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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2004 > Mar > Mar 17

Re: JPL's Mars UFO - Stanford

From: Ray Stanford <dinotracker.nul>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 16:41:02 -0500
Fwd Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 11:10:28 -0500
Subject: Re: JPL's Mars UFO - Stanford

>From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 00:31:14 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
>Subject: Re: JPL's Mars UFO

>>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>>To: UFO Updates <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 14:57:33 -0600
>>Subject: Re: JPL's Mars UFO - Ledger
>>>From: Don Ledger <dledger.nul>
>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 11:41:16 -0400
>>>Subject: Re: JPL's Mars UFO - Ledger

>>>>From: Lan Fleming <lfleming5.nul>
>>>>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>>>>Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 12:09:11 -0600
>>>>Subject: Re: JPL's Mars UFO


>>>>That's not the only one. It looks like this Navcam image shows "UFOs"
>>>>going every which ways:



>>>I may be wrong but it's my uderstanding that The Soviets never
>>>got a satellite to Mars. There is JPL's? Explorer that
>>>disappeared back in the mid 90s. How about the Beagle II? Is
>>>there any possibility that it just dropped ino the Mars' gravity
>>>well and got captured due to a misfiring of it's propellants?

>>I just read a post from Paul Anderson on the Cydonia List. He
>>said that the image I referred to was a 5-minute time exposure
>>and that JPL thinks the streaks were created by cosmic rays
>>hitting the camera's CCD array.

>There are three other similar pictures taken with the Navigation
>Camera on the Martian day Sol 067 that do not show any streaks
>at all (see URL below)! From the times given for the first three
>pictures, the exposure times for these three were much shorter
>than the similar looking fourth picture with the streaks that
>Paul Anderson says was a 5 minutes time exposure.


>>That seems the most reasonable explanation to me. There are too
>>many streaks for all of them to be satellites.

>Where are the "cosmic ray" streaks in the first three pictures?

>>With a long exposure, occasionally a cosmic ray will hit at a
>>low grazing angle, creating a streak rather than a dot -- and
>>there are a lot of dots on that image that probably are cosmic
>>ray hits, too.

>There are just too many long streaks to be easily explained as
>cosmic rays with low grazing angles hitting the detector. Also,
>one would expect that the metal(?) camera casing around the
>detector would shield it from all such cosmic rays with low
>grazing angles allowing mostly cosmic rays entering from the
>front lense that would form the many bright point-like images.

>As for the other pictures taken by Spirit during daylight hours,
>what is that large object on the far rim of Bonneville crater
>that is reflecting sunlight as if it was made of polished metal?

>This artificial looking object with a shape like the letter V
>(or two giant white rabbit ears!) appears in both pictures below
>which were taken a day apart and at different local times and
>Sun angles. Are there any plans to check it out from up close?



Thanks for the links, Nick, but there appears to be no reason
for JPL to send the rover over there to check that out. Why?
That appears to be clearly and simply a specular reflection off
one flat surface of a broken rock. Note the sun's position as
evidenced by shadows cast by rocks. Note that the "rabbit ears"
to which you refer are very sharply clipped across the tops, as
is clear in that second photo, evidencing flat breaks of rock,
nothing more.

As evidence of a similar rock reflection, look at the second
image (taken from a slightly different angle) to which you
linked us:


Notice that the rock with a flat surface on the near edge of the
crater and slightly to the near left of the item that concerns
you likewise shows a reflection almost as bright. In fact, it
might well be as bright if its reflecting surface were turned at
a slightly larger angle relative to the camera, as is the one
under discussion on the distant crater edge. Notice the flat
breakage across the top on that rock, too. In recent geologic
times on Mars, water has evidently not been abundant, thus
things broken up by impacts or even volcanic explosions (if any
have occurred during such period) in that time span could hardly
be expected to be very rounded.

Keep in mind that many of the rocks on Mars are clearly of
magmatic origin. Some such rocks are likely to be simply glass
(obsidian), because they cooled too fast to crystallize (as
happens in basalt) and such materials might easily form on Mars,
where cooling (once the magma reaches the surface) could be even
faster because of Mars' distance from the sun and due to other
factors, as well. Obsidian is, of course, glass, so that light
striking such surfaces at an oblique angle can be fully as
bright as a reflection off the most highly polished metal.

Then too, from study of Martian meteorites such as, for example,
Shergottites and Nakhlites, we know that often the plagioclase
in such magmatic Mars rocks is (due to force of cosmic impact)
transformed into a diaplectic glass called maskylenite. In such
rocks that fall back to the Martian surface instead of being
launched into space by force of the impact, both the resulting
maskylenite as well as the remaining crystalline and even
cryptocrystalline surfaces could easily provide the kind of
bright reflections we see in those photos.

Even fresh fracture surfaces of basaltic rocks (that are not
shock altered), and also those of some sedimentary rocks, can
likewise produce surprisingly brilliant reflections when light
hits them at an opportune angle.

Sorry, Nick, but there appears to be nothing to suggest that
anything mysterious is responsible for that reflection, and the
shape of the darker part of the object indicates a very jagged,
broken rock and nothing more, as also does the outline of the
part that is brightly reflecting sunlight. Of course, it would
be intriguing if the evidence pointed in a less prosaic
direction, but it simply does not seem to do so.

Ray Stanford

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