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26 de Diciembre 2005

FAQ: "Weird Circles" Seen From Space

crop circles center pivot irrigation in Google EarthOne of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) from people new to exploring our world from space is "What are these strange circles I see all over the place?" (or some variation). The Google Earth Community (GEC) has seen this question asked countless times. One of the GEC members 'Chief_Sparky' recently collected some information explaining the circles from various sources to try and help people understand what they are (and no, they aren't made by aliens).

You can read the detailed explanation above. Here's my variation: The circles are areas where the land has been watered by an irrigation system (sprinklers) which are attached to the ground at the center and rotate around (usually on wheels). Usually found in arid parts of the world such as the States of Arizona, Nebraska, Colorado, etc. they will vary in color based on time of year, crop, and type of land. The irrigation systems are also called "center pivot irrigation".

Some farmers have used the systems to form geometric patterns when viewed from above. These are called "crop circles". Here's a good article on the subject from the WikiPedia. At the GEC, one enterprising member is collecting crop circles found by GE users in Google Earth. You can find more details on the collection here.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 26 de Diciembre 2005 a las 09:22 AM

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    This is my first visit to this site and I was so pleased to see the explanation for the circles on the ground for when we flew into the USA a few years ago we saw these and the air crew knew nothing and could not answer our questions, though I did wonder if it was something to do with irrigation as we have similar ones here in the UK.

    Enviado por: VAL at 29 de Diciembre 2005 a las 05:16 PM


    There are two variants of crop circles, which have been confused here.

    Neither are made by aliens.

    The first type of crop circles are those described accurately by "center pivot irrigation".

    The second type, where patterns are formed to be DELIBERATELY viewed from the air, are entirely different. These are usually made by pranksters with bits of string and rope. They can sometimes be very elaborate.

    Enviado por: Mike at 18 de Enero 2006 a las 06:33 AM

    I suppose other round features that may be mistaken would be water treatment plants and possibly big, round pits containing oil (i have lived in the Middle East and seen these first-hand in the desert)

    But the irrigation seems most likey and logical, unless oil is green?...

    Enviado por: Dean at 26 de Enero 2006 a las 06:21 PM

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