View Full Version : High Altitude Clouds on Mars

2006-Aug-28, 08:51 PM
ESA scientists have discovered some extremely high altitude clouds on Mars - between 80 and 100 km (50 to 62 miles) high. These newly found clouds were uncovered by ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, while it was watching distant stars as they passed behind Mars. The light from the stars was distorted as it passed through the Martian atmosphere, allowing scientists to measure the intervening cloud layers. The atmosphere at that altitude is so cold that scientists think the clouds must be made of carbon dioxide.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/08/28/high-altitude-clouds-on-mars/)

2006-Aug-29, 01:18 AM
Seems to me we should be exploring an electrical/plasma interaction between space and the extreme upper atmosphere. :whistle:

for instance this story (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/08/25/the-secret-to-earths-shining-auroras/) the other day The Secret to Earth’s Shining Auroras
ESA’s Cluster mission has established that high-speed flows of electrified gas, known as bursty bulk flows, in the Earth’s magnetic field are the carriers of decisive amounts of mass, energy and magnetic perturbation towards the Earth during magnetic substorms. When substorms occur, energetic particles strike our atmosphere, causing aurora to shine.

They are caused mostly by energetic electrons spiraling down the Earth’s magnetic field lines and colliding with atmospheric atoms at about 100 kilometers altitude.

And here on good 'ole earth Noctilucent clouds (http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2003/19feb_nlc.htm) form around the same altitude

Noctilucent clouds (popularly referred to by the abbreviation "NLC") are high atmosphere cloud formations thought to be composed of small ice-coated particles; their precise nature remains a mystery. They form at very high altitudes - around 82 km above sea levell - and are, thus, a quite separate phenomenon from normal weather or tropospheric cloud.

But on Mars the "winds" pick up chipped off rock (whats doing the chipping?) and carry them to high altitude :think:
They are either microscopic chippings from the rocks on the surface on Mars that have been blown to extreme altitudes by the winds, or they are the debris from meteors that have burnt up in the Martian atmosphere

Also noted is thier appearance
wispy filaments glowing electric blue against the black sky. :surprised

Could those electric dust devils drive dust that high? to then interact with high-energy particles from space?

Seems to be a correlation for this casual observer :p thay are just to high to be affected by surface weather.

Any thoughs before I get banned?


PS I hope not to be banned again for introducing an ATM idea in the section where mainstreamrs also have great difficulty explaining (in mainstream terms) this phenomena.

2006-Aug-29, 03:10 AM
I kinda like the noctilucent analogy. Maybe so.

2006-Aug-29, 07:19 PM
Seasonal Jets Darken the Surface of Mars
August 16th, 2006

Jets of carbon dioxide gas erupting from the ice cap as it warms in the spring carry dark sand and dust high aloft. The dark material falls back to the surface, creating dark patches on the ice cap which have long puzzled scientists. Deducing the eruptions of carbon dioxide gas from under the warming ice cap solves the riddle of the spots. It also reveals that this part of Mars is much more dynamically active than had been expected for any part of the planet.

High-pressure gas roars through at speeds of 161 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour) or more. Under the slab, the gas erodes ground as it rushes toward the vents, snatching up loose particles of sand and carving the spidery network of grooves.

High-pressure gas at speeds of 100mph that carry dark sand and dust(small ice-coated particles) high aloft + High suface winds + interaction with high-energy particles from space = Bursty Bulk Flows...