well, perhaps a change of scenery is just the thing.
whassat burning smell?
I know Mars doesn't have a very thick atmosphere, but do hit the surface at that angle, the impactor must have spent an awful lot of time traveling through it at some pretty high velocities. The initial size of that hunk of rock must have been pretty impressive to survive the atmospheric friction for as long as would have been required before making that scrape.
Even more so if it bounced off the planet. Maybe one of those two kidney stones Mars calls moons is responsible? Or depending on the composition of those two hunks of rock, maybe they are /both/ responsible, having originally been chunks of the initial impactor?
Might explain how they got there in the first place. The prevailing theory is "captured asteroid," but the reasonably rapidly decaying orbits would seem to indicate that it's possible they could be the result of an impact like this. Skipped off the surface, broke up, and didn't quite make a fully stable orbit.
Considering the unknowns surrounding the origin of those two (I refuse to call them “moons”) it’s as plausible a theory as any…
Phobos and Deimos are kidney stones. They are also covered in craters. However long ago this happened, those little buggers have been up there a while. If my theory is right, then when the original impactor broke up while exiting the atmosphere, the two bits that became Phobos and Deimos were most likely at least semi-liquid. They cooled, and proceeded to spend umpteen years getting pummelled by space debris.
What space debris though? Probably the same sort of crud that hits Mars itself, but also likely some leftover bits from their own creation. (A goodly chunk of which probably fell back to Mars.) Why couldn't either or both of these bodies have been slapped around some by space debris long enough to retard their spinning to about what we are seeing now? Seems to me anything big enough to have made that particular scar on mars would have been large enough to break up into a Phobos/Deimos pair a couple of times over. Where’d the rest of it go?
I’ll bet that a good chunk of (probably very Iridium-rich) materiel is left buried under that impact scar. Another goodly chunk in various smaller and more directly vertical impact events all over the planet. Still, one look at the actual SHAPES of both of Mars’ companions (especially Phobos) tells me something happened to them (post-impact-event) that would have made for an EXCELLENT movie special effect.
I’d bet the data to outright confirm or deny this theory already exists. The mapping of impact sites on Mars, Phobos and Deimos should tell us if there was an unusual number of them happening within the same, oh…million years or so? Chart the age of it all; see if there are any glaringly obvious correlations, and if so…you’ve probably got an impactor-based creation event. Albeit one significantly less cataclysmic for the parent body than the Terra/Luna system. (IIRC wasn’t the impactor in the Big Whack supposed to be >1/4 the extant proto-terra’s mass? Yowza!)
I would love to have a NASA protoexogeology nerd hear my theory and either reject it outright or go “hmmmm.” Finding out you are (definitively) wrong is almost as much fun as finding out you are (definitively) right! Hurrah for science and <3 learning.
Is that some kind of term that means "not small at all"?
The dimensions (from the ESA page) are as follows
"this well-defined depression extends approximately 380 km by 140 km in a NNE–SSW direction. It has a rim that rises up to 1800 m above the surrounding plains, while the floor of the depression lies 400–600 m below the surroundings."
Given it's 52,300 square kilometres in area (2.56 Wa in Vulture Central measurements), small is not the word I'd use.
When are they going to point Mars Express at the pyramids and other weird stuff that NASA found years ago but has never bothered to investigate further?
Some of that stuff (pics readily available on the web) seems so obviously un-natural that it beggars belief that nobody has bothered to look again. Or maybe they have and they just haven't told us.
Looks the perfect shape and colour of my underpants when I find them (usually at a mate's house) after Friday's Runny Ruby Murry, on Saturday morning..
It's simply an alien 'trouser-track'. Maybe they don't use undies, them green monsters.
Mother instigated into me the coherence between clean underpants and road traffic accidents. i.e. "Make sure you wear clean undies, in case you have a car accident" (You've all heard it)
So, following mum's advice, I always shit my pants before I go shopping. Works. Never been hit by a car once in 54 years.
Of the two contentious propositions in this article, I would quite frankly prefer to believe that this particular object was created by aliens, then that all the other craters were caused by meteoric impacts. Isn't it stretching belief a bit to have to think either that all the impactors arrived virtually perpendicular to the surface or that the only impactors to cause non-circular craters are those arriving at a grazing incidence? (If answering, don't wave computer models).
On Earth, the atmosphere's fairly dense, and I think the discovered ancient craters seem to be pretty circular - even the big dinosaur-eliminating jobbies included ones (Mexico, Russia). Possibly the atmosphere 'levels' them out a bit as they come in. Mars atmosphere is a lot less than here, so maybe it doesn't straighten out the flight-path anywhere near.
Having said that, the moon, with no atmosphere to speak of seems to have been hit 'from on the oche' quite a few times...
if you look at the high res jpg here: http://download.esa.int/images/marsexpress/471-20103007-2216-2238-6-ft-01-OrcusPatera_H1.jpg (1.5meg)
you can see some lines (they look like small, straight valleys) that are intersected by this crater.
fair enough, maybe mars had liquid water and rivers at some point.
but if you look at the one just about reference 1, it actually goes through an impact crater - so the crater was there before this line / valley thing formed.
Whereas all the others are intersected by the craters along their paths.
wait a second, isn't the moon shrinking, causing similar ridges to form on its surface?
this would be a great time to sell plots of land on mars - they will only get smaller!
anyone else played mass effect?
black helicopters because the universe is NOT expanding
There are no drag lines indicating a direction of movement through the solid mars surface... therefore no alien skimming and no meteorites can have hit at any kind of angle. There must be some other explanation... my money is on a direct impact at 0 angle or some kind of strong wind/weather conditions over a light/dusty surface - a bit like a dessert
It is clearly a battle scar.
The original Martians were at interstellar war with another advanced race. Their enemies used kinetic energy weapons (near-C rocks) to obliterate the Martian civilization. This was the single last shot that eliminated the Martian homeworld.
Fortunately for us, the Martians had seeded the 3rd planet with life-bearing rocks before they were exterminated.
Impact craters are caused by supersonic shock waves, so the process does not resemble chucking ball bearings into flour.
Most surface impacts - especially on planets with atmospheres - take place at more than 45 degrees, at which angle the shock waves radiate in largely circular pattern. Below this angle, however, the resulting crater becomes an elongated ovoid, as a greater degree of the explosive force is directed along the axis of impact - like the Matt Wilson crater in northern Australia; one of the best examples of a single, low-angle impact crater on Earth.
The curious thing about this one, is its shallow, and very smooth, floor. One radical explanation, is that the true surface of the crater was buried in silt, as part of some sort of lake bed, which formed in it, following (or perhaps even because of) the impact itself.
I reckon it is either a collapsed geode or a caldera. Would explain the hard rock sides and the perfectly flat centre, assuming the atmosphere was around and the dusts could then move in and fill it.
Given mars has lava and tectonics in a similar way to us, it is more plausible than a space ship glancing off a planet. To create that it would have been a HUGE ship and we would all now be minions or food.
This post has been deleted by its author
For me there is a logical processes that could have caused it. I'm not an expert in dating crater formation so my hypothesis might be bollocks
1. Shallow impact crater, meteorite 'skids' impact carving out crater. The generally flat look of the crater floor is caused by it filling with sand / dust over the many millions of years later, so basically we're looking at the solar systems biggest sandpit.
2. Shallow impact crater, similar process but into water / wet mud type lake bed.
3. Tectonic movement, a caldera / rift valley type process was at work that stalled. When the underlying magma cooled it contracted leaving a depression (which then filled with dust / sediment etc).
Things to look for, if it where a meteorite impact we should see a 'fall out line' of debris some distance from the crater (the distance would denote the force of impact, by measuring the mass of the objects moved / distance / gravity we can work out how big it was). Imagine a bunker shot in golf where the sand kicks up and falls after etc.
"However, the most likely explanation is that it was made in an oblique impact, when a small body struck the surface at a very shallow angle, perhaps less than five degrees from the horizontal"
Who the F*** are they trying to kid? Just look at the skale of this thing! The crater walls are almost 2 kilometers high for goodness sake! SMALL BODY?!!!
If this is an impact crater then it means Mars was at some point hit by a bloody MASSIVE object, something maybe 50-100 Kilometers wide...
A similar impact on Earth would distroy a large proportion of the atmosphere and wipe out te vast majority of life eventually turning our planet into a lifeless rock like Mars... Hmm.. maybe they just don't want to cause a panic..?