'Blueberry' Triplets Born in Rock

This microscopic image, taken at the outcrop region dubbed "Berry Bowl" near the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's landing site, shows the sphere-like grains or "blueberries" that fill Berry Bowl. Of particular interest is the blueberry triplet, which indicates that these geologic features grew in pre-existing wet sediments. Other sphere-like grains that form in the air, such as impact spherules or ejected volcanic material called lapilli, are unlikely to fuse along a line and form triplets. This image was taken by the rover's microscopic imager on the 46th martian day, or sol, of its mission.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell/USGS

Such spheres could have been formed in the air, a combination of dust and water fused in early Martian thunderstorm-like conditions, possibly engendered by meteor strikes in the early Martian "seas", or the product of waterspouts in combination with a very dry, dusty and thin atmosphere formed as Martian twisters intersect the dying, warm and very salty Martian seas. Perhaps these blueberries periodically spewed out of a Martian weather-feature as a product of such Martian conditions.

Hail and ice storms on earth sometimes form binary and triplets ice balls, if conditions are right.

The Martian "Blueberries" could have been formed as a mixture of dust and water coalesced in such a storm, and were "air dried" in much the same way as water is frozen in thunderstorms on earth.

Martian meteorologists should consider this angle as a possible cause of the blueberries, as a product of the conditions during various stages in the transformation of the Martian atmosphere over the eons.

-Jon Forringer

Just a thought.


I am not a geologist, but I like to compare Mars blueberries with Earth "brownberries" of the kind in the following images :

These have been collected by my son in northern Sahara. Could they be formed by the sort of process Jon Forringer put above ?

You guys should check out the main forum there are many more people to discuss your ideas with. :-)