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“Blue” sand dunes on Mars stun in NASA photo



(Planet Today) The sand dunes of Mars looked blue in a stunning photo that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared on April 8. Captured using a special infrared camera onboard NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter, the breathtaking image covered an area of 19 miles somewhere on the Martian north pole.

(Article by Virgilio Marin republished from

In the image, a sea of windswept sand dunes could be seen stretched out across the Martian surface. But instead of looking at the Red Planet’s trademark orange color, the dunes were tinged with a mix of gold and blue. As it turned out, the thermal image was digitally colored to highlight the wide-ranging temperatures there. Areas tinted in blue represent colder regions while warmer areas were tinted in orange and yellow, NASA said in a statement.

The intricate scene comprised only a small fraction of the entire Martian north pole, which covers an area as wide as Texas, according to NASA. The colorful photo was a composite of several shots taken between December 2002 and November 2004. NASA shared it to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Odyssey in space, which left Earth on April 7, 2001. The probe continues to operate to this day and is the longest-working Mars spacecraft in history.

Among its many accomplishments, Odyssey transmitted more than a million thermal images of Mars back to Earth during its two-decade flight, according to NASA. Data from the orbiter also allowed the space agency to pick the ideal location for landing the Perseverance rover, which reached Mars last February after less than seven months of trekking space.

The Martian poles

As on Earth, the Martian poles are the coldest regions on the Red Planet, with temperatures dropping to minus 220 degrees in winter, according to the National Weather Service. Both the north and south poles are covered with permanent caps made of water ice and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide).

Scientists initially believe that the south pole cap consists only of dry ice. But data from the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) Mars Express, which entered orbit around the planet in 2003, shows that hundreds of square miles of permafrost surround the south pole. Permafrost is water ice mixed into the soil and frozen solid. This is why past observations have failed to detect water ice – the soil does not reflect light easily.

The Martian poles are some of the most visually stunning and mysterious regions on the planet. Satellite images of the south pole frequently feature large spider-like patterns that can extend several thousands of feet. These patterns have baffled scientists since they were discovered two decades ago. Only recently have researchers confirmed that these patterns crop up whenever dry ice gets heated and form cracks.

Last December, a gigantic angelic figure complete with a pair of wings and a halo was spotted at the south pole. The spectacular figure was captured by Mars Express just in time for last year’s Christmas season. It appeared in dark, brooding red – in stark contrast to the light, tan color of the sand around it. According to the ESA, the dark hue was due to the composition of the sand dunes, which are made of minerals also found on Earth, such as pyroxene and olivine.

The south pole’s nether regions are equally fascinating. Last September, an explosive study suggested that four hypersaline lakes might be hiding below the south pole. The biggest of those lakes, which scientists previously claimed to exist, measured around 12 by 18 miles. The rest were much smaller, with dimensions of about six by six miles. Researchers suggested that if the lakes were remnants of the water that was once on the surface, then they might be ideal locations for scouting signs of alien life, both living or dead. has more amazing facts about Mars.

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“Alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, researchers say




An organization of civilian volunteers dedicated to the study of
unidentified flying objects (UFOs) has issued a statement based on
decades of studying eyewitness reports. According to Mutual UFO Network,
“alien bases” may be hiding off the coast of Alaska, reports

say the deep waters in this region may hold something surprising. After
analyzing reports from the ship’s crew from 1945, they hypothesized
that alien objects could be lurking underwater, off the coast of the

Alleged sightings of alien spacecraft nearly 80 years ago
have become a key point in research. Members of the organization believe
that UFOs move over water and may have “bases.”

allege crew members on a U.S. Army transporter ship sailing past Island
Adak saw a massive UFO sized 150 to 200 feet emerge from the water.
Although these reports are nowhere to be found, UFO enthusiasts believe
the unidentified flying vehicles likely were used to commute to
different supposed alien bases hiding in the deep waters.

the “secret reports” of the sailors aren’t available, investigators
have taken it upon themselves to unravel the mystery surrounding the
unidentified flying objects and they believe the ocean has alien bases
that humans aren’t aware of.

Enthusiasts claim that UFOs may be
using “underwater networks” or wormholes as superhighways to travel
between points in the universe. UFO researcher Johnny Enoch added that
such objects could serve as a vehicle for aliens.

There are also
theories that other places on Earth could serve as bases for alien life.
A mountain in Seoul, South Korea is believed to be hiding a UFO,
according to Dr. Steven Greer.

An episode of the series “The
Alaska Triangle” features satellite imagery that claims to show one of
the “alien bases” in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.

another researcher featured in the program showed markings from the sea
bed that she claimed could have been roadways for aliens.

the mysteries of the ocean remain unsolved, researchers continue their
search, trying to unravel the mystery of what may be hiding in the
depths of the waters off the coast of Alaska.

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Enormous City-Size Comet Racing Towards Earth Grows ‘Devil Horns’ After Massive Eruption




A volcanic comet the size of a mid-sized US city has
violently exploded for the second time in four months as it continues
racing toward the earth. And following the massive eruption, the cloud
of ice and gas sprouted what looked like a pair of gigantic devil horns.

The city-sized comet, named 12P/Pons-Brooks, is a cryovolcanic — or
cold volcano — comet. It has a solid nucleus, with an estimated diameter
of 18.6 miles, and is filled with a mix of ice, dust and gas known as
cryomagma. The nucleus is surrounded by a fuzzy cloud of gas called a
coma, which leaks out of the comet’s interior.

When solar radiation heats the comet’s insides, the pressure builds up
and the comet violently explodes, ejaculating its ice-cold innards into
space through seeping cracks in the nucleus’s shell.

Live Science report:
On Oct. 5, astronomers detected a large outburst from 12P, after the
comet became dozens of times brighter due to the extra light reflecting
from its expanded coma, according to the British Astronomical Association (BAA), which has been closely monitoring the comet 

Over the next few days, the comet’s coma expanded further and developed its “peculiar horns,”
reported. Some experts joked that the irregular shape of the coma also
makes the comet look like a science fiction spaceship, such as the
Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

The unusual shape of the comet’s coma is likely due to an irregularity in the shape of 12P’s nucleus, Richard Miles, a BAA astronomer, told Live Science after the comet’s previous eruption.
The outflowing gas is likely being partially obstructed by a notch
sticking out on the nucleus, Miles said. As the gas continues to expand
away from the comet, the irregularity in the coma’s shape becomes more
defined and noticeable, he added.

12P is currently hurtling toward the inner solar system, where it
will be slingshotted around the sun on its highly elliptical 71-year
orbit around our home star — similar to the green comet Nishimura, which
pulled off a near-identical maneuver on Sept. 17

12P will reach its closest point to Earth on April 21, 2024, when it
may become visible to the naked eye before being catapulted back toward
the outer solar system. It will not return until 2095.

This is the second time 12P has sprouted its horns this year. On July
20, astronomers witnessed the comet blow its top for the first time in
69 years (mainly due to its outbursts being less frequent and harder to
spot during the rest of its orbit). On that occasion, 12P’s coma grew to
around 143,000 miles (230,000 km), which is around 7,000 times wider
than the comet’s nucleus.

It is unclear how large the coma grew during the most recent
eruption, but there are signs the outburst was “twice as intense” as the
previous one, the BAA noted. By now, the coma has likely shrunk back to
near its normal size.

As 12P continues to race toward the sun, there is a high probability
that we will witness several more major eruptions. It is possible that
those eruptions will be even bigger than the most recent one as the
comet soaks up more solar radiation, according to

But 12P is not the only volcanic comet that astronomers are currently
monitoring: 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (29P) — the most volatile volcanic
comet in the solar system — has also had several noticeable eruptions
in the last year.

In December 2022, 29P experienced its largest eruption in around 12 years, which sprayed around 1 million tons of cryomagma into space. And in April this year, for the first time ever, scientists accurately predicted one of 29P’s eruptions before it actually happened, thanks to a slight increase in the comet’s brightness in the lead-up to the icy explosion.

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