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No. 7: June 1979

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White Area In Bottom Of Martian Crater

Near the Martian equator, in the bowl of a 58-mile-diameter crater, Viking Orbiter snapped a peculiar white region. Called the "White Rock," the formation is 8.5 x 11 miles in size and possesses an unusual grooved surface. White Rock is too close to the equator to be ice or snow. It is a unique and unexplained feature.

(Anonymous; "A Martian Mystery," Astronomy, 7:64, January 1979.)

Comment. White Rock looks a bit like an eroded salt plug! If so, the history of Mars will have to be rewritten.

White Rock from 707 miles above Mars (NASA photo)
White Rock from 707 miles above Mars (NASA photo)

From Science Frontiers #7, June 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss