Mars' Star-like Dunes and their Electric Experiment Counterparts

These results from CRT experiments experiments are tailor made for classroom demonstrations to show the electrical processes which are scalable and capable of making many features seen on celestial bodies within our solar neighborhood. These particular features were made by passing two charged bodies in close proximity to each others dust covered surfaces making many detailed features including Star-like features like those on Mars.

Results from other experiments at this link

Mars stars story found at the following link.
Location details are: Near Mars' equator and Schiaparelli crater.
See thoughts on the "equatorial factor" below hotos-week1/photo2.html
 Separate CRT experiment using probe to transfer material

The details replicated speak for themselves but note the corona patterns of the individual spines. The corona deposits are the pointy aspects at right angle to the spine(tendril) which is a leg of the primary discharge path or location. Discharges to elevated locations will draw a huge amount of charge from the surrounding area and either follow a radial path or, in the case of a ridge line, will draw charge along coronal paths and at right angles to the ridge.

See 2012 experiments at

See all the related images from last month.

See also experimental results which match the linear ridges far removed from the white-capped area and attached as radials and

Left image from 2011 right image from G.W. Francis' book Electrostatic experiments. (An image from an 1800's experiment)

What about the equatorial factor and the formation of the star-like dunes near Schiaparelli crater?

Allow me to toss an idea into the ring which considers Mars' global dust storms and the potential for the high state of charge which might occur in a mass of elevated dust. I would take into consideration observations of large scale dust storms in my region which are called haboobs in which are often seen dust devils spinning off at the leading edge and then there is the strange manner which these walls of dust advance. It is said that they result from one source, expansion of the moist air of a distant rain shower into the dry regional air mass and they call it an "outflow boundary". I don't disagree with that but i think the dust takes on a life of its own once the initial outflow has raised a sufficient amount of dust. As the cloud advances it seems to gain in strength but not in speed. The wall can extend many tens of miles across the front edge. I would wonder if at a certain distance from the initial down pour of rain the expansion would loose its force and diminish its outward push, at times it does, but there are other times when the dust storm seems to come to life as though it were an electrically charged body with electric wind discharging to the area ahead of it. But this is just a dry-air example we can observe regularly and from many vantage points.

Now to Mars where global dust storms most certainly gain great electrical potential and it is this potential which would seem to rise to a level of a significant difference to the surface of the planet below, resulting in a frontal wall of discharging vorti. Local discharges and subsequent deposition are what seems to be the likely cause for the star-like dunes (in this case appear in a cone shape hinting to regional dust disturbance) and i base this on what is seen during CRT experiments where material is raised from the surface to the probe or another passing CRT as discharges occur between, the redistributed by further electrical interaction with the end result being material concentrations at locations that served as discharge paths -being elevated places- like ridges and pointed features as seen above. Between the ridges and peaks are interconnecting ridges but the valleys are key because as charge is drawn along coronal paths there should be material being carried along as well. This was demonstrated in CRT experiments with simulated ridge features placed on the surface. In instances when the surface is featureless the discharge location first draws charge and material and then in the back-flow pulse redeposits it back to the excavated tendril's spines. Notice the coronal fingers of those spines.

The equatorial factor has to do with external influence triggering certain dust storms on Mars, such as spring of 2001 when Earth passed up-current of Mars and the two were closer than they'd been in 400 years. Earth's plasma tail would seem to have the equatorial region as the nearest point of influence so the location of these star-like dunes in that region is a coincidental detail that may have more meaning when considered from an electric perspective, either local only -elevated potential of dust storm and subsequent discharges- and/or much larger scale discharge setting the whole event in motion. What ever be the mechanism, there is no mistaking the match between the appearance of the star-like featured formed on a CRT, by material deposition to locations of electrical discharge, as compared to the Star-like dunes seen on Mars by the orbiting probes.


From spring 2011 experiments  From fall 2012 experiments

simulated ridge removed to show corona cuts where material was removed

And this is just a tiny portion of what these experiments delivered.

See results in preperation for NPA12