Science experts say that on Mars – nicknamed “the Red Planet” – “all is extreme: Witness the 12-mile-high dust devil,” explained an April 7 science report in the Los Angeles Times that has the world’s top extraterrestrial minds scratching their heads and asking “what’s that thing?” In turn, famed Danish extraterrestrial thinker Lars von Trier - who both wrote and directed the hit 2011 film “Melancholia” - points to the Martian dust devils as inspiring his theory “Earth and Melancholia Dance of Death” that’s featured as “real” in his film that earned Best Picture honors this year. Also, von Trier explained in the film’s DVD extras interview how “Melancholia is the name of a planet that’s on a collision course with Earth." At the same time, the public release last week by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of a Martian dust devil “roughly 12 miles high” captured winding along the surface of the Red Planet by the Mars Orbiter is what von Trier says links both ‘dirt devils’ and movement of plants such as Melancholia. In turn, NASA scientists say they can’t hardly wait until early August when the Mars Science Laboratory rover named “Curiosity” – that’s now on its way to the Red Planet – lands on Mars for a real up-close look at the dust devil and to see if there's really “any life on the planet.”
Also, one theory about the Mars "dirt devils" is they may be caused by "an unknown extraterrestrial phenomenon," say scientists.
Mars has always intrigued extraterrestrial thinkers
What are these huge 12 miles high “dust devils” on Mars? And, what’s strange, said NASA scientists in this recent L.A. Times report is “Mars doesn’t have tornadoes. It doesn’t have thunderstorms. But, now we know that the Red Planet can kick up a truly unholy dust devil.”
The report went on to explain that “such a phenomenon – 12 miles high in fact – was photographed last month on an area of the Martian surface known as ‘Amazonis Planitia. A photo of the dust devil was then released last week by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.,” explained the L.A. Times report.
According to scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology at both the California Institute of Technology and the University of Arizona, that released images of the 12 miles high Martian “dirt devils,” it’s really a “unique thing,” explained Ashwin Vasavada, a JPL research scientist who told the L.A. Times on April 7 that “conditions allowed this single giant vortex to form and survive to suck up dust all the way to that height.”
In turn, famed Danish extraterrestrial thinker Lars von Trier - who both wrote and directed the hit 2011 film “Melancholia” – explained in an interview that’s included in the recently released Melancholia film on DVD that this same “giant vortex” he believes can also take form in outer space and, thus place Earth in danger via his theory expressed in the film called: “Earth and Melancholia Dance of Death.”
Also, a “dust devil” is described in a college science textbook as “a strong, well-formed and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small (half a meter wide and a few meters tall) to large (more than 10 meters wide and more than 1,000 meters tall) when referring to those dust devils that have been recorded here on Earth. In turn, experts note that these “dust devils” can grow large enough – on Earth, on Mars and in outer space – “to pose a threat to both people and the planet.”
Another reference for Earth-formed dust devils compares them to a massive tornado that scientists can’t really explain in detail since these “dust devils” have been placed in the “phenomenon” category. Simply put, it’s an inexact science when it comes to the who, what, when, where and why of these dirt devils that most people recognize as “swirling updrafts.”
What’s really happening on Mars?
Image this scene from the 1962 Topps Mars Attacks original artwork for collector’s card No. 7 featuring flying saucers destroying the Golden Gate Bridge.
Then, view this artwork at a trendy art gallery in Astoria – the oldest U.S. community on the West Coast, and a self-proclaimed enclave for hybrid aliens and fans of UFOs here on the north coast of Oregon – and consider that other works of out of this world views from this original “Mars Attacks” artwork also features background information talking about the so-called “Goldilocks Zone” of planets that are “just right for life,” and relatively near Earth in what's also featured in the hit film "Melancholia."
It was back in May 2011 when scientists announced the discovery of a planet – in this Goldilocks Zone, where life can exist because it’s not too cold or hot – that was dubbed “Gliese 581,” for the "Melancholia" planet; which scientists say is about 20 light years from Earth, and plagued with "dust devils."
Gliese 581 or “Melancholia” has also been called a “Red Dwarf,” and because it’s much smaller than our Sun and includes “at least six planets, named Gliese 581e, b, c, g, d and f.” While scientists note that it’s not known if Gliese 581d or the other planets have water, artists who created the “Mars attacks” artwork back in 1962 seemed sure of it.
Dirt devils featured in the famed COMETA report
It's also interesting that these Mars "dirt devils" are also featured in the famed "COMETA Report," that's based on a high-level French UFO study organisation from the late 1990s; that was composed of high-ranking officers and officials, some having held command posts in the armed forces and aerospace industry, states the French government's overview of COMETA.
The name "COMETA" in English stands for "Committee for in-depth studies." The study was carried out over several years by an independent group of mostly former "auditors" at the Institute of Advanced Studies for National Defence, or IHEDN, a high-level French military think-tank, and by various other experts.
The group was responsible for the new, updated 1999 'COMETA Report' on UFOs and their possible implications for defence in France. The report concluded that about 5 percent of the UFO cases they studied were utterly inexplicable and the best hypothesis to explain them was the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH). The authors also accused the United States government of engaging in a massive cover-up of the evidence.
Meanwhile, the COMETA features photos of "dirt devils" in outer space.
According to NASA experts, there are certain conditions increase the likelihood of dust devil formation.
-- Flat barren terrain, desert or tarmac: Flat conditions increase the likelihood of the hot-air "fuel" being a near constant. Dusty or sandy conditions will cause particles to become caught up in the vortex, making the dust devil easily visible.
-- Clear skies or lightly cloudy conditions: The surface needs to absorb significant amounts of solar energy to heat the air near the surface and create ideal dust devil conditions.
-- Light or no wind and cool atmospheric temperature: The underlying factor for sustainability of a dust devil is the extreme difference in temperature between the near-surface air and the atmosphere. Windy conditions will destabilize the spinning effect (like a Tornado) of a dust devil.
Also, the L.A. Times reports that equally impressive in capturing the sight of these mysterious dirt devils on Mars and this unknown phenomenon - that also is believed to exist on the fact-based fiction planet “Melancholia” – is “the technology that allowed it to be photographed for us to see back on Earth.”
Life forms may exist on Mars, and Gliese 581d, say experts
While scientists will not confirm that Gliese 581d actually does have life forms that could have visited Earth, or are here now, they do note that “scientists and others have said for hundreds of years” that both a Goldilocks zone of planets like Earth existed, and that prior to Gliese 581d being formally proclaimed as existing in May 2011, there were “these flying saucer artists who drew pictures of such planets.”
In turn, NASA’s JPL research scientist Ashwin Vasavada told the L.A. Times that when the sun beats down on the “desert-like surface of Mars and – thanks to the lack of water and the ‘extremely thin atmosphere’ there – convection begins. Rolling, turbulent air forms at the planet’s surface in a layer five to 10 miles thick.”
At the same time, NASA disclosed in this L.A. Times report how the “$720 million Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been mapping Mars since March 2006 for one reason – man’s ongoing search for extraterrestrial life forms.
Image source of Martian dust devils causing “twisting dark tails” on the surface of Mars as recently photographed by Mars Global Surveyor. Photo courtesy Wikipedia and NASA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_devil