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cuboctahedron
2004-Mar-12, 08:01 PM
The following image is concerned:


http://paranormal.about.com/library/graphics/mars_golf_lg.jpg

Is there a reason or explaination that could account why this object is so ´spherical´. Also, I ask this because I´d expect a crater to be hollow.

(and, no, I do not believe aliens play golf) :)

gr
Patrick

PS the original image can be found at http://ida.wr.usgs.gov/fullres/divided/m15012/m1501228a.jpg

ToSeek
2004-Mar-12, 08:07 PM
There are similar objects in this image (http://ida.wr.usgs.gov/fullres/divided/m15012/m1501228b.jpg), though the one you show is the most regular. I assume it's some sort of aeolian (wind-driven) phenomenon rather than giant alien sportsmen.

Lycus
2004-Mar-12, 08:25 PM
How does Tiger do it?! :P

The Bad Astronomer
2004-Mar-12, 09:53 PM
That's really weird. I emailed a friend who works on Mars imaging and we'll see when she emails me back. It'll probably be a while though.

Ian Goddard
2004-Mar-12, 10:05 PM
We had a thread on this here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=10506&start=0) and I assembled a collection of similar-shapes in the Acidalia region (http://ida.wr.usgs.gov/html/m15012/m1501228.html):

http://users.erols.com/igoddard/acidalia.jpg

ToSeek and others made the keen observation that I think points to the best explanation: the sphere is a sand dune. That may sound odd at first, but consider that Martian dunes appear to be able to maintain a high angle of coherence as seen in these crescentic dunes (http://a52.g.akamaitech.net/f/52/827/1d/www.space.com/images/mars_cookies_030731_04.jpg) on Mars that we discussed in this thread (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=10095&highlight=goddard+dunes). Additionally, the other intra-crater formations in the area seen in my collage above suggest that wind-formed intra-crater dunes may be a common occurrence in the region.

cuboctahedron
2004-Mar-12, 10:23 PM
That's really weird. I emailed a friend who works on Mars imaging and we'll see when she emails me back. It'll probably be a while though.

I am curious on her answer about his. Anyhow do 'spherical' geology like this occuron on Earth also?

johnwitts
2004-Mar-12, 11:01 PM
No, no! It's evidence of Martian civilisation!


(Look, do we want this manned Mars mission or not? Go with me on this one.)

cuboctahedron
2004-Mar-12, 11:08 PM
No, no! It's evidence of Martian civilisation!


(Look, do we want this manned Mars mission or not? Go with me on this one.)

Nobody mentioned any civilisation. Regarding a manned mission, I would though love to be standing in that particular crater looking at it anyhow. It just shows there is so much to explore...

Tuckerfan
2004-Mar-12, 11:33 PM
How does Tiger do it?! :PI have it on good authority it wasn't Tiger. It was a gentleman by the name of Alan Shepard. :lol:

ToSeek
2004-Mar-13, 12:08 AM
It was a gentleman by the name of Alan Shepard. :lol:

When he said "miles and miles," he wasn't kidding!

The Bad Astronomer
2004-Mar-13, 01:23 AM
My friend emailed me back. She is not a geologist, but said they might be sand piles as well. The ripples make sense too then.

Tuckerfan
2004-Mar-13, 02:24 AM
My friend emailed me back. She is not a geologist, but said they might be sand piles as well. The ripples make sense too then.See, that's what's wrong with NASA! They could have said it was Al Shepard's golfball, and that would have gotten the golfers on the pro-space side and shut down the HB's! They coulda killed two birds with one stone, but noooooooooooooooo NASA's gotta stick with the facts. :rolleyes:



::::stomps away making veiled threats involving nerds and pocket protectors::::

Chip
2004-Mar-13, 02:56 AM
My friend emailed me back. She is not a geologist, but said they might be sand piles as well. The ripples make sense too then.

Perhaps the shapes inside the craters are concave rather than convex, with the sand ripples running along the indented slopes? Maybe the lighting tricks the eye and we think they are elevated, but really they're indented. Still weird because then it would be kind of like gigantic sink-holes inside these craters. :o

ToSeek
2004-Mar-13, 03:13 AM
My friend emailed me back. She is not a geologist, but said they might be sand piles as well. The ripples make sense too then.

Perhaps the shapes inside the craters are concave rather than convex, with the sand ripples running along the indented slopes? Maybe the lighting tricks the eye and we think they are elevated, but really they're indented. Still weird because then it would be kind of like gigantic sink-holes inside these craters. :o

No, because then the crater would be a bump (if you're going to invert something in an image, you've got to invert everything). I think the sand dune idea is the most likely.

Joe Durnavich
2004-Mar-13, 03:18 AM
Many Martian craters are filled with sediment. See the following for another example:

http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/2003/06/26/index.html

cuboctahedron
2004-Mar-13, 12:16 PM
If it is a sediment, what is than holding the soil together to form a sphere like that?

Joe Durnavich
2004-Mar-13, 02:14 PM
Is it really a sphere?

Tom
2004-Mar-13, 03:50 PM
Is it really a sphere?

More likely the shadow of the roughly spherical crater rim makes it look like that. If you'll notice, at the top of the "ball", there's more light reaching the ground, which corresponds to a notch in the crater rim.

As for cohesiveness of the soil, it seems that with the nature of the winds on Mars, only really, really, fine particles are windblown. These have a tendency to compress better and retain formation. The wind blowing sand into a crater will pile up sand on the opposite side, and "draft" the near side sand toward the middle. With the eventual changes in direction you'll have a nice tidy pile in the middle.

Wingnut Ninja
2004-Mar-13, 06:00 PM
Do we know the scale on that picture? It could be a golf ball, or it could be a whole indoor golf dome.

ToSeek
2004-Mar-13, 06:53 PM
Do we know the scale on that picture? It could be a golf ball, or it could be a whole indoor golf dome.

That's closer to the truth. Going to the information about the original image (http://ida.wr.usgs.gov/html/m15012/m1501228.html) and doing some measurements and calculations, my estimate is that the "golf ball" is about 160 meters in diameter.

Bill Hopper
2009-Dec-21, 05:20 AM
Signs of advanced intelligent life abound on Mars. The Golf Ball crater was constructed by intelligent life. The UFO at 10 o'clock just outside the crater is throwing a shadow that closes on itself indicating an elevation of about 2/3rds its diamiter. If this is not enough take the Victoria crater and notice what appear to be fracture lines on the floor are actually elevated lighted tubes. The dark areas are actually lower than the thin blue lines but they appear elevated in a normal view. There are 8 or so round towers or UFO's at 8 oclock in the SW area of the crater. Use 400 magnification and tilt your screen back to create contrast, Just amazing. After reading some of the posts we should ask why are we looking at a horse and making excuses why its not real. Bill

Jens
2009-Dec-21, 05:26 AM
We shouldn't expect responses from original posters, because this thread has been necromanced after more than five years of resting in peace.

hhEb09'1
2009-Dec-21, 06:34 AM
The UFO at 10 o'clock just outside the crater is throwing a shadow that closes on itself indicating an elevation of about 2/3rds its diamiter.I no longer think it looks like a nose, but I'm still skeptical of what you're saying here.

Do you mean to call that white dot a UFO? Its "shadow" underneath it would seem to be in the wrong direction, judging by the other shadows, no?

JustAFriend
2009-Dec-21, 08:04 PM
If the crater has not previously been named, they should name it after Buckminister Fuller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller)....

grant hutchison
2009-Dec-21, 10:49 PM
Another image (http://global-data.mars.asu.edu/moc/img/S06/00723) of the same crater, with a more favourable lighting angle. Note that north and south are reversed compared to the OP image.
On the full-size image (accessible by clicking on the overview picture), the fact that the central object is a slightly convex dune-field is readily apparent.

The alleged UFO and shadow (post #21) are also shown to be rather more mundane objects.

Grant Hutchison

Chip
2009-Dec-21, 11:54 PM
We shouldn't expect responses from original posters, because this thread has been necromanced after more than five years of resting in peace.

Chip: "True, but I imagine there are many original posters lurking out there in the shadows, periodically checking their ancient posts for updates."

Fermi's grandson: "Oh yeah? So where are they?"

- - -

Seriously though - I wonder(ing) if this area, specifically this crater had been imaged again, as it would be interesting to see it under different lighting conditions. Thanks!

formulaterp
2009-Dec-22, 04:21 AM
Another image (http://global-data.mars.asu.edu/moc/img/S06/00723) of the same crater, with a more favourable lighting angle. Note that north and south are reversed compared to the OP image.
On the full-size image (accessible by clicking on the overview picture), the fact that the central object is a slightly convex dune-field is readily apparent.

The alleged UFO and shadow (post #21) are also shown to be rather more mundane objects.

Grant Hutchison

That is a terrible lie. This is why God invented the 64 degree lob wedge.

Jerry
2009-Dec-22, 08:14 PM
~120m in 2004 - isn't that close to the limits on resolution? jpeg artifacts?

stu
2009-Dec-23, 06:25 AM
The crater hasn't been imaged by other craft yet, at least not in publicly available data. For what it's worth, I actually make a living on cataloging craters on Mars and their interior and ejecta morphology and this easily falls into the classification of "Floor Deposits - Dunes." Sand dunes on Mars can grow to be hundreds of meters high and are often found on crater floors in certain latitude bands.

slang
2009-Dec-23, 08:46 AM
~120m in 2004 - isn't that close to the limits on resolution? jpeg artifacts?

Where do you get a resolution of around 120m?


Another image (http://global-data.mars.asu.edu/moc/img/S06/00723) of the same crater

Scaled Pixel Width (m) 1.56

MOC (http://www.msss.com/mgs/moc/index.html)

Cougar
2009-Dec-24, 10:07 PM
For what it's worth, I actually make a living on cataloging craters on Mars and their interior and ejecta morphology and this easily falls into the classification of "Floor Deposits - Dunes." Sand dunes on Mars can grow to be hundreds of meters high and are often found on crater floors in certain latitude bands.

What a great gig. That catalog can reveal a lot!

I say we put a dome over this crater and call it a resort.

Techist
2010-Jan-03, 11:44 PM
Looks to me like the Cinerama Dome. Shows a high level of Martian culture. We should be able to pick up their Academy Awards.

Bistander
2010-May-08, 12:11 PM
Recently a new pass over the GolfBall has been made. It is visible in Google Mars. They flew a high resolution stereo pair over the site and you can visualize down to a 10 inch pixel. I have reviewed the image and blown it up quite big.

It appears to be a large snowball, rounded by the sun as it creeps around the crater that shelters it. The very round shape is given by the very round crater walls that shelter it. The surface is heavily sun cupped, giving it the golf ball dimpling. This is very much what you see on Earth glaciers that are partially protected from the sun.

This is what would pass as a Martian spring I'd say.

Either frozen water of perhaps co2.


For some reason the image using the NASA viewer is four times plus larger than this, but this is good enough to see.

Oversized image (http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/3853/closeupgolfball.jpg) converted to URL. Please don't inline images larger than 100K.

Boratssister
2010-May-09, 12:54 AM
Recently a new pass over the GolfBall has been made. It is visible in Google Mars. They flew a high resolution stereo pair over the site and you can visualize down to a 10 inch pixel. I have reviewed the image and blown it up quite big.

It appears to be a large snowball, rounded by the sun as it creeps around the crater that shelters it. The very round shape is given by the very round crater walls that shelter it. The surface is heavily sun cupped, giving it the golf ball dimpling. This is very much what you see on Earth glaciers that are partially protected from the sun.

This is what would pass as a Martian spring I'd say.

Either frozen water of perhaps co2.


For some reason the image using the NASA viewer is four times plus larger than this, but this is good enough to see.

Oversized image (http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/3853/closeupgolfball.jpg) converted to URL. Please don't inline images larger than 100K.

nice pic, looks even spookier than before !

01101001
2010-May-09, 01:17 AM
It appears to be a large snowball, rounded by the sun as it creeps around the crater that shelters it. The very round shape is given by the very round crater walls that shelter it. The surface is heavily sun cupped, giving it the golf ball dimpling.

It appears to you that way. To me it looks like just another wind-sculpted sand dune in a Martian crater, much like the several the Opportunity rover has examined at fairly close range, such as Victoria Crater (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/TRA_000873_1780).

The HiRISE image of the "golfball" is: Crater with Textured Mound in Central Acidalia Planitia (PSP_007230_2170) (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_007230_2170)

stu
2010-May-10, 01:11 AM
It appears to you that way. To me it looks like just another wind-sculpted sand dune in a Martian crater, much like the several the Opportunity rover has examined at fairly close range, such as Victoria Crater (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/TRA_000873_1780).

The HiRISE image of the "golfball" is: Crater with Textured Mound in Central Acidalia Planitia (PSP_007230_2170) (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_007230_2170)

You got to it before I. Basically ... ditto. :)

EDG
2010-May-10, 01:18 AM
More likely the shadow of the roughly spherical crater rim makes it look like that. If you'll notice, at the top of the "ball", there's more light reaching the ground, which corresponds to a notch in the crater rim.

It doesn't look like the crater is bowl-shaped, it looks flat-floored to me. It looks to me like there's definitely a mound in the middle, with textural variations on it. I'd say that we're probably looking at a hemispherical mound of sand that has piled up in the middle of the crater, and the mound itself is covered in small dunes. The scale seems right to me for those little crenulations to be sand dunes.

EDIT: And someone posted a better picture of it :). Well, I was kinda right.

stu
2010-May-10, 01:24 AM
The crater is too small to be a complex crater. It's simple -- bowl-shaped. The transition range on Mars is around the 7 km range, though it varies between around 5-9 or 10 km. I don't know exactly where this crater is, but from the context given on the HiRISE page - and the fact that HiRISE can easily image it and it doesn't span anywhere near the entire width of the image - the crater is not large enough to be complex. I see a bit of what might look like a flat floor, but I think that's just mass wasting from the walls.

EDG
2010-May-10, 01:53 AM
Doesn't have to be complex, it's just flat-floored. For all we know, the floor could have filled in with sediment after the impact to become flat-floored, then the dunes piled up on top of that.

stu
2010-May-10, 02:00 AM
"Flag-floored" is complex. There are three crater types: Simple, complex, and basin. Simple has the bowl-shape and is the smallest crater up to a certain size (governed - it's thought - by surface gravity). Complex is larger and is where gravity really kicks in in collapsing the initial transient crater to create a flat floor, central peak, central ring, etc. And Basin is über-big. From its size and what I can see of the walls, this is a simple crater and was a simple crater after it formed. Subsequent modification - way after formation - may have modified it to infill the floor to make it flat, but the crater itself after it was done forming is a simple bowl-shape.

EDG
2010-May-11, 03:41 PM
"Flag-floored" is complex. There are three crater types: Simple, complex, and basin. Simple has the bowl-shape and is the smallest crater up to a certain size (governed - it's thought - by surface gravity). Complex is larger and is where gravity really kicks in in collapsing the initial transient crater to create a flat floor, central peak, central ring, etc. And Basin is über-big. From its size and what I can see of the walls, this is a simple crater and was a simple crater after it formed. Subsequent modification - way after formation - may have modified it to infill the floor to make it flat, but the crater itself after it was done forming is a simple bowl-shape.

Most of which is true, but my use of "flat-floored" does not in any way imply anything at all about how the crater formed - all I'm saying is that the floor of the crater is currently flat. Yeah, it most likely is a small bowl-shaped crater that got filled in with sediment, but you're the one claiming I'm saying it's complex, not me.

Jeff Root
2010-May-11, 08:54 PM
I have not been able to download the large MOC image that Grant
indirectly linked to last December. Something times out after just a
few minutes, so with my slow connection, I see only the top 5% of
the image. It is 2048 x 4992 pixels. This is a direct link to it:

http://global-data.mars.asu.edu/moc/images/large/S0600723

If someone would crop the area of interest and post a link....

In the images in posts #1 and #33, the resemblance of the dune
field to a partially-buried sphere is extreme. The illusion must be
a fortuitous combination of variously-colored materials, pattered
distribution of those materials, and lighting, but I cannot imagine
how the lighting could produce shading like that. I would really
like to see a three-dimensional model of this thing that explains
the shading.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

JonClarke
2010-May-11, 10:27 PM
I like the dimpled snow surface analogy, but at 36.6 degrees N this is too far south for permanant snow and ice.

crosscountry
2010-May-11, 10:48 PM
Take a look at this CTX image (http://viewer.mars.asu.edu/planetview/inst/ctx/P16_007230_2171_XI_37N027W#start) of the same region. I can find dozens of craters like the one you show with much higher resolution.

As a geologist I can argue that these are formed by dust being trapped in the craters. As the crater fills with dust and or sand, the bottom is shaped this way by wind. The features being circular suggest that the winds come from all directions on average, otherwise it would not be so symmetrical. The larger crater on bottom has evidence of landslides also depositing material in the center. You can see some deposits on the right hand side to give that impression.

http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/ccountry/Screenshot2010-05-11at54449PM.png
http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c249/ccountry/Screenshot2010-05-11at54554PM.png

crosscountry
2010-May-11, 10:54 PM
The crater is too small to be a complex crater. It's simple -- bowl-shaped. The transition range on Mars is around the 7 km range, though it varies between around 5-9 or 10 km. I don't know exactly where this crater is, but from the context given on the HiRISE page - and the fact that HiRISE can easily image it and it doesn't span anywhere near the entire width of the image - the crater is not large enough to be complex. I see a bit of what might look like a flat floor, but I think that's just mass wasting from the walls.


it's a MOC image.
http://ida.wr.usgs.gov/html/m15012/m1501228.html



turns out to have better resolution initially than the CTX image, but it's grainy because of compression I suppose.

crosscountry
2010-May-11, 10:59 PM
And here's a hirise (http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/PSP_007230_2170)
http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/images/2008/details/PSP_007230_2170.jpg

elevated center from infill.

crosscountry
2010-May-12, 04:31 AM
If anyone is interested, I found these images on Google Earth 5.0. It has the footprints of HiRISE, CTX, and many more instruments. I find HRSC to have the best coverage in places that are interesting to my work.

Glom
2010-May-13, 07:41 AM
That is a melted golf ball.

Boratssister
2010-May-13, 11:52 AM
That is a melted golf ball.

On the image that was removed from the top of this page there seemed to be something solid on the ball at around 8 o'clock . It seemed to be raised on the ''golf ball''.
My question being is , if its made out of dust, how does the white solid object climb the mound?

01101001
2010-May-13, 01:04 PM
My question being is , if its made out of dust, how does the white solid object climb the mound?

Momentum. I'd expect it dislodged off the crater wall, bounced downhill, and rolled slightly up the sand dune and stopped.

Boratssister
2010-May-13, 06:24 PM
Momentum. I'd expect it dislodged off the crater wall, bounced downhill, and rolled slightly up the sand dune and stopped.

Jolly good 01 !