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January 25, 2010

Illusions of Mars


This image looks remarkably like groves of trees
growing among Martian dunes. But, the trees are an optical illusion. They are actually dark streaks of sediment on the downwind side of the dunes. They were created by escaping gas from the evaporating carbon dioxide ice below. The bottom of the ice melts into vapor and moves toward holes in the ice, carrying dark sediment along with it that is then deposited when the gas escapes -- Strange Places on Mars

There's a long, long history to illusions and Mars. Once there were canals with, perhaps, strange ships guided by strange beings. Strange and passing strange. But we looked and drew what we thought we saw. Now we have "photographs" to tell us what we think we see.


Posted by Vanderleun at January 25, 2010 6:19 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

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