The above image was gratefully done by Keith Laney NASA Ames Associate Image Processor
More of his astounding and amazing and superior work with imaging and help with selecting the spot for the upcoming Mars MER2003 Rovers being sent to Mars ( 2 of them ! ) click the links below to go to his work:
The following images are my own work which is basically taking them directly from NASAView and only rotating them to show the feature from the same angle. The Editorial part is my own comments on this enigmatic feature which appears to have a vapor coming from the hole in the side of this feature. A hole which appears to have no visible bottom.
If you notice at the right of the 90o corner of the above feature is a 'crater-hole' that appears slanted evenly with the slope of the hillside. The ring of the 'crater-hole' has a distinctly higher albedo (brightness) than the hillside itself. This brightness is dimmed by a vapor of some consistency that is coming from the opening up and to slight right as evidenced by the diffusing (blurring) of the pixels. Knowing that the MOC camera resolution is 2.5 meters per pixel for this image one can use a microcomputer graphics application like Paintshop and using pixels on the ruler measure the diameter of the hole at ~33 pixels wide. Since 2.5 m also equals ~8.2 feet we can use our math and critical thinking skills to determine that the crater hole is ~82.5 meters or ~270.6 feet in diameter. The left side of the ring around the hole has an average pixel grayscale value from the program's eyedropper tool of ~143.875 and the right or dim side under the vapor only has a pixel scale average of ~91.356. There is an average difference from one side of the ring to the other side under the vapor of ~52.519. This is definitive evidence that 'something' is obscuring the right hand portion of the ring from the MOC. Can you think of, or see, another spot above that may be measured using this type of microcomputer graphics program to distinguish pixelation values along a single feature or ridge?
The ORIGINAL MGS MOC image can be found by following the link provided to the official PDS repository site on the internet for public consumption of this mission and final archiving. The feature pictured above is in the top left of the 6th portion of official USGS PDS images.
An update on March 24, 2001:
The 'Smokin' Pyramid of Cydonia' was re-imaged again by MSSS/JPL/NASA but is not yet part of the official USGS repository for the data from this spacecraft, the ONLY working spacecraft officially recognized publicly as working, although recent news stories say that the MPL 'may' have been found, intact, sitting on its 3 little legs and may in fact be beeping home!
Here is the second 'Smokin' Pyramid of Cydonia' image, note there is STILL vapor and haze surrounding this feature and appearing to emanate from the crater-hole. Also the ring around the crater-hole is STILL diffused (blurred) from the vapor; only now some areas are less diffuse than they were in the previous image indicating that the actual ground albedo of the rim is steady and that only the thickness of the vapor has changed on the right side of the ring showing clearly that some type of vapor IS obscuring the landscape topography that is clearly emanating from that crater-hole.
What do YOU think about this feature? Is it our FIRST real sign of active geological features happening on Mars NOW in real time that YOU can use your microcomputer and the skills you learn in computer class to investigate some of the most wonderful discoveries being made about our most enigmatic and intriguing planet in the Solar Neighborhood?
You can never get answers to questions if you do not have the curiosity to even look and the courage to ask the questions. As all my students knew, asking questions is the very BEST part of learning. Because for every GOOD question asked, the answers will always leave us with even more questions to ask; further taking our learning experience to new and unimaginable heights of awareness and enlightenment.
Link to original image for the second look at the Smoker!
I have created a Flash animation of the wind flow over the above images. You must have the Flash plug-in to view this animation.
Please use your back button on browser to return here after viewing.
THANX KEITH ! ! !
Renditions from other folks can be found in the pictures section here: http://groups.msn.com/Cydonia/homepage
What are YOUR thoughts on this feature?
What is YOUR hypothesis as to what it is?
Update November 1, 2002. There was no new images of this feature in either the MGS MOC or the THEMIS data dumps of October 2002. I have added Keith's great image at the top of the page to emphasize the image and the feature as I think it is an indication of CURRENT activity underground on Mars in Downtown Cydonia. It is unfortunate that despite several releases of Cydonia by the ASU THEMIS team, THIS feature has yet to be imaged in the more 'western' part of town. I hope this changes and that an image of this feature with the TRUE COLOR VIS image system as well as daytime AND nighttime infrared images can be acquired of this enigmatic feature that, imho, is currently ACTIVE on Mars in real time NOW!
04-09-03 UPDATE ! NEW SMOKER IMAGE ! E14-01223
STILL SMOKIN' ! ! !