A group of researchers published a paper this week outlining their work exploring the mysterious spider-like terrain on Mars. We’ve talked about the surface of the Red Planet before – even after humanity has landed on Mars, mysteries remain. The surface of Mars, these researchers wrote, “hosts a variety of features that are not analogues of Earth and all are active in some capabilities today.”
We looked at the topography of the brain on Mars. We peek at spiders, too, at the most detailed spider photo we’ve seen so far – in 2018.
Now a group of researchers has recreated Araneiforms – those we called “spiders” – here, on Earth, in the lab. Smaller copies of spiders have been created using dry ice and warm sediments. In an artificial environment like that of Mars, these researchers have been able to recreate spiders, spider feet, and everything in between.
Above: HiRISE image credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona.
You can learn more about this topic in the research paper “Formation of araneiforms by CO ventilation and strong sublimation dynamics under Mars’ atmospheric pressure” With DOI code: 10.1038 / s41598-021-82763-7 in nature. This paper is authored by Mc Keown, L., McElwaine, JN, Bourke, MC et al., With Sci Rep 11, 6445 (2021).
Also note: Part of the process of researching this configuration and using what was found for future projects and research included the use of 3D modeling with SfM using Agisoft Photoscan. SfM is a “structure from motion,” which is a photometric method for creating 3D models using data collected from a series of 2D images.
For the process in this research, all the researchers needed to capture the images was iPhone 6s. Similar methods of “scanning” objects have been used to recreate their 3D appearance – and will continue to be used – visualizing objects in deep space as well. With a program like Agisoft Photoscan, this process is simpler and more accurate than ever before.