You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

What is on Phoenix’s Leg?

What is on Phoenix’s Leg?

I cannot stop looking at this animation. The first frame was taken on the 8th sol (a Mars day) and the second around the 31st sol. As you can see from the animation, it seems that some mystery material is either growing, moving or multiplying around one of the legs of the Phoenix lander. The most likely source is frost building up on what would be a very cold surface, however the only issue is that it doesn’t look exactly like frost and it hasn’t appeared on any of the other legs.

Image note: We added an artificial fade from 1 frame to frame 2 and scaled the original image to around 300%. Due to artifacts from increasing the scale and compression we added some noise to smooth out the overall appearance.

6 Responses to “What is on Phoenix’s Leg?”

  1. Bill Says:

    There were some new underbelly shots yesterday and the stuff looks like it’s still growing.

  2. thomas Says:

    its bacteria. giant martian sized bacteria.

  3. Bill Says:

    See, this is why a sample return mission is a bad idea: how long would it be before the stuff broke out of the lab and infected Nicole Kidman (or at least Donald Sutherland)?

  4. NoAstronomer Says:

    Sure looks like ‘frost’ to me. Besides water ice could it also be CO2 ice?

    One possible reason it doesn’t appear on the other legs is because of the micro-climate conditions created by the lander itself. Maybe this leg is in continuous shadow?

  5. ColdTurkei Says:

    perhaps it is a salt? What is the air temprature / composition?

  6. Mark Says:

    Well, there was always comments about LGMs on Mars. Maybe that stands for “lumpy green mould”?

    I suspect it’s a frost build-up, maybe with some dust particulates bound in with it. Especially if the scoop is spilling stuff and bits are going everywhere.

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