Tag Archives: craters

Two More Mysterious Giant Holes Emerge In Siberia (Pictures)

About two weeks ago, I reported on a giant crater that appeared on the Yamal peninsula in Siberia.

Well, while scientists are still trying to figure out what caused this first crater, two more have been discovered in Siberia.

Crater of Antipayuta

Click to enlarge

This crater was alo discovered on the Yamal peninsula, near the village of Antipayuta (a few hundred miles from the first crater). It measures 50 feet in diameter.

Mikhail Lapsui is a deputy of the regional parliament in the area. He visited this second crater and talked to locals from Antipayuta.

Lapsui reported that locals claimed this crater was formed in September of last year. When he asked about what caused it, he got a number of different stories:

“According to the first, initially at the place was smoking, and then there was a bright flash. In the second version, a celestial body fell there.”

Crater of Nosok

Click to enlarge

The second crater is a bit smaller, measuring just 15 feet across. However, it has an estimated depth of about 200-330 feet and observers say the crater is perfectly cone-shaped. It is located near the village of Nosok, in the Krasnoyarsk region.

One expert in the region had this to say about the strange, cone-shaped crater:

“It is not like this is the work of men, but also doesn’t look like natural formation.”

While no official explanations have been given by scientists studying the craters yet, most theories center around the melting of permafrost in the Siberian tundra. This melting releases gas that was trapped in the ice underground.

As more permafrost melts, the pressure of this gas builds up. Hypothetically, this build-up could cause the ground above it to be ejected if the pressure gets high enough.

Since we reported on the first crater, video has been released showing it in more detail. Check it out below:

Read the original story from the Siberian Times here.

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NASA’s Opportunity Rover Just Set the Off-World Driving Distance Record

NASA’s Opportunity rover landed on the surface of Mars in January of 2004. As of Sunday (July 26), the Opportunity rover had driven a total distance of 25 miles (40 kilometers).

Opportunity took the top spot in total off-world distance traveled by surpassing Russia’s Lunokhod 2 lunar rover, which traveled a total distance of 39 kilometers across the surface of the moon between January and May of 1973.

The Russian rover helped to bring about a golden age of space exploration in the 70s. As a sign of respect, the Opportunity rover’s operators decided to commemorate the Russian rover by naming one of the first craters they encountered after it.

Tracing the path that Opportunity has taken since it landed on Mars in 2004. On the left rim of the large Endeavor Crater, you can see the Lunokhod 2 crater. Click to enlarge (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NMMNHS)

The craziest part of this record is that the Opportunity rover was only expected to travel a short distance when it was first sent to Mars in 2004. Here’s John Callas, who manages the Mars Exploration Project at NASA’s Jet-Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California:

“This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance.”

The Opportunity rover is collecting data on Mars as part of a long-term plan for a manned mission to the planet around the year 2030.

The infographic below compares the distances driven by different rovers throughout the years. Click to enlarge (courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech):

Read the original story from NASA here.