A MYSTERY IN THE ATACAMA

Sometimes it is difficult to identify patterns if you only have images from space. In this view of an area on the Antiplano immediately adjacent to the picture of the volcanoes on the previous page, you can see the same fresh ash field (B). See if you kind find some of the many volcanic cinder cones in this field. Also there are several small lakes (A) and these are actually filled with water. Notice that they lack the light colored rim of dehydrated minerals seen on the more common Salars (dried lake beds).

 

A feature that puzzled even some experts on Earth observation photography is the strange delicate white striations (C) that show up every little crevice and ridge. Especially puzzling was the fact that the pattern did not show up in other similar space photographs of the area. Was it a trick of lighting ? Was there something different about the GeoCam cameras and film ? Had some recent geological event created a new pattern ?

WHAT'S YOUR GUESS ?

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