Blueberries Make Mars Red

Martian Spherules

'blueberries' on Martian rock

Figure 1. ‘blueberries’ on Martian rock

Anyone with a modicum of interest in Mars exploration has certainly seen images of these tiny spherules imbedded in and on top of layers of sedimentary rock.  The original choice of blue to present the images to the public was probably considered consistent with their shapes, but may have misled scientists studying the surface composition of Mars. The initial hypothesis as to their formation presented by Steve Squyres was that they are concretions formed in sediments along with the surrounding sedimentary rocks.  But Dr. Squyres left the question open when he stated that it was “wierd” that the spherules resisted erosion much more strongly than the surrounding rock layers.


Blueberry imbedded in sedimentary rock

Figure 2. Blueberry imbedded in sedimentary rock

Other Opportunity team members have suggested they could be tiny spheres of hot, liquid lava sprayed up into atmosphere by volcanoes, which quickly froze into tiny droplets before falling back to the surface. Consistent with this hypothesis is the observation that those found deeper in the section, show glints indicating more shiny surfaces, as would be expected if they had been iron spherules shielded from oxidation by the Martian atmosphere when it still was present, some 3,000 years ago. The primary argument voiced against their volcanic origin is that studies of their distribution showed them to be distributed evenly and randomly throughout the rocks and even on the surface, rather than being confined to certain layers, which would be ‘expected’ from occasional volcanic eruptions, such as experienced on Earth. But so far, the views of the tiny spherules is only a microcosm, the significance of which has yet to be applied to the entire planet.

Cyclic Catastrophism

In the CC scenario, the subject of this blog site, Mars was a planet full of life in an orbit similar to Venus’ today for its entire 4.6 billion year lifetime, up to about 4000 BC.  Due to complex interactions with proto-Venus it was repeatedly forced into a geostationary orbit the Earth at 44,400 km radius for fifteen years at a time, with its north pole continuously oriented toward the Earth, then released into an orbit of the Sun for a comparable period.  This 30-year cycle was repeated 100 times. When in geostationary orbit, the enormous tidal effect of the more massive Earth caused hundreds of volcanoes in Mars’ northern hemisphere to continually blaze plumes of material kilometers into the air toward the Earth.  Due to the intensity and longeviety of these eruptions, the source of these volcanoes moved deeper until they tapped the deep interior, comprised primarily of basalt and iron.

The great number of Martian volcanoes, their enhanced intensity and their continual blazing shot so much basalt and iron spherue material into the air, that it rained down over the entire northern hemisphere and formed the red aeolean material that characterizes the planet.  This has been carried by winds to all parts of the surface. The shiny buried blueberries are almost pure iron but those on the surface were exposed to the atmosphere before it was all lost to the Earth,  and are coated, probably with iron (III) oxides, which gives Mars its characteristic red color.

Ancient Observations of Volcanoes

Because of the planet’s rotation about its north pole facing the Earth these volcanoes appeared as points of light, and were called the ‘circum-polar stars’, ‘the stars that never die’ and Egyptian texts referred to the island at Mars’ north pole (the duat) as the ‘circum-polar paradise’. There were so many volcano-stars that the ancient peoples organized them into constellations just as we do today with the true stars.  The Rg Veda names 27 such constellations, called asterisms (Sanskrit Nakshatras).  Greek myth referred to the northern island as the ‘ship’ Argo, which was said to be ‘covered with stars’. Seven exceptionally large super-volcanoes shot plumes hundreds of km into the air and their writhing forms were described as serpentine, e.g. ‘the seven Ureaus deities’ whose origin was in Amenta (the underworld). They were described in the myths of practically every ancient culture, as ‘the seven holy rishis’, ‘the seven pillars of am-khemen’, ‘the seven sisters of Zeus’ i.e. the Pleiadies.  

Curiosity Surface Results


Figure 3. Mars Surface is ‘Iron Oxide’ Red

The Rocknest windblown dust was chosen because it has ” … similar morphology and bulk composition to other aeolian deposits at other landing sites on Mars”. The bulk composition of the surface ‘particles’ by the Curiosity rover was characterized as ” …  estimates of ~55% crystalline material of basaltic origin and ~47% x-ray amorphousus materials. The amorphous materials may contain nano-phase iron oxide similar to what was observed by earlier rovers.”  What Curiosity scientists fail to realize is that the “amorphous material” comprises the red iron oxide ‘blueberries’, and that they are everywhere. Thus the entire surface of Mars is covered with these two types of tiny particles, both blasted into the air from Martian volcanoes.  Alignments with the Moon, or with the Sun and Moon combined, caused convulsions in Mars’ interior which blasted large bodies into space, but the plumes containing the basalt (a mineral also rich in iron) and the spherules rose continually from every volcano.  Therefore Cyclic Catastrophism provides the only explanation of vast amounts of this material – from hundreds of blazing volcanoes enhanced by the enormous tidal force of the nearby Earth for a total of 1,500 years. The red iron oxide particles give the characteristic color of Mars, as seen in Figure 3.

Perchlorates? Or Iron (III) Oxides

The Curiosity SAM processor has been having trouble in its analysis, because as it heats the soil or rock samples to release gases, it appears that considerable oxygen is being released in the process, causing the potential organic molecules to combust.  Since the estimated surface perchlorate concentration is small, only 0.6%, as compared to the much greater concentration of iron oxides on the surfaces of the blueberries, some 47% of the surface material, the oxygen may be coming from the blueberries instead of perchlorates.

~ by Angiras on October 7, 2013.

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