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#151 2012-10-01 11:17:48

Vincent
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From: North Carolina USA
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Some of the more prestigious forums are spending their idle time beating their heads against the transient liquid water on Mars wall. We did that here as well, a few days ago. I think a common misconception is the meaning of T. T stands for temperature. Not the temperature of the air, but the temperature of the water(H2O). Few would argue for the conductive, not convective, ability of a 10 hPa atmosphere. Ground temperatures are much more representative of conduction.

Does liquid water exist on the surface of Mars? Yes it does. It is, however, transient. Does it mean Mars is abode with life? No it does not. Does it mean the conditions for it may exist on a *circadian cycle, yes it does. Have we ever had evidence of a change in chemistry, a physical signature of life in a circadian cycle? Yes we have.

The truth is that the minimum  concentration of surface material on Mars is 3% water ice. The Northern Polar area that in visible satellite data shows a 2 mile cliff of H2O ice that only registers 7% hydrogen. This means that dust, a primary Mars weather constitute, skews that data. Let me say that again, 7% on a compacted water ice cliff. That dust sure screws up the data.
Mars is a dusty ball of ice as it should be, with transient liquid water. Life? Viking data still looms.

8044054214_1ebd379aff.jpg
Viking-Circadian by dfrank39, on Flickr


8044050535_2360255c3b.jpg
678603main_pia16083-full_full by dfrank39, on Flickr

* A circadian rhythm is any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours.

Viking data Ref: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-life-00g.html

Hydrogen Ref: http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/6786 … l_full.jpg

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-01 11:21:11)


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#152 2012-10-02 20:11:33

GW Johnson
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Vincent is correct about the likelihood of transient liquid water on today's Mars.  In context,  "transient" could refer to a time constant ranging from minutes to centuries,  depending upon circumstances.  I have seen lots of evidence for liquid water in photos from several sources,  for some time now.  It is quite obvious that there are transient outflow streams occurring on Mars today.  The source is likely melting of subsurface ice in warm conditions.  But no one yet knows for sure. 

One should remember that in an atmosphere that tenuous (unlike here),  there will be a very wide disparity between surface and atmospheric temperatures.  Surface temperatures will lead the air temperatures in timewise variation,  because of solar heating of a near-gray-body surface,  while the "air" is a mere narrow-band absorber of relatively very-low effective absorptivity,  even though it is CO2,  the greenhouse gas.  In the limit of zero "air",  behavior is very much like that on our moon:  very hot exposed surfaces in daylight,  while there are very cold surfaces in darkness.  "Air" temperatures in the boundary layer close to the surface will be somewhat closer to solid surface temperatures.  The rate of surface temperature variation hot-to-cold and back is only limited by surface layer thermal mass relative to achievable heat transfer rates air-to-surface. 

That being said,  these water outflows are truly transient at today's air pressure on Mars.  To be "stable" on time constants longer than a century,  Mars's atmosphere would have to be dense enough that the partial-saturation (less than 100% relative humidity) partial pressure of water vapor would exceed the equilibrium vapor pressure of water at the local liquid pool temperature.  For a liquid pool at 0 C,  that is 6.1 mbar.  For a warmer pool,  that partial pressure is higher still,  being the value shown in the standard steam tables.  I have a psychrometric chart for Earth air that gives relative and absolute humidities.  I don't have one for the nearly-all CO2 atmosphere that Mars has.  But,  in a crude sense,  it would still be similar.  It's still basically what an ideal gas can hold,  at any given gas temperature.  Hotter holds more water vapor. 

All thermodynamics books and air conditioning handbooks have such charts for Earth air.  I'm sure there's one in any edition of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics,  if anybody wants to go look.  (Try section F.)  My best guess is that we wouldn't be more than half an order of magnitude wrong applying such an Earth air chart to Mars "air".  But,  somebody somewhere at NASA JPL has the corresponding psychrometric chart for Mars "air",  or they would not be reporting a typical relative humidity of 0.3% on Mars. 

All that really doesn't matter.  The partial pressure of water vapor on Mars today is somewhere around a very tiny fraction of a single mbar.  There would be wide geographic variations,  including localized transients far higher around the outflow streams.  But for "average" conditions,  not only will small pools of exposed liquid water evaporate,  they will do so quickly and rather violently.  They'll approximate an adiabatic system and freeze in the act of boiling,  in most locations on Mars under "typical" conditions.  Local temperatures above 0 C only make the evaporation rate higher. 

Yet in the past,  conditions on Mars were far more Earthlike.  The semi-fossilized gravel bar that Curiosity photographed is startling proof of that.  Obviously,  there were streams.  That by itself implies lakes,  perhaps even oceans.  And,  I suspect,  microscopic life.  Those microbes might still be there,  underground.  We found microbes like that deep down in the rocks here,  only a few years ago.  I'm not so sure about multicellular forms,  as that took over 3 billion years here,  and Mars only had about 1-2 billion years before it dessicated,  froze,  and lost its atmosphere.  As best we know,  anyway. 

Dang,  I wish that rover had a real microscope.  Bacterial fossils here are very tiny,  those odd little traces in the Allan Hills meteorite were even smaller.  But,  still crudely comparable.  And the shapes were startlingly similar. 

GW


GW Johnson
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"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#153 2012-10-03 05:36:16

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Every once in a while you get a really cool image that comes to light. I have often wondered what an evening would look like on Mars. Now we know. This image is from Spirit Rover sol 682. Thought we could use some eye-candy while Curiosity digs in the dirt and sends back data that we should get by the spring of next year.This would be Phobos and unknow star. Did a crop of main image to make it a little more, "romantic."

Pass the meds.....

Vincent

8050665564_f68574a415.jpg
phobos_sol682B by dfrank39, on Flickr

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-03 09:31:28)


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#154 2012-10-04 14:58:54

louis
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Vincent wrote:

Every once in a while you get a really cool image that comes to light. I have often wondered what an evening would look like on Mars. Now we know. This image is from Spirit Rover sol 682. Thought we could use some eye-candy while Curiosity digs in the dirt and sends back data that we should get by the spring of next year.This would be Phobos and unknow star. Did a crop of main image to make it a little more, "romantic."

Pass the meds.....

Vincent

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8321/8050665564_f68574a415.jpg
phobos_sol682B by dfrank39, on Flickr

Beautiful image, Vincent. Very nice.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#155 2012-10-04 15:02:26

louis
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

It is a great shame that we land nearly a tonne's worth of a Rover on Mars and get only a v. fitful picture of the landscape. 

I am interested to know what it would take to produce a "real time" camera looking around as the Rover travels. Would it be that difficult? 

NASA seems ruled by science. They don't seem to understand how important it is to enthuse and involve the public.


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#156 2012-10-04 16:52:17

Koeng
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

I agree with you louis. The public votes on the people who decide their funding.

The only problem I can see is the data transfer rate. But then again, I don't know.

-Koeng


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#157 2012-10-04 19:36:38

louis
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Koeng wrote:

I agree with you louis. The public votes on the people who decide their funding.

The only problem I can see is the data transfer rate. But then again, I don't know.

-Koeng

Just a thought - is the data transfer rate limited by failure to work with ESA who still have a satellite going around Mars?  If NASA and ESA worked together could they really raise their game?


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#158 2012-10-05 16:23:05

Koeng
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

I think if the politics didn't get in the way, and space was build together instead of each faction hoping to get their own in space, we could do anything.

On that thought, ya I think that they could... Thats why I think a private company should send a satellite there just for communication like Mars One is planning. The more data they get across to the world, the more business. I think sometimes the US public thinks that they are the only world power in space right now.

I wonder if a small probe had enough energy it could... like a micro rover...

-Koeng


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#159 2012-10-06 09:55:14

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

CNN still showing a RED Mars. Last hour CNN headline news showed images depicting a Red Mars surface in their report at 11:42 EDT. Media bias and alteration still occurs it seems. Either NASA is trying to appease those that know better in our community, or trying to promote unsubstantiated data to the general public is the question. Give us a break. Just take the friggin picture....


As of now they have not posted image or video on the net. Most likely a moron intern who altered the images. (Or do they think we dont notice?)

Vincent

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-06 10:04:30)


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#160 2012-10-06 16:56:23

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Playing in the dirt. Sol 60

anim_869bf48a-10e9-fae4-59e9-d96f7f06b738.gif


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#161 2012-10-06 17:13:01

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

She's loose. Give me three tires and a round of wedge. This is Talladega, right?

8060921112_8017290bb5.jpg
0060MH0037002000E1_DXXX by dfrank39, on Flickr

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-06 17:15:38)


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#162 2012-10-06 18:35:13

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Its a rock, keep it moving.

8060913751_56e9211f89.jpg
0056ML0261000000E1_DXXX_sa-c1 by hortonheardawho, on Flickr


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#163 2012-10-07 09:21:42

louis
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

It's obviously Darth Vader's death mask.


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#164 2012-10-07 10:11:12

GW Johnson
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

That's a very unusual-looking rock depicted in Vincent's post 162 just above.  I swear I've seen rocks with dissolution pockets like that in limestone caves.  Any idea what it's made of?  That sure resembles water-based dissolution as seen here.  But,  limestone ???? There?  What a good target for the laser and spectrometer!

GW


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#165 2012-10-07 15:21:00

RobertDyck
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

GW Johnson wrote:

But,  limestone ???? There?

Ever since MGS we've detected both calcite (calcium carbonate) and dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate). They're a significant constituent of average Mars surface, not just specific locations. These are what limestone is made of. So I'm not surprised that a rock is limestone. Dissolution requires moving water, so this is more evidence of flow. Of course there could be other constituents: gypsum, jarosite, etc. You're right, this is a good target to analyze.

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#166 2012-10-07 19:38:07

Midoshi
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

RobertDyck wrote:
GW Johnson wrote:

But,  limestone ???? There?

Ever since MGS we've detected both calcite (calcium carbonate) and dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate). They're a significant constituent of average Mars surface, not just specific locations. These are what limestone is made of. So I'm not surprised that a rock is limestone. Dissolution requires moving water, so this is more evidence of flow. Of course there could be other constituents: gypsum, jarosite, etc. You're right, this is a good target to analyze.

Carbonates (of which limestone is an example) have indeed been identified from orbit and by the previous rovers, but not in the highly concentrated form we see on Earth (e.g. cliffs of Dover, which are biogenic). That doesn't mean they don't exist, but it would be news to find such a deposit. Also, as a note, you would not expect to see gypsum or jarosite coincident with carbonate because they form under sulfurous and acidic conditions, which would destroy carbonates (the carbon is displaced and floats off as CO2).


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#167 2012-10-07 19:55:22

Midoshi
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

louis wrote:
Koeng wrote:

I agree with you louis. The public votes on the people who decide their funding.

The only problem I can see is the data transfer rate. But then again, I don't know.

-Koeng

Just a thought - is the data transfer rate limited by failure to work with ESA who still have a satellite going around Mars?  If NASA and ESA worked together could they really raise their game?

Mars Express is in a highly elliptical orbit which is terrible for regular data relay, and NASA primarily considers it as a contingency option.

The upcoming Trace gas Orbiter (TGO) was intended to act as a Martian communications relay, and was an intimate collaboration between NASA and ESA. I was actually involved in payload selection, very early in the mission design, which was exciting. We had a bunch of Europeans and Americans physically in the same room talking and working together; it was great. Unfortunately, NASA has now been forced to bow out of the arrangement due to budgetary restrictions.


"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Albert Einstein

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#168 2012-10-07 20:51:39

RobertDyck
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Midoshi wrote:

you would not expect to see gypsum or jarosite coincident with carbonate because they form under sulfurous and acidic conditions, which would destroy carbonates

Yes, but which is there? Need to test.

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#169 2012-10-08 08:32:25

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

That is truly amazing. You guys really are impressive with what you can see in rocks. Nat Geo had a full afternoon of programming yesterday about rocks. Seeing geologist read rocks is like seeing me read clouds. I guess we all have our talents. I will post more rocks. We can all learn.


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#170 2012-10-10 13:48:54

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Well this is another 'Interesting Rock." Mud polygons typically form cracks on the horizontal plain, Here we have vertical sinus. I'm thinking underground water flow, while the ground was still warmer than the air, billions of years ago.
Let's hear from the experts... I think there is a lot going on here.

Vincent

8074850275_5fe3d87d05.jpg
mudcracks2 by dfrank39, on Flickr


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#171 2012-10-12 13:37:50

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Warning, not fit for all viewers. Curiosity uses the bathroom. Quicktime video.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5875127/msl/006 … 251_v4.m4v

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-12 13:50:53)


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#172 2012-10-13 08:39:48

GW Johnson
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

I'm no geologist,  but sure looks like some kind of mudstone to me.  It's had some kind of history with water post-deposition,  for sure. 

GW


GW Johnson
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#173 2012-10-13 08:53:02

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Yea, I'm no geologist either. The "rock guys" are remaining silent on this one. Such are rocks. I thought the last one was boring.
Vincent

Also, Can anyone tell me how to post an image without a bbc code. I tried the img brackets but it showed an error for a url.


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#174 2012-10-13 10:03:10

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Sol 45 natural color. This aint art. Vincent shoud know.

Vincent

8082938556_e2aca2a801.jpg
Sol45_Mastcam100_MountSharp by dfrank39, on Flickr

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-13 10:22:16)


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#175 2012-10-15 14:25:50

Vincent
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Re: Official MSL / Curiosity Rover Thread | Aug 5, 2012 10:31 p.m. PT

Imagine a world with pink skies and crimson seas, gray clouds and white icebergs. Where could such a world be? Earth.

8091444827_ac00479b60.jpg
PD*13378938 by dfrank39, on Flickr

Ice chunks floats in the Arctic Ocean as the sun sets near Barrow, Alaska, Sept. 13, 2006, on the same day two NASA studies reported Arctic sea ice is melting faster which researchers say threatens the ocean's delicate ecosystem. (AP Photo/Arctic Sounder, Beth Ipsen)

Last edited by Vincent (2012-10-16 03:29:10)


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