Mysterious cloud spotted on Mars

Amateur astrophotographer Wayne Jaeschke captured this image of a "terminator projection" rising up from the edge of the Martian disk at about the 1 o'clock position on March 22. The inset photo is a 200 percent enlargement of the region around the projection. For more, check out, Jaeschke's website.

Amateur astronomers are puzzling over a seemingly anomalous cloud that has shown up on images of Mars taken over the past few days. Is it really a cloud, or a trick of the eye? Does it really extend 150 miles up from the surface, as some of the observers suggest? And what churned up all that stuff, anyway? The amateurs and the pros will be trying to resolve those questions before the phenomenon fades away."It's not completely unexpected," Jonathon Hill, a member of the team at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, told me today. "But it's bigger than we would expect, and it's definitely something that our atmosphere guys want to take a look at."
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