An unusual “plume-like” formation has been spotted on Mars, with internet chatter speculating on what it is. It was first seen last week by amateur astronomer Wayne Jaeschke in Pennsylvania on March 20.
The oddity appears as a small “bump” on the limb of the planet as seen in the photographs taken. It may be a plume of dust rising from the surface after a meteor impact or possibly a high-altitude cloud, which can sometimes look similar to this. The most exciting possibility would be a volcanic eruption, and while Mars has numerous volcanoes, they have all been extinct or dormant for millions of years, as far as is currently known.
The phenomenon has also been seen by other astronomers in the days since then, so there is a lot of interest in this Martian mystery. Hopefully an answer will be available soon!
This article was first published on Examiner.com.