A feature on Mars that looks like a very hairy spider was probably caused by the convergence of hundreds or even thousands of tornadoes.
David Bowie sang about his sci-fi person Ziggy Stardust performing with the Spiders from Mars, and now it turns out there is a "spider" on Mars after all.
An image captured by a European Space Agency (ESA) orbiter recently showed what appears to be a very hairy blue spider stretching its "legs" over the mariatic landscape.
But in reality, so-called spider is a scattering pattern left on a ridge by a devil of dust particles, when hundreds or even thousands of helical tornadoes were formed in the area, ESA representatives said yesterday (March 1
ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter captured the image on February 8 in March & # 39; Terra Sabaea region using the spacecraft's color and stereo coating system (CaSSIS). Blue trails represent parts of the ridge that were scraped and scoured by the tornado winds. Although the actual color of the material exposed by the towers is dark red, it appears as blue in the color composite image; This technique increases the contrast of surface features, according to the statement.
It is unknown why so many dams (or dust towers) converged along the ridge, although the region's mountains can affect the flow of air masses and contribute to tornado formation, ESA representatives said.
The ExoMars orbiter, launched in 2016, also captured a photo of NASA's InSight lander on March 2, when it pounded its burrowing "mole" instrument in the ground to try out Mars & # 39; decor. In the picture, InSight is shown as a small, white speck inside a darker round circle of the country's rockets during touchdown. Nearby are InSight's heat shield and parachute, which was ejected during its descent.
Other images released by ESA yesterday have fantastic well-preserved craters; stored deposits near Mars south polar lock; and 3D views of craters, dunes and outcrops.
"All images we share today represent some of the best in recent months," said Nicolas Thomas, head of CaSSIS University of Bern, Switzerland, in the statement.
The "hairy spider" is not the first eye-catcher of a Martian function In 1976, NASA's Viking 1 spacecraft released an image of a mountain on Mars that had an incredible resemblance to a human face, and the curiosity of the captive has captured images that apparently showed a rat, a lizard and even a floating spoon – incredible they all Originally published on Live Science .