a monster volcano

4 March 2016
Astronomy

The monster volcano occurred on Mars, we are told – see http://phys.org/print376153952.html … and it happened a long long long time ago – 3.5 billion years, it is claimed. Funny how so many things of a catastrophic nature all happened around 3.5 billion year ago – but perhaps that is a story yet to tell. Anyway, the thrust of this claim is that the outer layers of Mars were displaced, leaving the core untouched. The actual weight of all the lava that was spewed out of the super duper volcano was so heavy it caused the poles to move. The poles – yes, the poles. This was 3.5 billion years ago, mark you, so that means catastrophism is okay back then, a very remote era of the past. The poles can move billions of years ago – but not thousands of years ago. Is that the score?

The  poles on Mars are no longer where they were we are told, and this explains the unexpected location of dry river beds and underground reservoirs of water ice – and various other mysteries of the red planet. The lava flow occurred over a coule of million years, they continue, and tilted Mars by 20 to 25 degrees. It would seem they do not envisage a rapid pole shift – but an extremely slow one. The lava also created a massive plateau feature, the so called Tharsis Dome. This is big – 5000 square km in width and several km high. The Tharsis Dome sticks out like a sore thumb – and requires an explanation. It is an aberration, you might say. The idea is that it is so big it caused Mars top two layers, its crust and the Mantle, to swing around – moving the poles. Computer simulations were used to arrive at the conclusions.

Meanwhile, at http://phys.org/print376124825.html … we have another asteroid flyby coming up in March. It is 100m in diameter – but will pass well outside the orbit of the Moon.

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