Deja Vu on Mars

Editor's 26 May update: CNN just called. I will be on air sometime around 5:15 pm EDT to talk about Mars Phoenix. I am also doing an interview for

Editor's 25 May note: I had a rather strange case of deja vu tonight as the first images from Phoenix flashed on my computer screen. The image on the left was taken on 25 May 2008 on Mars at 68 deg North. I took the picture on the right on Devon Island, 75 deg North in July 2007. I'm just saying ... those polygonal patterns on Mars are VERY familiar.

Have a look at this photo from Dale Andersen: "Here is another patterned ground shot from ~80deg N on Axel Heiberg Island. Looks to be the same order of magnitude scale from Phoenix."

[More photos below].

There is another photo Dale took back in 1996 that shows similar patternsin Antarctica: "Polygonal Cracking, Alatna Valley Polygonal cracking can be seen on the floor of Alatna Valley. These polygons are a result of freeze thaw processes in permafrost. The polygons in this photo have been highlighted by recent snowfall."

I took this photo from a Helicopter flying over Devon Island in July 2007. The same polygonal shapes are also evident here.

This image is one of many that have been taken over the Phoenix landing site. The Phoenix lander launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida in August 2007 and will reach the surface of Mars on 25 May 2008.

One of the reasons this region of Mars was selected for the landing site is based on the overall lack of rocks that could prove hazardous to the lander. Among the many science goals, Phoenix will analyze the surface dust as well as dig into an ice-rich layer which is predicted to lie within inches of the Martian surface.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on May 26, 2008 12:38 PM.

Homeward Bound was the previous entry in this blog.

Phoenix Caught In The Act is the next entry in this blog.

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