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I'm quite sure we'll have some sort of announcement in late July, even if it will be like the announcement by NASA a couple of years ago which stated they found flowing water on the edge of a volcano, statement that actually turned out to be false. So I think there might be such a type of annoucement in late July, let's say: "Mars Express probe probably found huge underground water reservoir on Mars"...<br />Now if you want to have some more scientifically exact and elaborated statements, in my opinion you will have to wait until december and possibly even more. But in my opinion the gap between July and November won't be lost time because scientists would have data collected in July on which they can learn how to interprete it. Thus possible announcements in November would in my opinion by much more elaborated...
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>same instruments, used to find oil, also delivered weird results hard to interprete until we actually learned to interprete them<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Yeah, based on existing first-hand knowledge of earths geology, i.e. acquired data patterns were fit to existing knowledge. With mars, you simply dont have any existing knowledge and data received from the instrument could be interpreted in many ways.<br />With all instruments, you are observing some physical phenomena, like radio waves bouncing back from hard surfaces. The instrument data will only give you this info, that the waves bounced back from something, possibly with many echoes i.e. from subsequent hard layers in crust, everything else is pure interpretation based on other existing knowledge.<br />With mars, there's just that little of existing data on subsurface geology. Until that first hole will be drilled, everything will remain just hypotheses and guesses.
I am sure the experience won with the instruments used to find oil will be very usefull and will enourmously help interprete the fata received from MARSIS. I completley agree that data patterns fron oil searching instruments were fitted to existing geological knowledge and were fitted in order for to be able to say if there's oil underground or not. But even if we fitted the data to existing knowledge it's not as if we just said: ok by experience and fitting we've learned that green color on the screen means oil and red color on the screen means no oil... <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br />Instead we've also develloped theoretical models which explain the data patterns received and it is these models that will help us interprete the data from MARSIS. Of course we don't know the exact geology of the martian surface and theoretical models are only as good as the data that goes into them but still we have some ideas of what the martian geology could be and most important we are open to other geological models if the data coming from MARSIS really turns out to be so different from what we've thought.<br /><br />I don't know maybe I'm too optimistic, but you certainly seem to me being too pessimistic when you say "Until that first hole will be drilled, everything will remain just hypotheses and guesses". I mean we've allready done so much science without having to be there on place to verify it (just take astronomy, all this field is based purely on scientific models and we've never been able to go and take apart a star or the sun so we can see if inside there are really the chemical elements or reactions we predicted). So I'm really confident we'll succeed this time too (maybe it will take some time but we'll do it).
I finally found a hint regarding what the data products might look like from MARSIS on the instrument home page:<br /><br />"Subsurface structures at km-scale"<br /><br />So it's not a very high-resolution instrument, but then again we aren't really hoping to find pockets of water-ice less then a few 100s or 1000s of square kilometers in area, are we? <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" />
ESA has a very different culture about releasing data products. The scientists get a long first look at stuff. Everything that is finally released is already highly "worked" or designed, or something. It all feels highly idealized, or even Disney-fied.<br /><br />I don't rant against it anymore. I have to wait for images no matter what, whether it's a physical constraint (like a US probe hasn't reached its target yet) or a cultural constraint (like the ESA scientists haven't finished processing the data to a safe sanitized level).
Patience is a virtue bob! There has been no shortage of presentation of ME results at conferences and in journals, so there is nothing to complain about. <br /><br />I also think it it inadvisable to use the word "sanitized level" in this context. It implies censorship and manipulation of the data. Is this what you mean? If so, you had better have evidence.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em> Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
> <i><font color="yellow"> It implies censorship and manipulation of the data. Is this what you mean? If so, you had better have evidence.</font>/i><br /><br />Of course, if this was going on, he would have no proof because the proof has been withheld. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />I remember similar claims about 1-2 decades ago about the Dead Sea Scrolls. Because the original data (original text) was withheld from the public while only a select few "experts" could see the original data and dole out reports slowly (over many decades), there were lots of conspiracy theories (it undermines Chistianty, etc). Only after someone essentially reverse engineered the text (using a computer and a released concordance) was there serious movement to release more of the original data. Since then, I am not aware of any particular Earth shattering revelations, but without releasing the original data people could only speculate.<br /><br />So without the original data, at best you can only <i>claim</i> censorship and manipulation. You can only <i>prove</i> it once you have the original data in hand.</i>
>sanitized<br /><br />I certainly didn't intend to imply any sort of malign intent. Merely that even with my rather (ahem) amazing prowess in surfing for raw data, I can find info from US probes much more easily than from ESA probes. I am denied the "thrill of discovery" when confronted with ESA missions.<br /><br />I <i>like</i> pasting the L3, L5 and L6 filters together and seeing "color" images from Gusev. I <i>enjoy</i> taking a couple hours off work and pasting all the approach images from Wild2 into a movie. By comparing my results with those of the professional scientists (released much later usually) I come to understand more about what they are up against processing the data. With ESA science, the data are hidden behind authorized user only log-ins.<br /><br />So the general public only gets to see data that has been properly calibrated, corellated, and cleaned-up; in other words, "sanitized."<br /><br />For me, it has most of the fun wrung out of it already.
"Processed for maximum public appreciate" would be a better way to describe it. ME data is not hidden behind authorized user only log-ins. The data is released every 6 months, approximately 12 months after the data was downloaded from the spacecraft. It can be accessed at http://www.rssd.esa.int/index.php?project=PSA . You will need specialised software but it is publically available. <br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em> Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
"Processed for general public appreciation" it is, then.<br /><br />I can hardly wait to see the processed for general public appreciation data from MARSIS in about 6 months! But I will. I can be that patient.
Ground penetrating radars don't always penetrate very far, it all depends on the physical properties of the Martian subsurface - which is why instruments like MARSIS are sent to Mars in the first place<br /><br />They also don't produce pretty pictures, they produce profiles that require a lot of skill and time to process and interpret. <br /><br />Remember too that the subsurface role is only one aspect of the MARSIS program. Also under investigation (and of equal improtance) are atmosphereic structure and surface roughness studies<br /><br /><br />Time will be needed to gather data across a wide range of Martian terrains and conditions for all these goals. It will probably take months or even a year, and you will get a brief news release or two, abstracts at a conference later in the year or early next year, and later a series of technical papers in Nature or Science. So be patient, be very patient<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em> Arthur Clarke</p> </div>