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Great Crumbling Martian Columns..!

When I was a kid I watched CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and obviously I was blown away by the special effects – those zippy little UFOs whizzing around, the lights and, of course, the arrival of the Mothership above that bizarre, CGI mountain…


Imagine my surprise a afterwards when I learned that the mountian wasn’t a special effect, it was a real place, in Wyoming! Devil’s Tower really was a tower!


It turned out that Devil’s Tower was actually a much, MUCH bigger version of a tourist attraction on the coast of Ireland – the “Giant’s Causeway”…


What strange geological process lies behind these amazing places? Well, apparrently it’s what happens when a thick, deep flow of basaltic lava sets, then contracts into hexagonal-shaped columns. If you go to the Giant’s Causeway you can actually walk over the columns, climbing up and down them to your heart’s content…


What’s this got to do with Mars? Well, it turns out that Mars has these features too! A fellow member of UMSF (and fellow HiRISE sleuthing fan!) “OWW” pointed out that MRO had spotted “Columnar Jointing in Wall of Impact Crater (ESP_012451_1505)“. Of course, I clicked on the image and found this…


Yep! That’s the same thing alright! What would that look like in colour? Maybe something like this (click for full size image)…

col jointingb

Pretty impressive! But what would you see if you were actually standing ON Mars? I think the view would be something like this…


Now, if you were an astronaut or colonist in the future, would you be able to resist jumping from pillar to pillar..?

Mars. What a planet!


2 Responses

  1. […] Great Crumbling Martian Columns..! May 2009 […]

    • the rocks are in this shape not by nature….. it is human made, cut for a purpose, eg wall-making… omg man…. if you come to Greece in a marble factory you see same images (acropolis stones-marble cut in that way, as we do nowadays)…
      . Not at all similar to mars pictures… pure correlations.

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