A mysterious plume seen hovering high above the Martian surface in 2012 continues to confound astronomers.
Space agencies have put a great deal of effort into learning all there is to know about Mars, yet it was amateur Red Planet enthusiasts that made a very puzzling discovery not long ago.
Among them is stargazer Damian Peach who, in 2012, spotted and photographed a mysterious plume hovering high above the Martian surface.
At first he thought it may be an equipment malfunction, but a perusal of the several images he’d taken showed that it was, in fact, a feature.
Scientists have since confirmed the sightings, but haven’t been able to determine what the strange mass was.
One of the possibilities considered is that it was a cloud of either water particles or carbon dioxide gas.
The problem with that theory is that the cloud was located around 125 miles above the planet, something that based on the current understanding of Mars and its atmosphere just isn’t possible.
Several other explanations, like auroras and debris from volcanic eruptions, have been posited and ruled out as well, as ultimately they just don’t pan out scientifically.