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Odd, colorful clouds on Mars spotted by NASA’s Curiosity rover



(Planet Today) Wispy, colorful clouds could be seen hovering in the Martian sky in images released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on May 28. The images were taken by NASA’s curiosity rover from near the Martian equator and showed what are apparently seasonal features on Mars.

(Article by Virgilio Marin republished from

Clouds are typically found floating at the planet’s equator in the coldest time of the year when the Red Planet is farthest from the sun. But one Martian year ago (two Earth years), scientists noticed clouds forming over Curiosity earlier than they expected. So NASA instructed the rover this year to watch for “early” clouds.

Clouds did appear starting in late January. They were spread out in rippled and sometimes colorful patterns in the dry, thin atmosphere of Mars.

“I always marvel at the colors that show up – reds and greens and blues and purples,” said Mark Lemmon, an atmospheric scientist from the Space Science Institute in Colorado. “It’s really cool to see something shining with lots of color on Mars.”

Martian clouds are said to be at their prettiest just after sunset, when the last light makes the ice crystals glow against the darkening sky. This is why scientists call these twilight clouds “noctilucent,” or night-shining.

One of the noctilucent clouds in the images appears iridescent like mother-of-pearl. Lemon said that Martian clouds look this way when cloud particles are very similar sizes. This happens when clouds have just formed and have grown at the same speed.

Strangely, the clouds in the images appeared higher in the atmosphere than what scientists had seen before. NASA said that Martian clouds usually hover 37 miles above the surface and are made of water ice. But the clouds in images floated at an altitude higher than that, though NASA did not specify the exact altitude. This suggested that they were likely made of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) since it is colder higher up in the atmosphere.

NASA said it would know for sure which of the images showed water-ice clouds and which showed dry-ice ones once it collected enough data. In the meantime, the new images could help scientists understand how clouds form on Mars, which is a big mystery since the Red Planet has a very thin atmosphere.

Clouds on Mars form from icy dust from meteors

A 2019 study published in the journal Nature Geoscience found that meteors might play a big role in Martian cloud formation. Researchers explained that the wispy clouds in Mars’ middle atmosphere – which starts around 18 miles above the surface – formed largely from “meteoric smoke,” or icy dust created by space debris slamming into the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

“We’re used to thinking of Earth, Mars and other bodies as these really self-contained planets that determine their own climates. But climate isn’t independent of the surrounding solar system,” said NASA’s Victoria Hartwick, who started the study as a doctoral student at University of Colorado, Boulder.

Clouds need “seeds” to form, or particles around which water molecules could condense. On Earth, s particles include grains of sea salt or dust that get carried upward by the wind. As water molecules condense around these particles, cloud formations grow larger and heavier.

But it was unclear how that applies to clouds in the middle atmosphere of Mars since this region lacks those particles. Small meteors, however, burn up and shed fine dust when they slam into the planet’s atmosphere. This fine dust could serve as the needed seeds for clouds to form.

Indeed, when the researchers ran computer simulations to test this hypothesis, their models showed that clouds did not form in the middle atmosphere of Mars without meteoric dust. Conversely, clouds condensed when meteoric dust was included in the simulations.

In sum, the study showed that clouds on Mars form largely from icy dust left behind by small meteors burning up in the planet’s atmosphere.

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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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