The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on November 5, 2014 has spotted a mushroom cloud on the surface of the red planet.
Images taken by Mars Colour Camera (MCC) onboard show the mysterious cloud with great clarity. The cloud is situated above the Valles Marineris Canyon. Its distinct mushroom shape and close-up views, depict what seems to be a large crater formed underneath the cloud.
The discovery has erupted plenty of questions and theories about the cause of the mushroom cloud.
One of the causes that have been ruled out is that the recent discovery of methane found by Curiosity Rover could not be the origin. The amounts found on Mars are too minor to cause an explosion and crates as seen in Siberia. What has also been ruled out is surface wind, which is rare on the planet as the cloud does not depict a windy swirl.
There is also the speculation of it being a nuclear cloud. In a recent book, Death on Mars: The Discovery of a Planetary Nuclear Massacre by Dr John Brandenburg, he states “high concentration” of Xenon-129 in the Martian atmosphere and uranium and thorium on the surface are remnants of a nuclear explosion by an alien invader that wiped out two ancient Martian civilizations. The discovery calls into question if the cloud exploded from an old bomb from a war.
One of the more plausible explanations put forth, is when comet Siding Spring which passed extremely close to Mars on October 19, 2014, might have caused the explosion. According to the Inquisitr, NASA cut off live feed while the comet was passing by Mars as a way to cover-up the event. Conspiracy theorists claim, NASA knew that the explosion would occur caused by the comet, added the Inquisitr.
It is possible MOM captured the explosion as it occurred.
Concrete answer by NASA or ISRO have not yet been released as to the the actual origin of the fascinating mushroom cloud on the red planet.