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Martian Surface Looks Infected With Something, Blame It on Melting Ice

Generally speaking, pretty much all of the images of Mars we got a chance to look at have something amazing about them, can lead to strange and beautiful associations, and at times, are the root cause for beautiful dreams of a future when humanity would have conquered the solar system. Not this one, though.
Bamberg Crater region of Mars 6 photos
Bamberg Crater region of MarsBamberg Crater region of MarsBamberg Crater region of MarsBamberg Crater region of MarsBamberg Crater region of Mars
A cursory glance over this particular pic and it’s like you’re looking and an area infected with something, a kind of mold, or some other type of nasty fungus. Even more disturbing, a second photo of the same area (check gallery for that), this time in color, shows something that looks eerily close to blisters about to pop.

The same tendency of our brain to find most of the time beautiful associations between the things it sees and the things it knows is responsible for the eyes witnessing less pleasant things as well. Naturally, this Martian region is not infected with anything, especially given how an infection implies the presence of life in some form.

What we’re looking at, in fact, are mounds and pits in an area called Bamberg Crater in the Mare Acidalium quadrangle. The exact cause behind the formation of these features is not known, but scientists speculate the mounds with pits at their tips might have been formed “by ground ice melting and possibly turning into steam” at some point in the planet's past.

The image we’re looking at was captured by the HiRISE camera about a year ago, from an altitude of 300 km (186 miles). Like all the thousands of photos the orbital camera has snapped over the years, there was a reason behind this one as well, and the people over at NASA and the University of Arizona say in this case the reason was to determine what caused these formations on Mars.


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