Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoenix Lander results

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rlb2

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<p><font color="#ffa500">FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - University of Arkansas researchers have become the first scientists to show that liquid water could exist for considerable times on the surface of Mars. <br /><br />Julie Chittenden, a graduate student with the Arkansas Center for Space and Planetary Sciences, and Derek Sears, director of the Space Center and the W.M. Keck Professor of Planetary Sciences, will report their findings in an upcoming issue of the Geophysical Research Letters. <br /><br />"These experiments will help us understand how water behaves on Mars," Chittenden said. <br />Researchers have concluded that they may be water on the surface of Mars in the form of Brine <br /><br />Based on previous experiments and hypotheses, scientists have speculated that pure water on the planet's surface would evaporate from solid to gas, bypassing the liquid phase, at the low pressures found on Mars - 7 millibars as opposed to about 1,013 millibars on Earth. However, the planet's surface sports features like gullies and channels that look as though they might have been created by the movement of liquid. Terrestrial experiments designed to simulate Mars-like conditions have been performed to help answer this question of whether or not liquid water exists on Mars, but until this point they have only been done with pure water at high pressures. <br /><br />Chittenden and Sears used a planetary environmental chamber in the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Space Simulation to simulate the conditions found on Mars - an atmosphere of carbon dioxide, 7 millibars of pressure and temperatures from zero degrees Celsius to 25 degrees below - and examined the evaporation rates of brine solutions expected to be found on Mars. Most water on Earth contains salts that leech into the water when it comes in contact with soil, and similar processes might be expected to occur in any surface water found on the Red Planet. Salts in the water lower the freezing point of the solution. </font></p><p><font color="#000000"><font size="5"><font color="#000000"><span style="color:black;font-family:Verdana">Where all the Images are up to 02/08 from these posts is here :</span></font></font></font></p><p><font color="#000000"><span style="color:eek:range;font-family:Verdana">http://uplink.space.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=sciastro&Number=381751&page=7&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=0&fpart=</span></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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Earlier thread on this subject here, with some interesting comments.

Thanks I was looking to see if another tread was started I wonder if I should delete this one and go over to that one.

The pendulum swings, eventually I'm sure most will accept near/ surface water and several possible corollaries as likely soon enough

How true. Just think these experiments were from simulations at the Martian datum, equivalent to Earths sea level. Imagine if they did the same experiments using 13.5 millibars instead of 7 mililbars, similar to what the pressure is at the bottom of Hellas. Ron Bennett
 
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bonzelite

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Just think these experiments were from simulations at the Martian data, equivalent to Earths sea level. Imagine if they did the same experiments using 13.5 millibars instead of 7 mililbars, similar to what the pressure is at the bottom of Hellas.<br /><br />---good point.
 
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rlb2

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To me this is a huge find and may be able to explain some of the aqueous looking compounds from the color images at some of the MER rovers sites. <br /><br />Here is another suggestion; someone needs to go out on a limb and redress some of the alluvial flow looking images and find out what kind of salts were identified at these sites and if it fits into there model. If not the same type of salts, then test out the type of salts found there in a new model with the same conditions at these MER rover sites.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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bonzelite

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of note, perhaps, is that a lot of the images from the surface [rovers] show erosion around the bases of rocks, almost looking like mud with seemingly clear indications of outflow. or something to that effect. like water ponding around the base of a rock, then evaporated or trickled off. <br /><br />even though it is apparently dry as a bone up there, some of the depressions or hollows seem like they were recently eroded by wetness. or actually look like left-over mud holes. or nearly. in other words, much of the dirt, particularly the darker dirt, looks cakelike or claylike, rather thick. i noticed this early on in the photographs. <br /><br />i am aware that looks can deceive, especially on an alien planet's surface. in ways, we may not even really know what we are looking at, and subsequently skew our observations to earth-like explanations. if it was not water that made some of the obvious looking outflow "fossil" river beds, then what did it? some of the carvings and patterns look like they are still moving as they lay there dry and frozen.
 
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rlb2

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<font color="orange">of note, perhaps, is that a lot of the images from the surface [rovers] show erosion around the<br /> bases of rocks, almost looking like mud with seemingly clear indications of outflow. or something to that effect.<br /> like water ponding around the base of a rock, then evaporated or trickled off.<font color="white"> <br /><br />They are many places where this seems to be the case. Here are images of the some of the areas at Endurance<br /> crater. In a couple of the images there appears to be fog at the base of some of the rocks. <br /><br />To see larger image 837 KB go to:<br /><br />http://members.cox.net/skyclimbers/1P153127970EL5M1.jpg</font></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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fossils

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Everything is utterly desiccated now. But sometime in the last 50,000 year or so, a heavy frost/snow melted and flowed a tiny distance across the surface before evaporating.
 
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rlb2

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There would be some kind of evaporation rate from the surface to cause a fog-like condition on the surface.<br /> Here is a part of one of the above images where there appears to be some kind of fog, notice the transparency.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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bonzelite

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yes. those photos are exactly what i was talking about. look at how some of the areas appear humid or muddy around the bases of the rocks. the way the sand has settled and compacted into smoother areas looks like it was affected by fluidity of some kind. the areas look highly eroded by some mysterious process, like there used to be puddles there [even if such things never happened, it looks very much like it]. <br /><br />it just doesn't look like a dead surface to me. for whatever it was, the areas look very manipulated in recent terms. it looks like it rained a few weeks ago and this is what was left [of course it did not rain, but it looks somewhat like the aftermath of that].<br /><br />i see what you mean by the fog. it is very faint, but could be that. overall, as i generalize, i do not entirely buy the story that the entirety of martian landscapes are all just dead, ancient snapshots of long-gone processes. i just don't buy it. a helluva lot of topography looks very newly worked over. unless there is absolutely NO wind, no mechanical movement EVER, ANY MORE, no dynamism whatsoever between the air and ground, or ground and subsurface, then mars is dead. and it is just a giant fossilized shadow of what it was. and there is no reason to investigate it any further. <br /><br />but this just cannot be the case. one would need to be in a comatose state of extreme denial to believe mars is figured out, written off as a planetary equivalent of a corpse. <br /><br />something is going on up there.
 
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rlb2

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<font color="orange">"Colder temperatures are what suppress evaporation," Chittenden said. "There's a huge<br /> decrease in the evaporation rate the colder it gets."<font color="white"><br /><br />If liquid water is discovered, there is a good chance it may not sit right at the surface. NASA's Mars rover<br /> Opportunity discovered signs that salty liquid once existed only after digging a small trench in the Martian soil. <br /><br />http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/051115_science_tuesday.html</font></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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Here is a section of the one in the upper left corner of the above image. <br /><br />I'm posting images here so I don't booger up someone else’s posts on another thread. <br /><br />1P153750770EL5M1 <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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bonzelite

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yes. exactly. if that pic is not sediment runoff then i will shave my head. <br />and look in the upper right of that photo section you just posted --look at the stained rock. the runoff has discolored the brighter stone surface. <br /><br />so it is not really a matter of liquid existing on the surface --it is a matter of what the liquid is. we know it is not coca-cola or kool-aide. so it must be water. i mean, a dust devil did not make that formation. the wind did not make that formation. electrical arcing did not make that formation. a kid with a pail and shovel did not make that formation.
 
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JonClarke

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Sigh. I wish people would not take media reports as gospel truth.<br /><br />This is not the first time that people have postulated that liquid water could be stable on some parts of Mars for extended peerids. It has been suggested since the early 70's, during the Mariner 9 mission. the Viking 2 lander site was chosen on the basis that there might be soil moisture at certain times. There have been many studies since then that show that liquid water may locally exist. The gullies indicate that soemtimes this water may flow in significant amounts.<br /><br />However, IMHO, there has been nothing conclusive of flowing water in any of the lander images. 1P153750770EL5M1 is the most suggestive, but that is all.<br /><br />Jon<br /><br /> <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>
 
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rlb2

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Yes even seeing sometimes isn't believing ever since the extraordinary claims should be backed with<br /> extraordinary proof (Carl Sagen) although he didn't have extraordinary proof when he postulated Venus<br /> atmosphere and global warming gasses. There seems to be a lack of common since here but NASA isn’t to<br /> blame they have some pretty outgoing scientist, willing to put there reputation on the line for what they<br /> believe in, I met a few of them. <br /><br />I will go out on a limb and misquote a scientist here, not on purpose but because I don't know exactly how<br /> he phrased it: If it looks like muck, tracks like muck and smells like muck then it must be muck. <br /><br />He is getting to be more and more right each day, only after he is 100 percent right will they ever believe him.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<font color="orange">This is not the first time that people have postulated that liquid water could be stable on some<br /> parts of Mars for extended peerids<font color="white"><br /><br />We got to get out of the box sometimes and think like we would if we had no box to hide in. For eons we have<br /> been formulating what other worlds should be like by our sets of rules and laws. <br /><br />Let me ask you this, if this was so widespread postulated eons ago then no one with the resources or<br /> the time did the simple task of proving them out then and this prove to be the case then who's to blame.<br /><br />Here is another simple lab experiment that someone can do in a controlled environment and claim a <br />remarkable finding: Take a vacuum with all gasses removed except for the same combination of gasses in<br /> the Martian atmosphere at the datum at 7 millibars, pump in some frost about a foot deep, let it sit for a<br /> spell, and warm the temperature up to where the frost is starting to melt, the top layer is expected to <br />sublimate from a solid into a vapor but I would bet you a hog from Mr Zifals farm that if you look below the <br />frost which was under pressure you would find some standing water that would seep into the surface. This<br /> aint rocket science this, if proven out, would be basic logic.<br /><br />Here is a Viking 2 image, from eons ago, no pools of brine but water frost covered regolith. It took them what <br />seem to be eons to prove that there was water ice on Mars after this image was taken???<br /><br /></font></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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bonzelite

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this is the mac daddy thesis statement:<br /><br />" Actually, I think it's a hypersensitive, almost paralyzing caution; classic fear of ostracism and it's consequent detrimental effects upon one's scientific reputation, which can have negative effects upon acceptance for publication, grants and attainment of tenured positions...... making what might be seen professionally as an extreme claim tantamount to career suicide."<br /><br />this is exactly why experts seem continually vague about many of their official press releases. they have become politically adept at saying a lot of mumblemouthing and prattling on about nothing. you can read a recent release and you have not really come off from it knowing any more than before you read the report. spacedaily.com is full of such breaking news reports that really don't say much. i mean, all of them are not b.s. by any means or even vague, but a good many, too many, are.<br /><br />the thing is, this image on this page or above is so absolutely obvious to me, and i am an idiot layperson. it is blaringly clear and i don't know why they don't or didn't examine that further with the rovers. why?!! they were right there!! why didn't the @$%@%% rover dig a little trech over and analyze it?!! they go millions of miles and they just roll away from it?!! <br /><br />"follow the water" is starting to be like crying wolf. i am snoring and bored with their apparent aloofness and disaffected attitude. <br /><br />if they did dig there and i do not know, then pardon me. but if they did not, then.... well. i can't say what i want to on here. calli will be all over me.
 
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JonClarke

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"He is getting to be more and more right each day, only after he is 100 percent right will they ever believe him. "<br /><br />Who is the "he" of whom you speak? Who are "they"?<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>
 
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JonClarke

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Levin is not the source of all knowledge about Mars. So why do people treat him as if he was? In fact he has been completely wrong on just about anything he has theorised about Mars.<br /><br />You idea of the scientific enterprise is fairly far off beam. There is nothing wrong with far out ideas, scientists come up with them all the time. The ideas have to be backed up by data, there has to be a reasoned argument, and the interpretation has to withstand scrutiny. If you think that this is a hypersensitive, paralyzing caution, that is because you are not accountable or responsible for your ideas. Unlike people in a pub or an internet forum, scientists are both responsible and accountable, which is why they make sure they have a case before they air their ideas, wild or not. This is the strength of the scientific method, not a weakness. <br /><br />As for the rest of your post, please read the historic literature more deeply. People have been posulating and finding evidence for liquid water on mars since Mariner 9, more than 30 years ago. It is not something that was unacceptable until very recently. Nor is life on Mars something unthinkable. Its possibility has been continuously researched my many people over the last 30 years, despite the ambiguous and disapointing results of the Viking experiments<br /><br />It's like a sensational murder case. Everyone has theories on whom did it and why. But the police and prosecution have be be very sure of their ground before the arest someone. Their theory will then be tested before a judge, defence team, and jury.<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>
 
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JonClarke

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What's this "box" we are supposed to think out side of?<br /><br />"Let me ask you this, if this was so widespread postulated eons ago then no one with the resources or<br />the time did the simple task of proving them out then and this prove to be the case then who's to blame. ?<br /><br />I really have a great deal of difficulty understanding what you mean. Are you saying that nobody investigated phase beahviour of water and salts under Martian conditions in the 34 years since Mariner 9? If, you are wrong. There is a vast literature of the past and present role of liquid water on Mars.<br /><br />"Here is a Viking 2 image, from eons ago, no pools of brine but water frost covered regolith. It took them what<br />seem to be eons to prove that there was water ice on Mars after this image was taken???"<br /><br />Again, I am not sure what you are saying here. The presence of water ice on Mars was shown in the 60's. However there is alsways more that can be learned about its behaviour and distribution. Are you saying that no further work should be done on the question afyter the first discovery?<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>
 
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JonClarke

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""follow the water" is starting to be like crying wolf. i am snoring and bored with their apparent aloofness and disaffected attitude."<br /><br />If you think this then I suspect you don't understand the question or the strategy. "Follow the water" is not about finding water, even liquid water on Mars. that would be old news. Water vapour and ice were discovered, as I recall, in the 60's, the presence of areas with high enough atmospheric pressure to allow for liquid water were known after Mariner 9 in 1971. The same mission showed that large areas had almost certainly been shaped by running water. Essentially nobody who has worked on Mars in the past 34 doubts that liquid water was once present or that it might be present at the surface today, under the right conditions.<br /><br />"Follow the water" was evolved in the 90's because history and distribution of water in all its forms on the surface of Mars was the common theme to the three big questions: What was the history of the martian environment? Was life present now or had it been present in the past? What resources existed on Mars that could enable future human missions? <br /><br />You can snore if you wish, but in doing so you will miss out on a lot of very exciting results. It will be your loss.<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>
 
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rlb2

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<font color="orange">I really have a great deal of difficulty understanding what you mean. Are you saying that<br /> nobody investigated phase beahviour of water and salts under Martian conditions in the 34 years since <br />Mariner 9? If, you are wrong. There is a vast literature of the past and present role of liquid water on Mars.<br /><font color="white"><br /><br />Yea they discussed it but we had the anti-this and anti-that naysayer putting people down for even thinking<br /> about it. Did you read all my post or are you trying to read something into each sentence? <br /><br />The above obvious experiments "Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars" this experement<br /> never happened before, if it did then you show me where and tell the people who published it, the key word here<br /> is brine - not evaporating water.<br /><br /><font color="orange"> "He is getting to be more and more right each day, only after he is 100 percent right will they ever believe him. " <br /><br />Who is the "he" of whom you speak? Who are "they"? <font color="white"><br /><br />Surely you have seen the mud tracks by the Lander, that was what the scientist (forgot his name) said<br /> when first viewing them and from the tracks Sojourny [pathfinder] left behind. Many scientist chastised him <br />for saying that. He is getting to be more and more right.<br /><br /><font color="orange">Are you saying that no further work should be done on the question afyter the first discovery?<font color="white"><br /><br />No of course not. I believe in strong scientific research.<br /><br /><font color="orange">Here is a Viking 2 image, from eons ago, no pools of brine but water frost covered regolith.<font color="white"><br /><br />That Viking photo was taken showing Water frost, yet it took them many years afterwards to come to that<br /> conclusion that Mars was a wet and wild world even though many people back to the first telescopes could<br /> see that Mars were more of a dynamic world.<br /><br />In closing; every time we</font></font></font></font></font></font></font></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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Oppy landing site<br /><br />1P128463278EL5M1 <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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JonClarke

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There are lots of published work on the phase relationships of brine on Mars.<br /><br />A minute or two with google turns up thousands of hits. Just a few of the more recent ones are: <br /><br />http://www.geol.vt.edu/research/gssrs/gssrs2001/abstracts/elwood_madden_m.pdf <br /> (2001).<br /><br />http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2002/pdf/1211.pdf (2002)<br /><br />http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/sixthmars2003/pdf/3178.pdf (2003)<br /><br />http://www.uark.edu/rd_vcad/urel/publications/inquiry/2003/Thompson.pdf (2003)<br /><br />http://www.uwo.ca/earth/people/king/research/King_Mars_Waters1.pdf (2005)<br /><br />http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2005/pdf/2246.pdf (2005)<br /><br />http://www.uark.edu/ua/kecklab/recent_results.html (two abstracts, both 2005)<br /><br />The marks made by the rover superficially look like the marks made in mud. But they also look just like the marks that are made in fine dust. So morphology is not enough. You need additional information, MiniTES is one source, of additional data. Water, regardless of phase is a strong adsorber at the wavelength it views. if water were present in would show up. None has been detected and therefore these track marks are in dust not mud. This does not mean there is not mud on occasion on the surface of Mars (as i fully expect there to be), just that these features are not it.<br /><br></br> <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>
 
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yurkin

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It’s a good study but its making a few assumptions. For one thing the pressure readings near the equator have mars have never been measured. It has only extrapolated from other data. Also it looks like they just mixed chemicals till they found a combination that worked. If they see ice near the equator with that combination then they would have something.
 
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JonClarke

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"I'm simply saying that Levin has evolved (or devolved if you wish) into (almost) the public face for scientific support of water and life on Mars..... he has been perhaps the most vocal (but not the only) proponent of both for many years."<br /><br />This perception is wrong. Levin is still rehashing the glory days of his Viking experiment (only one of five designed to study the life question), he has not made a major contribution to astrobiology since them. The discussion has moved on leaving him behind. There are lots of other people who have a much higher profile in the field, including a public done. Chris Mckay, for example. <br /><br />At least Levin did make a contribution to our understanding of whether or not there might be life on Mars. He has done nothing regarding the presence of liquid water, nor should we expect him to - it is not his field. There have been many others pushing the envelope with the history of water on Mars - Malin, Edgett, Carr, Laity, Kargel, and Baker, just to think of a few. <br /><br />The Hubble image is great, isn't it? However, similar features had been spotted years before by various probes. The beautiful thing about Hubble (and other earth-based systems) is that is allows synoptic views across an entire hemisphere. This is very important for global atmospheric studies.<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>
 
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