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

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silylene old

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<p>rlb2:&nbsp; Please&nbsp;hang with us.&nbsp; I have always appreciated your wonderful pictures of Mars, especially since you find unique perspectives that others have overlooked.&nbsp; You and I haven't always agreed on your more provocative ideas, but we have had some very fun, cordial respectful discussions.&nbsp; And, you did&nbsp;identify the ice sublimating correctly&nbsp;before anyone else.</p><p>To everyone generally:&nbsp; Please stay respectful to one another in this thread.&nbsp; Also please stay respectful to other science-related forums.&nbsp; </p><p>(p.s.:&nbsp; has stevehw33 returned under a new name?)</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p>*mod hat on*</p><p>Okay, folks, time to take a step back and calm down.&nbsp; I see some tempers getting seriously raised, and that's not conducive to any sort of a rational conversation.</p><p>solarflare: it is indeed poor netiquette to bash other sites.&nbsp; It is also something we do not tolerate here at SPACE.com.&nbsp; Do not use these forums as a venue for gratuitously slamming other space-related websites.&nbsp; This is not a vehicle for airing personal grievances which frankly have nothing to do with the thread topic anyway.</p><p>to all: another thing we do not tolerate here is accusations that someone may be someone else.&nbsp; That's a serious accusation of misconduct, and should not be bandied about lightly.&nbsp; If you really think someone is here under false pretenses, make a formal complaint by clicking the "Report Abuse" link on the offending post, but do not make the accusation publicly.&nbsp; It just escalates the situation and further reduces the chances of the thread returning to its original topic. </p><p>Thank you.</p><p>*mod hat off* </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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michaelmozina

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>No problem it is part of the evaluation process to have an open mind about other opinions, I do&nbsp;see how&nbsp;it&nbsp;would&nbsp;be perceived by some people as being&nbsp;unexplainable especially without&nbsp;organics&nbsp;but it isn't an artifact.&nbsp;If U of A does confirm organics then what?</DIV></p><p>FYI, I simpathize with your position, but I would urge you to be cautious&nbsp; (That's really quite funny coming from me actually). &nbsp; The presence of organic compounds would not necessarily result in lifeforms.&nbsp; We could not automatically assume life exists on Mars only because organic building blocks are present.&nbsp; The basic organic materials may be present virtually "everywhere" for all we know although "life" may be quite rare.&nbsp; </p><p>There are some atmospheric issue here to also consider which you might be overlooking.&nbsp; </p><p>First off, a change in water vapor and/or ice crystal evaporation can look like, and can even result in, "movement". &nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Do you know how fast the wind speed would have to be at the Phoenix Lander site in such a thin atmosphere to&nbsp;pick up just a fine dust particle, so no it isn&rsquo;t the wind that is moving it. This formula might help.The density of the Martian air at the Datum is 2.0E-5 slugs/cu ft. at -25 f and is approximately 1 percent of what it is on Earth. Earth's air density is .00237 slugs/cu ft at sea level at 58 f. As a result, the difference between the Martian and Earth's air density and the power produced from the wind is much less on Mars than it is on Earth. Using&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; P = 1/2 Cd pAV^3where P = power, Cd = Coefficient of drag, p = density of the air, A = surface area, and V = velocity. F = P/Vhttp://members.cox.net/mars.windsurfer/index.htmWhat if this paper is true then what.&nbsp;"This could mean levels of organics on the surface of Mars a thousand times higher than expected." &mdash; Rafael Navarro-Gonz&aacute;lez a Nature news feature published Aug 9th 2008,&nbsp;posted by&nbsp;exoscientist&nbsp;on another thread.&nbsp;I don't have any idea how accepted&nbsp;this is yet but it has been said that&nbsp;McKay of NASA is said to have&nbsp;bought into it.&nbsp;http://www.mediabistro.com/portfolios/samples_files/f_H_nfRIm0m4VCEEe4129Gees.pdf <br /> Posted by rlb2</DIV></p><p>Keep in mind however that Mars does experience "dust devils" that actually cleaned off the solar panels of at least one of the rovers.&nbsp; I would not simply "assume" that there could not be any atmospheric influences present.</p><p>Having said all this, I do think your approach here is reasonable, but a lot of caution is also required.&nbsp; I think we would all agree that finding life on another planet would be a "big deal".&nbsp;&nbsp; I think everyone just wants to be very sure that all the other logical possibilities have been eliminated before we 'assume" that we have found life. &nbsp; Now of course had we found a forest full of trees, or fields full of moss, or more obvious signs of life, it would be easy to "make the call". &nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> It seems to be a natural consequence of our points of view to assume that the whole of space is filled with electrons and flying electric ions of all kinds. - Kristian Birkeland </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>rlb2:&nbsp; Please&nbsp;hang with us.&nbsp; I have always appreciated your wonderful pictures of Mars, especially since you find unique perspectives that others have overlooked.&nbsp; You and I haven't always agreed on your more provocative ideas, but we have had some very fun, cordial respectful discussions.&nbsp; And, you did&nbsp;identify the ice sublimating correctly&nbsp;before anyone else.To everyone generally:&nbsp; Please stay respectful to one another in this thread.&nbsp; Also please stay respectful to other science-related forums.&nbsp; (p.s.:&nbsp; has stevehw33 returned under a new name?) <br />Posted by silylene</DIV></p><p><span style="font-family:Verdana">Thanks, </span></p><p><span style="font-family:Verdana">I was on vacation for a couple of weeks; I promised my wife I would leave my notebook computer&nbsp;home. I always enjoyed talking to you and several other people here while posting images and will continue doing that at a reduced rate. Like you said we don't agree on everything however we always kept it civil and non-personal. </span></p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p align="left"><font color="#993300">TUCSON, Ariz. -- A fork-like conductivity </font><font style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana" color="#993300"><span style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;border-bottom:blue1pxsolid;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana;background-color:transparent" class="kLink">probe</span></font><font color="#993300"> has sensed humidity rising and falling beside NASA's Phoenix </font><font style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana" color="#993300"><span style="font-weight:400;color:blue!important;font-family:geneva,arial,verdana" class="kLink">Mars</span></font><font color="#993300"> Lander, but when stuck into the ground, its measurements so far indicate soil that is thoroughly and perplexingly dry. </font></p><p align="left"><font color="#993300">"If you have water vapor in the air, every surface exposed to that air will have water molecules adhere to it that are somewhat mobile, even at temperatures well below freezing," said Aaron Zent of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., lead scientist for Phoenix's thermal and electroconductivity probe. </font></p><p align="left"><font color="#993300">Three other sets of observations by Phoenix, in addition to the terrestrial permafrost analogy, give reasons for expecting to find thin-film moisture in the soil. </font></p><p align="left"><font color="#993300">One is the conductivity probe's own measurements of relative humidity when the probe is held up in the air. "The relative humidity transitions from near zero to near 100 percent with every day-night cycle, which suggests there's a lot of moisture moving in and out of the soil," Zent said.</font> </p>http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=26346<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p><font color="#993300">Valleys on Mars were carved over long periods by recurring floods at a time when Mars might have had wet and dry seasons much like some of Earth's deserts, a new study suggests.</font></p><p><font color="#993300">The research contradicts other suggestions that the large valley networks on the red planet were the result of short-lived catastrophic flooding, lasting just hundreds to a few thousand years and perhaps triggered by asteroid impacts.</font></p><p><font color="#993300">The </font><font color="#993300">new modeling</font><font color="#993300"> suggests wet periods lasted at least 10,000 years.</font></p><p><font color="#993300">"Precipitation on Mars lasted a long time &ndash; it wasn't a brief interval of </font><font color="#993300">massive deluges</font><font color="#993300">," said study leader Charles Barnhart, a graduate student in Earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "Our results argue for liquid water being stable at the surface of Mars for prolonged periods in the past."</font></p><p style="margin:0in0in0pt" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" color="#800080">http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080908-mars-floods.html</font></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<h1><font color="#993300">Space Suits Them: First Animal That <font size="5">Can Survive in Orbit</font></font></h1><h2><font color="#993300">Tiny critters known as water bears thrive in Earth's harshest environments--and can also withstand the severity of conditions in space</font></h2><p><font color="#993300">Humans, chimpanzees and dogs can </font><font color="#993300">live in a space environment</font><font color="#993300"> for but a few minutes before the air in their lungs expands, gas bubbles out of their blood and the saliva in their mouths begin to boil. But more fundamental organisms such as </font><font color="#993300">bacteria</font><font color="#993300"> and lichen can tolerate the absence of pressure and searing cold. And now researchers have found that animals known as tardigrades, or water bears, can, too.<br /></font></p><p><font color="#993300">Much like the microbe </font><em><font color="#993300">Deinococcus radiodurans</font></em><font color="#993300">, the tardigrades must also have some cellular mechanism that </font><font color="#993300">repairs radiation</font><font color="#993300"> or desiccative damage. "There is no data on what is happening in the bodies of the tardigrades when exposed to radiation," J&ouml;nsson says. "So we don't know how damaged they get and we don't know to what extent they are able to repair the damage."<br /><br />This proves that at least some animals can survive the rigors of space flight unprotected, a list that might also include the microscopic animals known as rotifers, </font><font color="#0000ff">nematodes</font><font color="#993300"> (roundworms), drought-resistant insect larvae, and crustaceans like brine shrimp, according to the researchers&mdash;all of which share the tardigrades' ability to survive extreme dryness.<br /><br />But lichens, which other species of tardigrades live on, show no harm from exposure to space. Perhaps such tiny animals and their plant homes are capable of spacefaring. "If sheltered from solar radiation, it is possible that they could survive for quite many years under space vacuum," J&ouml;nsson says of the water bears. "But the problems connected with ejection into space and reentry remains," such as the searing heat of friction as rock enters or leaves a planetary atmosphere.</font></p><p>http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=first-animal-that-can-survive-in-space</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tardigrade</p><span style="font-family:Verdana">Note nematodes survived the Columbia Space Shuttle explosive re-entry...</span> <p>http://www.wemjournal.org/wmsonline/?request=get-document&issn=1080-6032&volume=016&issue=01&page=0027</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Parts of ancient Mars may have been wet for a billion years longer than scientists previously thought, a new study of images of the red planet's surface suggests.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Along with Earth and the other inner planets of our solar system, </font><font color="#993300">Mars</font><font color="#993300"> formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists have long known that flowing water formed many of the features seen on Mars today, but previous studies suggested that water runoff from precipitation had ceased after the first billion years of Mars' history, called the Noachian Epoch.</font></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">But one team of scientists thinks these rains and floods persisted into more recent &mdash; geologically speaking &mdash; periods in Mars' history.</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Catherine Weitz, a senior scientist with Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., and her colleagues examined close-up images of the plains surrounding the huge </font><font color="#993300">Valles Marineris</font><font color="#993300"> canyon system taken by the HiRISE instrument aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (currently still circling the planet). HiRISE can resolve features as small as 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter.</font></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/080917-mars-water.html</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></span><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Mars may have been wet for a billion years longer than previously thought, new water-related opal evidence from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggests. The findings have implications for the possibility that Mars once supported life.</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Scientists have known for some time that the 4.5 billion-year-old planet once </font><font color="#993300">harbored liquid water</font><font color="#993300"> because of the many features on its surface that were likely created by flowing water.</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Hydrated, or water-containing, mineral deposits also provide telltale signs of where and when </font><font color="#993300">water was present</font><font color="#993300"> on ancient Mars.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Until now, only two major groups of hydrated minerals, phyllosilicates and hydrated sulfates, have been observed by spacecraft orbiting the red planet. (The </font><font color="#993300">clay-like phyllosilicates</font><font color="#993300"> formed more than 3.5 billion years ago where igneous rock encountered water. Hydrated sulfates formed until about 3 billion years ago from the evaporation of salty and sometimes acidic water.)</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">But a new hydrate mineral has now entered the picture: hydrated silica, commonly known as opal. </font></span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">These opaline silicates were detected by MRO's Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) and are the youngest of the three types of hydrated minerals. They formed where liquid water altered materials created by volcanic activity or meteorite impacts on the Martian surface.</font></span></p></span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000080">"This is an exciting discovery because it extends the time range for liquid water on Mars, and the places where it might have supported life," said CRISM principal investigator Scott Murchie of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. "The identification of opaline silica tells us that water may have existed as recently as 2 billion years ago."</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">"What's important is that the longer liquid water existed on Mars, the longer the window during which Mars may have supported life," Milliken said. "The opaline silica deposits would be good places to explore to assess the potential for habitability on Mars, especially in these younger terrains."</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal"><font face="Times New Roman" color="#800080">http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0810-28-mars-water-opal.html</font></p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></span></span></span> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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3488

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<p><font size="2"><strong>Thanks Ron, it's great to see you posting here again.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Yes I can certainly see why this image has prompted this new announcement.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Also IIRC, did not Mars Pathfinder in Ares Vallis & MER B Opportunity in Meridiani Planum, also point to the possiblity of liquid water events, perhaps occurring less than 3 GYA? I need to look it up again. 2 GYA though does seem to be more remarkable still.<br /></strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#993300">Thanks Ron, it's great to see you posting here again.Yes I can certainly see why this image has prompted this new announcement.&nbsp;Also IIRC, did not Mars Pathfinder in Ares Vallis & MER B Opportunity in Meridiani Planum, also point to the possiblity of liquid water events, perhaps occurring less than 3 GYA? I need to look it up again. 2 GYA though does seem to be more remarkable still.Andrew Brown.&nbsp; <br /></font><font color="#993300">Posted by 3488</DIV></font></p><span style="font-family:Verdana">Hi Andrew. </span><span style="font-family:Verdana">&nbsp;</span> <p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Verdana">I post here every now and then to keep this thread updated; I don't post much anymore, it is easy to keep up with this post. </span></p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><span style="font-family:Verdana">It is good to keep in touch with some old and new friends here especially those who have contributed in a positive way like you. I can disagree with you without getting harassed. </span><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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nimbus

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Hi Andrew. &nbsp; I post here every now and then to keep this thread updated; I don't post much anymore, it is easy to keep up with this post. &nbsp;It is good to keep in touch with some old and new friends here especially those who have contributed in a positive way like you. I can disagree with you without getting harassed. &nbsp; <br /> Posted by rlb2</DIV><br />Aww please... If you mean me, I said before and will say again that I appreciated your posts (even the (imo) over the top speculative ones) as much as Andrew's.. <u>And that's no small compliment</u>.<br />There was no way for me to know you were so susceptible, and on top of that I said I'd not get in your way again once I realized you were so put off by my posts. &nbsp;So... unless you mean someone else, there's really no reason to deprive anyone here of your contributions to the forum. &nbsp;No one stands to gain anything over old grudges.</p><p>As a token of my good will I give my word I won't post in one of your threads with anything else than positive and/or explicitely constructive comments again.&nbsp;</p><p>With all due respect,</p><p>Matt.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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rlb2

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<h1 style="margin-top:10pt;margin-left:10pt;margin-right:10pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><font color="#cc0000"><font face="Georgia">Single-celled giant upends early evolution</font></font></span></h1><h2 style="margin-top:2.5pt;margin-left:2.5pt;margin-right:2.5pt"><font face="Tahoma">G. sphaerica's traces are spitting image of the old, Precambrian fossils</font></h2><p><span><font color="#008000">Slowly rolling across the ocean floor, a humble single-celled creature is poised to revolutionize our understanding of how complex life evolved on Earth.</font></span></p><p><font color="#008000"><span>A distant relative of microscopic amoebas, the grape-sized Gromia sphaerica was discovered once before, lying motionless at the bottom of the </span><span>Arabian Sea</span><span>. But when Mikhail Matz of the </span><span>University</span><span> of </span><span>Texas</span><span> at </span><span>Austin</span><span> and a group of researchers stumbled across a group of G. sphaerica off the coast of the </span><span>Bahamas</span><span>, the creatures were leaving trails behind them up to 20 inches long in the mud.</span></font></p><p><span><font color="#008000">The trouble is, single-celled critters aren't supposed to be able to leave trails. The </font><strong><font color="#008000">oldest fossils</font></strong><font color="#008000"> of animal trails, called 'trace fossils', date to around 580 million years ago, and paleontologists always figured they must have been made by multicellular animals with complex, symmetrical bodies.</font></span></p><p><span><font color="#008000">But G. sphaerica's traces are the spitting image of the old, Precambrian fossils; two small ridges line the outside of the trail, and one thin bump runs down the middle.</font></span></p><p><span><font color="#993300">At up to 1.2 inches in diameter, they're also enormous compared to most of their microscopic cousins.</font></span></p><p><font color="#008000"><span>"There's a 1.8 billion-year-old fossil in the </span><span>Stirling</span><span> formation in </span><span>Australia</span><span> that looks just like one of their traces, and with a discoidal body impression similar to these guys." Matz said. "We haven't proved anything, but we might be looking at the ultimate living macroscopic fossil."</span></font><font face="Times New Roman">&nbsp;</font></p><font face="Times New Roman"><p><br /><a href="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Forums/#" title="Click to view a larger photo" onclick="return gSiteLife.LoadForumPage('ForumImage', 'plckPhotoId', '2fef9782-4d93-4f80-b750-0898d56799bb', 'plckRedirectUrl', gSiteLife.EscapeValue(window.location.href));"><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/7/2fef9782-4d93-4f80-b750-0898d56799bb.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p></a><p><br />http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27827279/</p><p>______________________________________________________________________________</p><p>This looks like a Martian blueberry but only green????&nbsp; </p></font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

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<p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><strong><font face="Verdana" color="#1b4872">Simulation Shows Bacteria Could Live on Mars </font></strong><br /></span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Now, building on a tradition of ground-based simulation that extends back to 1958, a new series of experiments, conducted by an interdisciplinary research team from the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Aarhus, Denmark, suggests that indeed bacteria could survive beneath the martian soil.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">The team constructed a Mars Environmental Simulation Chamber (MESCH), from which air is removed with a vacuum pump, and replaced with a thin mixture of gases equivalent to those in the martian atmosphere. The chamber has a double wall cooled with liquid nitrogen to simulate the cold temperatures experienced in the martian night. </span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">While exposure to 80 days in the simulated martian environment essentially sterilized the topmost two centimeters of the simulated sample core, bacteria were "relatively unaffected" in the rest of the 30 centimeter sample tubes. This result, presented in a paper which is due to appear soon in the journal <em>Astrobiology</em>, suggests that some form of life could exist below the martian surface.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">The Faculty of Natural Sciences supported the construction of the MESCH instrument, and the experiments are supported by the Danish Natural Science Research Council.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/081204-am-mars-soil.html</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p></span> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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rlb2

Guest
<p>MMMMM this is interesting.</p><p><span style="font-size:7.5pt;font-family:Verdana"><font color="#800080">http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/081215-agu-phoenix-update.html</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">Data from the instrument shows that "the water in the atmosphere goes away every night, and at the same time, particularly later in the mission" the amount of water stuck in soil would go up at night and come back down during the day, said TECP lead scientist Aaron Zent of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">If more water is added to the atmosphere, "proportionately more of those [water molecules] end up stuck as films of water" on the grains, Zent said.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">The films of water stuck between the surface and the atmosphere could be an ideal habitat for potential Martian microbes. Though there is no solid evidence for life past or present on Mars, it's such clues of habitability that the probe was sent to look for.</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#003366">"There are microbes that live quite happily in that" on Earth, Zent said.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">This </font><font color="#993300">clumpiness</font><font color="#993300"> implies that "this material has been processed," Arvidson said, and the processing agent appears to be water.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#993300">"We're looking at current Mars whereas other missions that have landed on Mars are looking at ancient Mars," Phoenix principal investigator Peter Smith, of the University of Arizona in Tucson, said at today's briefing.</font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000080">"If this were an Earth environment you would say that there are nutrients and energy sources available" for microbes to use, Smith said.</font></span></p><p><font color="#993300"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">Phoenix</span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial">'s Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer found that five percent of the landing site surface material is calcium carbonate, a mineral formed in the presence of water. However, scientists don't yet know whether the calcium carbonate formed at Phoenix's site or was blown in from elsewhere.</span></font></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000080">"It's a very active weather environment," Smith said. Current Mars climate models likely would not have predicted such a dynamic atmosphere, "so we're at a time now where we're going to have to reset those models" to get a more accurate idea whether the region was ever a wet environment, he said.</font></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000080">_______________________________________________--</font></span></p><p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000000"><span style="font-family:Verdana"><span style="color:black;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">How many people remember over 4 years ago&nbsp;when I showed all the clumpy soil from the MER rover tracks that use to be viewed on this blog before the big change over. I said it must be muck not the talcum powder everyone was claiming well I still think so. </span></span><span style="color:black;font-family:Verdana"><span style="color:black;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">Note the MER rovers don't have the instruments that the Phoenix Lander has,&nbsp;</span><span style="color:#ff6600;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">Phoenix's Thermal and Electrical Conductivity Probe (TECP), a forklike instrument that can be stuck in the air or the dirt, measured how water moves in and out of the surface as well as humidity in the atmosphere</span><span style="color:black;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">, to come to that conclusion.......</span></span><span style="font-family:Verdana">&nbsp;</span></font></span></p><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000000"><span style="font-family:Verdana"><span style="color:windowtext;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">_______________________________________</span></span> </font></span><span style="font-size:10pt;font-family:Arial"><font color="#000000"><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Verdana"><span style="color:windowtext;text-decoration:none;text-underline:none">Then this movement by a Martian worm like object moving on the microscopic imager may end up beeing the first Martian we ever see after all??? The movie may not prove Martian life by itself without other more solid evidence but it is intriguing now that some of the Phoenix science results are pointing more towards the possibility of current habitability of Mars. <br /><br />Note there are several other objects on different sol's caught moving in the soil of the microscopic imager. See false color image animation below.<br /><br /><span><u><span style="color:blue">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjjZh98w ... annel_page</span></u></span></span></span></p><span style="font-family:Verdana"><p style="margin:0in0in0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="color:black;font-family:Verdana">This earlier animation of sol 70 of above animation with all 9 raw&nbsp;microscopic images that I colorized was shown on CNN American Morning.</span></p><span style="color:black;font-family:Verdana"></span>&nbsp;</span> <p style="margin-top:0in;margin-left:0in;margin-right:0in" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family:Verdana">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YrBgoRBRJw&feature=channel_page</span></p></font></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> Ron Bennett </div>
 
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silylene

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

I especially thought of rlb2 and Andrew when I saw this report:


(I still want to point out that the liquid droplets observed by Phoenix could've been the liquid water-hydrazine eutectic also. For some reason, this possibility still hasn't been considered in the reports on the Phoenix doplets. See my post on the other thread on this subject.)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7958471.stm

Briny pools 'may exist on Mars'
By Paul Rincon
Science reporter, BBC News, The Woodlands, Texas




The probe had surpassed its expected lifetime by more than two months

Pools of salty water might be able to exist just below the surface of Mars, planetary scientists believe.

Researchers previously thought water existed largely as ice or as vapour on Mars, because of the low temperatures and atmospheric pressure.

But Nasa's Phoenix lander has shown the presence in Martian soil of perchlorate salts, which can keep water liquid at temperatures of minus 70C.


Pockets of brine might form when soil interacted with ice.

Researchers have been discussing the idea at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), here in The Woodlands, Texas.

They were presenting some of the first scientific results from Phoenix, which touched down on Mars's northern plains on 25 May 2008.

"I do think those pools might exist. But there's still more to know about the properties of these perchlorate solutions, such as what their vapour pressure is," Dr Mike Hecht, from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, explained.

Soil dampness

Phoenix used thrusters to slow its descent to the surface. And these blew away topsoil, exposing water-ice just centimetres beneath.

Dr Hecht said: "Here are all these perchlorate salts right under them, by a few centimetres, is a slab of [water ice]. It doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to say that those two materials will interact.
One of Phoenix's great achievements was to "touch" the water-ice

"And once you get dampness, the perchlorate is very soluble and it will become mobile."

On Earth, perchlorates - salts derived from perchloric acid - are used in solid rocket fuel, fireworks and airbags. Scientists are just starting to understand the important roles they may play on Mars.

Dr Hecht said that forming pockets of liquid on Mars would require just the right concentrations of perchlorate salts. He commented: "In this case we have very little perchlorate and vast slabs of ice, so I can imagine we have an excess of water. This means you would form a pool of low temperature brine if the two ever interacted."

Other researchers cautioned that the concentrations of these salts found at the Phoenix landing site remained a small component of the overall soil chemistry, and that more had to be done to test the idea.

Nevertheless, Dr Hecht said the discovery of these compounds made the Red Planet seem more Earth-like in several respects.

Big tilt
Perchlorates might be controlling the amount of water vapour in the midday atmosphere, according to separate evidence presented by Dr Troy Hudson of JPL.

And their presence might also explain why neither Phoenix nor the 1970s Viking landers found any firm evidence for "organics" - molecular compounds which contain carbon (though excluding carbonates for historic reasons).

These molecules are a crucial component in the search for possible biology on the Red Planet.

"The perchlorates, as you heat them in the oven (onboard Phoenix), release their oxygen and combust the organics," Peter Smith, the mission's chief scientist, told the conference.

"It's ironic: the two compete as you heat them. We did see CO2 release, but we're not sure whether that was from organics or not."

Professor Smith said several lines of evidence pointed to the past action of liquid water on the northern plains. These included the presence of aqueous minerals, cloddy, cemented soil and the discovery that some of the ice was "segregated", as if it had melted.

"It's probable that in a warmer, wetter climate, as when the obliquity (the extent to which Mars is tilted on its axis) changes, this could be a place where liquid water is found. That doesn't mean it's a lake. It just means that the soil is wet," Professor Smith, from the University of Arizona, explained.


Dr Nilton Renno thinks he has seen evidence of salty liquid-water droplets

The discovery of calcium carbonate in the soil is also suggestive of the past action of liquid water. The substance is found in rocks all over Earth and is the main component in limescale.

Peter Smith said it occurred at levels of 3-5% at the Phoenix landing site, probably forming as carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere dissolved into liquid water, forming a weak acid which leached calcium out of the soil.

But Dr Nilton Renno, from the University of Michigan, US, presented evidence that droplets of liquid water could actually be seen in photographs of a strut of the spacecraft's landing leg.

"The (spheroids) move, drip and merge," Dr Renno explained.

But Mike Hecht and Dr Tom Pike, from Imperial College London, UK, believe the droplets are more likely to be frost.

"The photographs are clipped from the corners of relatively low resolution images, so the number of pixels across those droplets is very small. Trying to ascribe shapes to them, to say they are spheres - which are characteristic of liquid - is going beyond the quality of the images," said Mike Hecht.

Secondly, he thought the thermodynamics of the Martian environment were not consistent with the relatively large changes in the sizes of droplets seen in the images.

Eventual demise

Dr Renno told the conference that ice particles were usually not just spheroidal, and did not move in the way the droplets did.

Mike Hecht said frost was able to move more readily in the Martian environment than it did on Earth because of the thin air.

However, the JPL scientist emphasised his agreement with Dr Renno on most areas concerning the properties of perchlorates at the Phoenix landing site.

Launched from Earth in August 2007, Phoenix landed further north than any previous mission to the Martian surface.

It conducted science operations for more than five months before succumbing to the cold and dark of the Martian winter. The robot dug, scooped, baked, sniffed and tasted the Martian soil to test whether it has ever been capable of supporting life.

It became the first mission to Mars to sample the water-ice it found just centimetres below the topsoil. Chunks of ice were seen to vaporise before the lander's cameras.
 
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paulscottanderson

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

There is another new update on The Planetary Society Blog, including comments on why the Phoenix team et al, think the droplets were salty water brines and not just ice or frost and unlikely to be the result of hydrazine, etc. from the engine thrusters mixing in with melted ice:

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001890

Excerpt:

"The first question that comes to mind is "Why don't they think the spheroids are made of ice, not liquid water?" They argue that ice particles wouldn't have formed in spheroids, they would have formed a thin, uniform layer, much like the frost coating seen later in the mission. For the spheroids to be ice at the observed weather conditions, the humidity would have to be higher than 100%. Also, toward the end of the mission, when frost was abundant at the landing site, ice spheroids should have grown in volume rather than shrinking. Ice couldn't form on the lander leg unless the leg was colder than the ice, but engineering data returned from the lander shows warmer temperatures.

The next question that's most often asked is "Couldn't the thrusters' composition have contaminated the landing site?" The answer is that Phoenix definitely disturbed her landing site; however, there is no evidence Phoenix chemically altered the site. If any ice was melted by the thrusters, it would have quickly turned into a vapor and not have turned into a liquid. After landing, several containers were vented, and all were on the opposite side from the spacecraft from where the robotic arm's workspace, and thus also the leg that showed these spheroids. The engineering data doesn't show that there was any hydrazine left to vent, and had there been, it would have been a solid at Phoenix's site due to the low temperature. Any byproduct of the hydrazine would not have caused the spheroids either."
 
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silylene

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

See my response on the other thread, in which I cited an article which says unreacted hydrazine was in the hot exhaust on the way down.
 
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rlb2

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

Silylene - Thanks old friend for that information. That 3 set image you posted from under the Phoenix Lander do you know what sol that was taken at?

I just got back from a one month business trip to Detroit so I am getting updated on the latest Mars information. By looking at your personal image I think we may have some common old ancestry connection - I am 1/4 part Cherokee.

I have something I am going to post on Y-tube that you and others here may be interested in. I will post the link here when I am finished with interpreting the data from the some of the images from the Phoenix Landers microscopic imager.
 
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silylene

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

Hello rlb2 - sorry, I don't know what sol that photo came from. I just attached it because i liked it. i am curious about the picture you will post.

Actually, I have no Native American blood in me. I just respect our original inhabitants, and I have always found Sitting Bull to be quite interesting (look up his many quotations sometime), and I like his no-nonsense and wise visage.
 
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rlb2

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

Knowing this forum, when I post them, the images are sure to be controversial.

_______________________________________________________________________________

'Most Habitable Zone' on Mars Revealed

Stoker rolled out at the meeting a "habitability index" — an approach akin to the Drake equation to evaluate the probability of life in the universe.

As a general conclusion, Stoker valued the Phoenix landing site as having a higher potential for life detection than any site previously visited on Mars. Moreover, the icy material that was sampled might periodically be capable of sustaining modern biological activity.

Delving into the Phoenix data, while admittedly still a work in progress, Stoker said it provides key information about the potential habitability of a red planet environment ...and the data suggest that habitable conditions have occurred in modern times. That belief, she said, cries out for rovers and the ability to drill down into Mars.

"What you see is that Phoenix comes down as a clear winner — a much, much higher habitability index than any of the other sites," Stoker told conference attendees. "The Phoenix landing site is the most habitable zone of any location we have ever visited on Mars."

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0 ... -mars.html
 
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abq_farside

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

rlb2":3tc62nvb said:
Knowing this forum, when I post them, the images are sure to be controversial.
Looking forward to seeing them in any regardless.
 
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silylene

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

rlb2":2d5unkjp said:
Thanks it took me some time to post it on YouTube because I had to condense it down from 20 minutes to below ten minutes but here it is.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhfSjJeQf58
Hello again Ron! (This is silylene, I still don't have my name back after the de-Pluckification)

I never knew your 'worm' animation sequence made it to CNN morning show! I remember it well. I also liked your 'scorpion' animation sequence. I can almost imagine seeing feet on these cute 'critters', though I suspect these are either my imagination or I am seeing image artifacts.

I suspect most of the movements observed is due to the wind. I do wonder what role water and/or sublimation played in moving the particles. As you know, outgassing, freeze/thaw and the capillary forces of droplet evaporation all can exert strong forces to move grains around. These could all be simulated rather easily in the lab with a microscope, a variable temp chill plate, and some sharp soil grains. I hope someone can follow up on this.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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rlb2

Guest
Re: Simulations Show Liquid Water Could Exist on Mars / New Phoe

Thanks silylene I hope that someone with the inside knowledge of how to extract out the science data from some of these animation images from the microscopic imager follows up on this. One question is when, what sol was the CO2 emissions found?

I did this also for scientific information, is the soil fluid-like full of salt-water (brine) at the right time of day.
 
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