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Dunes on Mars with an unusual orientation. Credit: MRO/University of Arizona.



Ionic Tempest
Feb 27, 2009

Wind is said to have created many geological formations on Mars. What kind of wind?

Mars presently has an atmosphere that is less than 1% of Earth's atmospheric density at sea level. It is composed almost entirely of carbon dioxide, although nitrogen and argon make up about 3%, with trace elements less than 1/10%. The temperatures on Mars vary from a maximum of 20° C (68° F) and a minimum of -140° C (-220° F). The atmosphere is so thin that blowing winds exert almost no pressure on robotic rovers that are traversing the surface. So how could they gather piles of sand and dust into dunes that can reach 800 meters high?

The consensus opinion among planetary scientists explains wind through atmospheric convection and gas kinetics. Since most theories of geophysical processes on other planets are based on the idea that what happens on our planet should be used as the model for what happens elsewhere, there is no other way for wind to act in the minds of investigators studying other planets and moons. Researchers are constrained by their presumptions, so dunes on Mars "must be" similar to dunes on Earth.

From an Electric Universe perspective, it is not heat transfer and pressure differentials alone that cause the atmosphere to move, electric discharges also generate wind. Electricity flowing through plasma accelerates charged particles that can drag neutral gas and dust along with them. Electromagnetic forces create "electric winds" that, depending on the scale of the effect, can reach exceptional velocities.

There is mounting evidence that tornadoes and hurricanes on Earth are not generated through simple convection, but are the result of strong electromagnetic forces in a plasma vortex. The spinning shapes are reminiscent of helical Birkeland currents that are sometimes seen in gaseous nebulae.

On Mars, large dust devils are observed, sometimes rising thousands of meters into the sky. Their electrical component is evident by the scorched trackways they leave burned into the dusty surface. A similar manifestation of electric forces—on a much larger scale—could explain the weird dune fields on Mars.

As Electric Universe theorist, Wal Thornhill proposed, closer examination should reveal the dunes to be “solid, glassified sand, rather like that found in dry soil following a lightning strike.” Indeed, the Opportunity Rover's wheels left sharp-edged impressions as it rolled through extensive dune fields, breaking through a top crust. This supports the glassification hypothesis.

A Martian dust storm obscured an entire hemisphere several months ago. However, Opportunity reported only small pressure increases and minimal sand accumulation. This lends credence to the idea of "blowing" dust on Mars being caused by electrostatic discharges, rather than through the movement of its rarified atmosphere.

An ionic storm sometime in the recent past must have scoured immense amounts of material from the surface of Mars, gathering it into piles that are not oriented to prevailing wind patterns, but follow the line of charge transfer as it blew across the landscape. After the discharge passed, the heaps of ionized material instantly solidified in the same way as a volcanic pyroclastic flow will immediately harden into stone after it stops moving.

By Stephen Smith



SPECIAL NOTE - **New Volumes Available:
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Authors David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill introduce the reader to an age of planetary instability and earthshaking electrical events in ancient times. If their hypothesis is correct, it could not fail to alter many paths of scientific investigation.
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Professor of engineering Donald Scott systematically unravels the myths of the "Big Bang" cosmology, and he does so without resorting to black holes, dark matter, dark energy, neutron stars, magnetic "reconnection", or any other fictions needed to prop up a failed theory.
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