The Stain - Page 33

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hortonheardawho


Posts: xxx

Reply: 641



PostPosted: December 16, 2012 7:47 AM 

Opportunity sol 3133 3143 ( Nov 16-26, 2012 ) animation of changes to the sundial stain:

Did the material on the solar cell move behind the sundial without leaving a trail???

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

Reply: 642



PostPosted: December 17, 2012 10:37 AM 

Perhaps sudden motion on a hill caused a jerk that made the material fly through the air.

hortonheardawho


Posts: xxx

Reply: 643



PostPosted: December 23, 2012 2:12 PM 

sol 3147-3165 animation of chages to the stain:

The stain has advanced and retreated twice in 16 sols with little change in the rover orientation.

Wildcat


Posts: xxx

Reply: 644



PostPosted: January 2, 2013 11:55 PM 

Hort, can you make a running GIF of every frame we have of the stain?

This is the best candidate for extant Martian life. The sundial platform is screwed on, which means there is an area below it. The stain, if it is life, is likely endolithic, and the area under the platform is its new home.

It'd be interesting to note observable changes in the stain with regard to time of day, temperature, and season. If it is less active during midday, this would seem to be indicative of its sensitivity to UV.

Wildcat


Posts: xxx

Reply: 645



PostPosted: January 3, 2013 12:02 AM 

hortonheardawho


Posts: xxx

Reply: 646



PostPosted: January 3, 2013 3:17 PM 

sol 3174-3178 animation of stain changes:

Here is a collection of animation stains. Some span quite a few sols.

Wildcat


Posts: xxx

Reply: 647



PostPosted: January 3, 2013 9:52 PM 

The stain does look very amoebic in its movement, especially in the frame from Sol Nos. 1919-2435.

The tentaclely feeler looking things seem to propel it. Pseudopodial movement in an amoeba:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PsYpngBG394

marsman


Posts: 303

Reply: 648



PostPosted: January 5, 2013 12:31 AM 

Yep. I think that an amoeba is a pretty good morphological comparison to the mobile stain.

[link] ?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artsep01/amoeba.html

/R

marsman

John Henry Dough


Posts: xxx

Reply: 649



PostPosted: January 5, 2013 1:21 AM 

psssst,,,
someone has some flicker setting wrong on their flicker page,,
thanks
jd.

Wildcat


Posts: xxx

Reply: 650



PostPosted: January 5, 2013 11:48 PM 

There was a cleaning event on Sol 3175. The stain was visible on 3174; however, it was not visible on 3178.

How have prior cleaning events affected the stain? This seems to be a strike against it being a life form.

Barsoomer


Posts: 344

Reply: 651



PostPosted: January 6, 2013 12:47 AM 

The stain seems to have been unaffected by prior cleaning events. Instead, its changes have seemed correlated with rover movement, especially on a slope.

By the way, does an amoeba leave a trail when it moves?

One possibility is that an ice lens has formed under that corner of the sundial platform, and that it occasionally melts and leaks out from under the platform. The transient liquid water may clean part of the deck and also cement some of the light-colored dust into larger dark particles. This may later dry out and blow away, or become covered by fresh dust so that it is no longer visible.

MPJ


Posts: 250

Reply: 652



PostPosted: January 7, 2013 5:02 AM 

Barsoomer, Iam with your ice-lens explanation for the moment and after monitoring Hortons excelent "coverage" as well as the spectral properties over the years too! As my biologists peers also cautions it appears/disappears much to fast for a putative (micro-)biologic grow even in a very optimistic view but then again its Mars. Smile

Wildcat


Posts: xxx

Reply: 653



PostPosted: January 7, 2013 12:31 PM 

.. but the ice lens melt water discovery would also have major implications.

marsman


Posts: 303

Reply: 654



PostPosted: January 11, 2013 10:45 PM 

I'm not sure of it being an ice lens. It seems to me that it moves around too much.

I dunno.. Maybe we need give this mobile stain a name. My daughter has suggested calling it "Marsy Warsy". Very Happy
(kinda like fuzzy-wuzzy..)

Here's a picture of an amoeba in action.

I suppose that if there was such a thing as a Martian Amoeba (or some other oddbal colonial microorganism), that it might leave a trail in its wake.

/R

marsman

marsman


Posts: 303

Reply: 655



PostPosted: January 12, 2013 8:31 PM 

Does anyone know if the stain moves uphill against the flow of gravity?

If the stain only moves downhill, then that would tend to support a freeze/flow hypothesis.

/R

marsman

hortonheardawho


Posts: 3465

Reply: 656



PostPosted: January 12, 2013 8:41 PM 

There have been many instances when the stain moved "uphill". For example, the movement in reply 646 was "uphill" and appears to be associated with wind blowing out of Endeavour crater.

marsman


Posts: 303

Reply: 657



PostPosted: January 12, 2013 8:49 PM 

On the other hand..

If its movement is independent of gravity, independent of wind, and independent of any other vibrations on the rover, then this would open up the possibility that the stain may be an extant form of Martian life. And a mobile one at that.

I think this thread already noted that the stain is independent of the wind and independent of any vibrations on the rover, since either of these events would have moved the ubiquitous red dust around in tandem with the stain.

/R

marsman

marsman


Posts: 303

Reply: 658



PostPosted: January 12, 2013 8:58 PM 

Reply 656:

Very good. This means that this is not a freeze/thaw event.

Does any of the surrounding dust move with the stain when the wind blows, or is it just the stain that moves. It looks like the stain is the only thing that moves when the wind blows (or doesn't).

If this is a mobile colonial microorganism, it may not leave much in the way of a trail.

The below link is an article on the movement of colonial microorganisms. It describes the movement as being fluid-like.
http://math.arizona.edu/~rta/011/ott.catherine/ura_semester_report.htm

/R

marsman

hortonheardawho


Posts: 3465

Reply: 659



PostPosted: January 12, 2013 9:28 PM 

What annoys me most of all is the total lack of official interest in this long term, easily observed bit of Mars.

For example, by cropping the pancam calibration images a tiny bit differently daily high resolution observations of the stain could be done. Of course, that would give away the game - so it will not happen.

Mizar


Posts: 692

Reply: 660



PostPosted: January 13, 2013 5:34 PM 

Well, this is a phenomena which occurs on the Opportunity spacecraft! I presume this spacecraft was sent there to investigate, and this must be the solely authorized opportunity to investigate what's going on with Opportunity... ?? The opportunity to do this is NOW, not after the Opportunity has died...

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