Aligned and Equidistant Towers on Mars

NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor and other spacecraft have provided images showing a pattern of three tower-like structures on Mars. The formations are approximately 240 meters apart and are shown below.

Tower Formations in the Terra Meridiani region of Mars

Tower Formations in the Terra Meridiani Region of Mars


The formations have unusual characteristics that are:

  1. distinct – most of the surrounding terrain is devoid of sharply contrasting features,
  2. similar in size and shape,
  3. equally distant from each other, and
  4. they are aligned.

This type of formation is not unique and appears in other locations, but these three stand out in this otherwise featureless area.

towers 1000x500 with dots and lines and numbers

I added the three pixel-sized red dots in the image above to the apex of the towers. They are aligned and spaced as shown by the pixel counts between the dots.

towers 2000x1000 with grid.png

The grid on the image above is shown to provide a framework for making simple and rough approximations of the probability that these objects are natural formations that formed equidistant and aligned.

The individual grid squares are sized to contain the formations. The formation extends over 30 grid squares from the tower on the left to the tower on the right. There are 900 grid squares in this area. To to make this simple, consider that two of the towers were randomly positioned by geological processes. First, I will consider the probability that a third tower would randomly form equidistant from the center tower within this 30 by 30 grid area.

For the third tower to be equidistant from the center tower, it will have to be positioned somewhere on the red circle’s circumference. The number of grid square possibilities are:

πD = 3.14 x 30 = 94

Probability of a randomly placed tower in the area being equidistant form the center tower is:

94/900 = 0.104

To be in alignment, the third tower must be placed within the 30 grid spaces that align with the first towers. So, probability of alignment from random placing is:

30/900 = 0.033

Probability of both equal spacing and alignment is:

0.104 x 0.033 = 0.003 (3 in 1000)

Were the distinctness and similarity of the formations factored, this result would significantly reduce. In addition, had grid squares been counted for the surrounding featureless terrain, this result would be significantly reduced more.

This is an incredible anomaly so I would be interested to see analysis and discussion from NASA scientists. I want to know exact heights of the towers and get scientific assessments of the formations. The shadows in the M0001661 image are about 18 meters long. If the sunlight incidence angle is between 10 and 45 degrees, the height of the formations is between 50 and 102 meters. The base of the formations is not as wide as the shadows so these are tall towers with a high aspect ratio. A representative of the NASA/JPL High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) did share with me via Twitter that no digital terrain mapping (DTM) information is available for this area.

The towers could be natural formations. However, while the method I used to calculate the probability that they are both equidistant and aligned is simplistic, it is a reasonable approximation. So to state that the most likely explanation is that the towers are natural would be irrational. They are more likely artificial.

Unacknowledged Objects from Mars Curiosity Rover Sol1459

The following was cropped from a raw image taken with Mars Curiosity Rover’s right mast camera of the Murray Buttes region. NASA published the image on the Mars Curiosity website without comment.

NASA did comment on the terrain in this region: Mars Rover Views Spectacular Layered Rock Formations.


Area 1 – Curiosity Rover Raw Image From Sol 1459 (2016-09-13 05:35:46 UTC)

Image source:

Photos of surrounding terrain:

The location of these objects is identified as Area 1 from the gigapan image shown below.

An object is visible to the right of the large rock at the bottom of the photograph. The object is significantly different from surrounding rocks in several ways. Unlike the rocks, it is long and slender. At least two sides are curved and the curves follow each other, except the distance between the curves consistently changes, resulting in a tapered shape. Lines normal to the curves make the object appear to be segmented.

A smaller and similar object appears to the left of the main object. This is also curved, tapered, and has an unusually small aspect ratio compared to the rocks. Visibility of both objects appears to be partially obstructed by a rock so it is possible these objects are joined.

mars curiosity sol1459 snake formation - enhanced image 1000x500

Curiosity Rover Image From Sol 1459 – Enhance Image

The anomalies were reported in alternative and social media after discovery in 2016. Pareidolia has led to misinterpretation of features on Mars and there isn’t much to be gained by speculating about what the objects are. Perhaps geologists can attribute them to a natural formation, although it is hard to imagine how they could be interpreted as rocks. Because they are extraordinary, anyone with an interest in Mars and certainly scientists from NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory must be intensely curious; however, there was no press release. There must be unpublished research and other communications about this. Perhaps there is a scientist or a science journalist who will become interested and help make more information become available.

There is at least one other image of this taken on Sol1462 and it shows the same objects in the same location. The images are compared below.

Sol1459 - Sol1462 Image Comparison

Sol1459 – Sol1462 Image Comparison

Sol 1462 image source:

Locations of Objects

Locations of Objects at Murray Buttes

Gigapan image source:

Area 2 includes a similar feature that also appears cylindrical and segmented.

NASA Curiosity Rover image from Sol 1459 AREA 2

Area 2 – Cylindrical and Segmented Object

Image source:

So far, there are no published articles from mainstream media, scientists, or science journalists. Obviously there is otherwise much focus on Mars and thousands of people are involved in study of the planet. Although these are extremely remarkable objects, mainstream media is either censoring discussion about this finding or they are incompetently failing to give it the attention it deserves. A discovery of purple rocks on Mars received much scientific and media attention, but this formation is ignored. An important story is behind the silence and I continue to seek authoritative analysis or at least acknowledgement that curiosity exists on this subject. I want to know why this was published by NASA, yet they ignore questions regarding it. More importantly, I want to know what these objects are.

I’ve used Twitter to ask people and organizations for comment. Simple questions were directed to people with professional interest in Mars. I generally find social media users responsive to questions, but scientists and science journalist have been oddly silent or, at best, dismissive. One type of response I get is a declaration that this has been Photoshopped. I like that one – it authenticates this as obviously extraordinary. More specific and useful information is sometimes offered too. Initially, I was not aware there was another image taken of Area 1 until a Space Community Google+ user pointed me to an image from Sol1462.

I use hashtag #Sol1459 when I inquire about the objects on Twitter and I encourage anyone to include this tag in their tweets. Search on #Sol1459 with Twitter to see what conversations there are. By the way, “Sol” refers to “solar day” of the rover’s mission.

It may be helpful if many people make their own inquiries to scientists and science journalists with connections to the exploration of Mars. Perhaps this is just some sort of amazing geological feature. Even if it is a rock formation, I expect curiosity about it – not silence.

Polluting for Sugar

There is no way it is a good idea to burn fields for food production – especially for a nonessential food. I made the graphic below to illustrate how relatively thin our atmosphere is. I think it makes the point. Unnecessarily dumping toxins into the air we breath is just nuts.

atmosphere thickness

Atmosphere Thickness

Unfortunately, this is done for sugar production on Maui by Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (a Division of Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.). In addition to burning the plants, polyethylene plastics used for drip irrigation are burned. A&B contends that burning these plastics do not produce any harmful compounds.

Since the company is phasing out sugar cane as a crop, this article will probably be the extent of my activism to end this. However, A&B is working to find more economical crops. This is good, but if they continue polluting the atmosphere as part of their agricultural process, I intend to put more effort into ending this.

sugar cane field burn

Sugar Cane Field Burning on Maui



An interesting lunar feature…

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) got the following images which are shown on the northern polar mosaic at this link:

I became interested in an area at the edge of a crater named Plaskett near Plaskett U after watching this video:

At about 4.5 minutes into the video, the commentator discusses what looks like a road near Plaskett U in the area of the red rectangle shown below.

This area is most likely on a slope so this “road” feature may be from rolling rock. The feature vectors away from Plaskett U and toward Plaskett. However, there’s some things that make me wonder about this…

The “road” has a geographic feature at both ends. It starts from a tall structure, which may not be too peculiar if this was caused from gravity. If it is from a rolling rock, it could have ended in countless other locations. However, it ended at a crater. A light colored object appears at the end of the feature near the small crater. Perhaps that rolled and caused this. That seems like the most likely cause, but I’m not sure so I think this is interesting.

plaskett and plaskett u with box

The “road” extends from the upper left of the photograph to the lower right. I don’t know how tall the feature on the lower right is, but it casts a shadows that is significantly larger than anything else in the area.

The feature appears to have received an impact after it was made.

road termination 2 650x500

Another possibility is this is collapsed lava tube, although this is straighter than examples of ballistic lava flows elsewhere on the moon.

Triglyceride Advice

Mayo Clinic posted this video years ago, which includes two critical health actions for anyone:

  1. Exercise
  2. Lower Carbohydrates.

This should be important to any person who wants better health and to avoid cardiovascular conditions – the most common reasons Americans become unhealthy and die.

They indicate that exercising and lowering carbs is important because you can lower LDL and triglyceride levels. While their advice is excellent, the idea that simply lowering LDL will improve health is incorrect. This part of the video is simplistic and idiotic. You can find out more about that elsewhere on my blog.

The focus on refined carbohydrates is also unfortunate. All carbohydrates are processed into simple sugars. Some process faster than others yet there is little difference in glycemic load between whole and refined grains. There’s much more about that elsewhere too.

Still, the basic advice is excellent. What interests me about this video is that it is an example of a mainstream institution advocating health through lowering carbs.

Probably the most important blood lipid metric is the triglyceride/HDL ratio. This happens through exercise and long-term LCHF eating. Ideally, your Trig/HDL ratio will be less than one and mine was 0.69 when last checked. For me, this is one of many indicators that confirm LCHF benefits.

Except in extreme conditions, heart health can only be achieved without drugs. It’s simple – just follow Mayo Clinic’s basic advice and take carb reduction more seriously than to just avoid sugar.

Here is a recent example of CNN picking up on this, but still focusing on high glycemic carbs:

In spite of pressure from health institutions, misguided nutritional education, and disinformation from the pharmaceutical industry, some medical professionals actually use the simple steps (exercise and LCHF eating) that reverse metabolic syndrome:

Credit Suisse Research’s Fat: The New Health Paradigm

I want to point you to a really interesting report: Fat:The New Health Paradigm, which was released this month from Credit Suisse Research. This is more about how reversing trends of metabolic syndrome start with ignoring conventional nutrition guidelines. The link is to the report in PDF format.

Eating Trends Follow Guidelines

Americans have followed dietary guidelines. The USDA has recommended that Americans eat MORE of the following foods and data from the 1970-2005 period(1) show the extent to which this occurred:

Percentage of Actual Increases in Consumption

+91  Vegetable Oils
+41  Grains
+23  Vegetables
+13  Fruits

The USDA has recommended that Americans eat LESS of the following foods:

Percentage of Actual Decreases in Consumption

-73  Whole Milk
-17  Red Meat
-17  Eggs
-16  Animal Fats
-14  Butter

There has also been a 19 percent increase in sugars and sweeteners. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines will almost certainly suggest an upper limit on added sugar. Unfortunately, their messaging does not include significant warnings regarding sugar. For example, see The USDA Likes Pancakes Topped with Fruit and a Sprinkle of Sugar.

Carbohydrate consumption continues to increase, although this remains within the 45 – 65 percent guidelines recommendations. See More About Macronutrient Targets.

The chart graphs obesity data, but this is really just indicative of more serious issues of metabolic syndrome. Correlation is not causation, but there is plenty of science and other important types of information that strongly point to causes. To be healthy, Americans will need to stop following guidelines and rediscover the foods that were eaten before chronic diseases became epidemic. For more of what I think regarding the failure of dietary guidelines, see Comments for the USDA 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

Chart by Jeffrey Willits

Chart by Jeffrey Willits

1. Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U. S. Food Consumption, 1970-2005; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Information Bulletin Number 33, March 2008.