Giant underground sand worms on Mars?

By | November 6, 2008

psp_008323_1735The nature of strange ripples of sand on the Martian surface is clearer now thanks to pole-to-pole images returned by a NASA spacecraft. But even with this new information, scientists still are unsure just how the features, which are unlike anything on Earth, came to be.

The ripples are found over large swaths of Mars. They are smaller than the red planet’s gigantic dunes but larger than sand ripple fields found on Earth.

Called Transverse Aeolian Ridges (TARs), these unusual features are formed by wind-driven particles (phenomena involving air movement are known as “Aeolian processes”). The winds blow the ridges into many shapes: simple ripples, forked ripples, snake-like sinuous waves, crescent shapes and complex, over-lapping networks.

Scientists study TARs because they hold clues to the past and present climate processes on Mars, and because they can trip up NASA’s rovers currently rolling around the Martian surface, as has already happened to the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. … – yahoo

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Giant underground sand worms on Mars?

4 thoughts on “Giant underground sand worms on Mars?

  1. Rick Laviolette

    The ripples may be influenced by the martian magnetosphere. Since it is spotty and hardened unlike the earth’s rotating field, it may be affecting the content in the sand which is known to contain high concentrations of iron. I suppose the gyrations look very similar to iron particles with a magnet under the glass being tossed around by an air stream. It appears to be near an impact site and the magnetic lines may have cooled in a particular orientation that is now influencing surface dust;

    1. Xeno Post author

      Who are you calling “facepalm”, foothair? … and come on.. no one believes in giant worms on Mars. The giant worms on Arrakis eat sand plankton, but there is no evidence for sand plankton on Mars.

      PS. I’m very often kidding. *eyebrow-ripple*

      1. Rich Goodrich

        Everyone was on the right rtrack but gave up. Why? It’s totally true. All you have to do is zoom in on the magnificent creatures using Google Earth and I can pull out pictures that will shock you. Google search for either Earth Bull Worms or Mars Bull worms and you can see some imiages I’m talking about.
        R Goodrich
        Lakeside, Or

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