Was There a Natural Nuclear Blast on Mars?
- URL to an interesting article on Fox News
I can just see a science fiction novel coming from this.
First few paragraphs
Ever wonder why the red planet is red?
About 180 million years ago, a planet-shattering yet naturally occurring
nuclear reaction may have wiped out everything on _Mars_
(http://www.foxnews.com/topics/space/planet-mars.htm#r_src=ramp) , sending a shockwave that
turned the planet into dry sand.
Even more incredible: A natural nuclear reaction could have occurred on
our own planet -- and could happen again, said Dr. John Brandenburg, a senior
propulsion scientist at _Orbital Technologies Corp_
"The Martian surface is covered with a thin layer of radioactive
substances including uranium, thorium and radioactive potassium -- and this pattern
radiates from a hot spot [on Mars],” Brandenburg told FoxNews.com.
“A nuclear explosion could have sent debris all around the planet," he
said. "Maps of gamma rays on Mars show a big red spot that seems like a
radiating debris pattern ... on the opposite side of the planet there is another
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A NASA spacecraft has been beaming to Earth incredibly detailed pictures of
the surface of Mars. And the beautiful colors and rich textures of the red
planet will shock you.
According to Brandenburg, the natural explosion, the equivalent of 1
million one-megaton hydrogen bombs, occurred in the northern Mare Acidalium
region of Mars where there is a heavy concentration of radioactivity.
This explosion filled the Martian atmosphere with radio-isotopes as well,
which are seen in recent gamma ray spectrometry data taken by _NASA_
(http://www.foxnews.com/topics/space/nasa.htm#r_src=ramp) , he said.
The radioactivity also explains why the planet looks red.
Brandenburg said gamma ray spectrometry taken over the past few years
shows spiking radiation from Xenon 129 -- an increase also seen on Earth after
a nuclear reaction or a nuclear meltdown, including the one at Chernobyl in
1986 and the disaster in _Japan_
(http://www.foxnews.com/topics/japan.htm#r_src=ramp) earlier this month."
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