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#51 2004-06-29 02:28:18

atomoid
Member
From: Santa Cruz, CA
Registered: 2004-02-13
Posts: 252

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

--Cindy  cool

::EDIT::  A pic of the event is available for viewing at space.com; I can't "lift" it (for posting here) by clicking on the image, however.

cool, i was wondering if they'd ever figure that out...
h_mars_contrail_met_01.jpg
BTW, to "lift" those image URLs:
  http://mozilla.org/products/firefox/]Mozilla Firefox (my favorite): right-click image > "copy image location"
  http://www.avantbrowser.com/]Avant Browser (upgrades IE; uses same engine): right-click  > "Properties" the image url is listed
  Opera (good but lots o clutter): right-click > "copy image address"
  Microslop Internut Exploder ('nuff said): right-click  > "Properties" the image url is listed


"I think it would be a good idea". - Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

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#52 2004-06-29 02:35:18

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Any naturists out there know more about this kind of stuff?

Heehee...

Naturists= kind of nudists...

(Me imagining them getting pinched by crabs while trying to climb those banks, heehee...)

But it is an interesting picture, really.

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#53 2004-07-01 04:42:12

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

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#54 2004-07-01 05:06:12

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

*Mmmmmmmm!  smile  Wispy, pretty clouds.  They look so, so familiar -- that's the real charm. 

Sol -- I think I see a sunspot...very faint, on the extreme "southeast" limb (around the 4 o'clock position, using clock face analogy).  Would have to check it against the sunspot data at spaceweather.com for the date.  Sol's had some fairly large sunspots recently; I don't know why the rover's camera couldn't pick it up, even taking the added distance into consideration (and magnification or lack thereof).

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#55 2004-07-01 05:11:11

atomoid
Member
From: Santa Cruz, CA
Registered: 2004-02-13
Posts: 252

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

thats the best picture of clouds on MArs i have ever seen. they look pretty Earth-like to me, much more so than the faint wisps weve seen so far...

now another mystery:
http://www.lyle.org/mars/imagery/2P1418 … .html]from sol 174
http://www.lyle.org/mars/imagery/stereo … 9-P.jpg]3D anaglyph
why the bright spotch here? merely a desert varnish reflection off the rock? than why not more abundant in this photo and others? maybe a crystal plane reflection?


"I think it would be a good idea". - Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

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#56 2004-07-01 10:07:47

Stu
Member
From: Kendal, Cumbria, England
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 318
Website

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

New contender for the "Weirdest Picture From Mars Yet" pic..?

http://www.marsunearthed.com/Opportunit … ..._3D.htm

?!?!?!?!


Stuart Atkinson

Skywatching Blog: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/Cumbrian-Sky

Astronomical poetry, including mars rover poems: http://journals.aol.com/stuartatk/TheVerse

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#57 2004-07-01 11:48:20

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

I lost my glasses at school, sad  so i can't make out what's special about the pic, you know a 'regular' version, perhaps?

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#58 2004-07-01 15:21:51

atomoid
Member
From: Santa Cruz, CA
Registered: 2004-02-13
Posts: 252

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

I lost my glasses at school, sad  so i can't make out what's special about the pic, you know a 'regular' version, perhaps?

you can always click on the image at MU http://www.lyle.org/mars/bysol/1-152.html]but here it is in lyle sol 152
the weird thing is the spiny ridges sticking up like dinosaur bones. its kind of like the decaying bread loaves at the Spirit pot o gold site where the rind remains after the rock weathers away. this non-geologist assumes that this kind of stuff suggests that the rocks were exposed to mineralization at a time long after they were formed, a rind forming in water or air over the ages, kind og like the process of desert varnish, a dark rindy coating which is mainly manganese and iron oxides forming with the help of moisture and sunlight on exposed surfaces of rocks on earth (non-sunlight exposed surfaces get an orange hue due to just iron oxides)...

also on this page dont miss the http://www.lyle.org/mars/imagery/1M1416 … ]blueberry pedestal sans bluebery


"I think it would be a good idea". - Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

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#59 2004-07-02 03:30:34

atomoid
Member
From: Santa Cruz, CA
Registered: 2004-02-13
Posts: 252

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

looks like http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/im … id=667]the blueberries really are solid hematite after all.

"http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/mer/images.cfm?id=670]sparkly dust-like material" ??


"I think it would be a good idea". - Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

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#60 2004-07-02 05:52:48

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Nice link about the 'berries. Shows what can be done with using different filters to get more info. Neat.


Not sure this one has been posted already:
keiths]http://www.keithlaney.com/OCI/K7.jpg]keith's wonderful coloured 'minidunes' at the bottom of Endurance...

Beautiful AND puzzling, esp. that very flat band in front of the 'dunes'... Hmmm..

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#61 2004-07-02 06:22:34

REB
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From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
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Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

As posted http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/ … html]above The blueberry’s appear to be mostly made of Hematite.

My two questions are;

What caused http://mineral.galleries.com/minerals/o … m]Hematite to form a sphere?

They say the spheres are mostly hematite. What are the other elements involved?


http://www.mindat.org/min-5574.html]What about the sparkly material at Hanks Hollow? Could it be http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/ … pecularite?


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#62 2004-07-06 12:53:43

synthomus
Member
From: mitropa
Registered: 2004-03-11
Posts: 6

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Specularite? You could be right!

Astrobiology Magazine recently interviewed Steve Squyres and squeezed him for the latest Columbia Hills findings and hypothesis:

http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.ph … d=0]Spirit Explores the Columbia Hills

Steve Squyres hints that the bright and sparkly stuff at and around Pot of Gold may be a form of hematite that's called specular hematite (which is also known as Specularite).

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#63 2004-07-06 14:32:52

Yang Liwei Rocket
Member
Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

i think this is a nice photo, many  details and a good little camera angle

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/opport … ...0M1.JPG

shame about the black square block in the bottom corner blocking the pic


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#64 2004-07-06 14:42:56

REB
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From: Houston, Texas
Registered: 2004-04-07
Posts: 555
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Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

That is the first thing I thought of when I saw it (I had Hematite on the brain). If I remember my Geology right, I beleive Specularite forms in a water solution. The samples I have seen are mica-types.


"Run for it? Running's not a plan! Running's what you do, once a plan fails!"  -Earl Bassett

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#65 2004-07-06 17:26:21

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

I believe my position as to whether or not there was life on Mars has changed a lot since MER has landed. Primarily with the astouding revelation that hemetite can form biologically (further up in this thread are comments about scientists comparing Mars-hemetite to that in Utah, noting that it seems to be a biological action).


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#66 2004-07-07 11:57:37

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,345

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Rovers might get further lifeline

By Paul Rincon


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/natu … 872975.stm

Negotiations are underway to further extend the missions of the US space agency's Mars Exploration Rovers.
The rover team wants the robots to keep on with their science operations for longer than the 250 Martian days (or sols) they are expected to work.

Representatives from the team are making the science case to Nasa officials in order to secure funding for the mission beyond September.

The robotic explorers were originally due to work for just 90 Martian days.

We're not going to do a lot but stay alive and occasionally do some remote-sensing of the sky and surface. We'll become a long-term weather station," said Dr Arvidson.

The rovers might begin driving again by early 2005, when conditions improve on the planet.

If Nasa headquarters agrees to an extension, it is possible the rovers could still be roving well past their first anniversary on the Red Planet.

That would be neat, to have the rovers roving after a full year on Mars...  big_smile

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#67 2004-07-08 06:02:23

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Thanks, Synthomus, for that interview with Dr. Squyres.  smile

    I was beginning to get a little frustrated at the lack of any significant information from Mars in recent days but the interview helped me understand the problems faced by the MER drivers.
    It's easier to be patient when you have some idea what's going on in the background.


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#68 2004-07-08 06:29:33

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Hi Josh!
    You don't specify exactly how your position on the erstwhile existence of life on Mars has changed recently but I assume you mean you're more inclined to believe it once existed (?).
    If life ever existed on Mars, then it's a virtual certainty it's still there somewhere because it would be so hard to eradicate it from every ecological niche.

    "Life finds a way!"    :;):

   [As I've often said, I'd be extremely surprised if Mars were found to be sterile, and I'd be very nearly equally surprised if life there is uniquely martian. I believe the impact transfer of micro-organisms is a concept whose time has come and that it will be as mainstream in planetary science as continental drift (plate tectonics) is in terrestrial geology today.]
                                           smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#69 2004-07-12 04:08:56

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Shaun, I believed before that Mars had no life, in the past, or in the present. It was always a hunch, though. Not really based on any big evidence.

Been reading the Mars Rover sites tonight. I'm upset somewhat that I haven't been able to read them (or New Mars, for that matter) on a continual basis due to work. Looks like I haven't really missed anything since you guys have reported on all the good stuff (like Spirit's hematite discovery). But yeah.

Anyone know when the next briefing is?


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#70 2004-07-12 07:13:58

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Josh:-

Shaun, I believed before that Mars had no life, in the past, or in the present. It was always a hunch, though. Not really based on any big evidence.

    I'm not trying to make a big thing out of this, so forgive me if I seem to be harping on it, but I'm intrigued at your change of opinion.
    As you know, I've been pushing the 'life on Mars' barrow for years now and I know from the stony silence I've encountered in most cases that many people agree with the old NASA party-line that Mars is sterile. I'm always interested in the prospect of identifying a new ally!

    It's interesting, too, that your belief in a sterile Mars was based more on intuition (a hunch) than on the results, say, of the Viking experiments. I think I can understand your position because almost any amount of evidence is probably insufficient to prove a negative - though that didn't keep NASA from promptly declaring, on what turned out to be a pretty shaky basis, that Mars was not only lifeless but that its regolith was a highly effective sterilising agent!
    What I was hoping for, in your reply, was an indication of what has caused you to change your mind. I wondered whether you might have a list of factors which, while not conclusive evidence individually, had been persuasive enough, collectively, to sway you.

    I guess I'm just curious as to how convinced you are now that Mars harbours life.  ???   smile
    As for myself, I'm about as close to absolute certainty as you can get without being absolutely certain!   big_smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#71 2004-07-12 16:13:54

Ian Flint
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From: Colorado
Registered: 2003-09-24
Posts: 437

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Shaun,
If you're looking for an ally in the Case for Martian Life, I'll join the ranks.

I think that at the very least microbes have been bounced from Earth to Mars.  Other than that I'm still undecided.

What bothers me, though, is that if unique Martian life is found it might slow the colonization process.  The Martian Microbe Huggers might make such a stink as to postpone colonization past my active lifetime, so I kinda hope Mars really is sterile.  A nice situation for my peace of mind would be if life was buried deep underground and not found until colonization had already begun.

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#72 2004-07-12 17:36:55

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Thanks, Ian.
    Although a person (say, like myself for instance .. ! ) might be reasonably sure of the logic of something they believe to be true, there's nothing quite like the reassurance of finding someone else who corroborates that belief. In other words, it's good to get a 'reality check' once in a while!   big_smile

    I'm very much in agreement with your stated position. I believe any life found on Mars will almost certainly be the same type as we find here and, although it would be fascinating to find truly indigenous life-forms, that would be the worst possible outcome from a terraforming/colonisation standpoint. We'd be in a "Prime Directive" quandary and Mars would probably be off-limits indefinitely.
    I was interested to see that you leave open the question of whether Mars may have given rise to life-forms of a higher order than mere bacteria. Now wouldn't that be cool?!!  cool


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#73 2004-07-12 21:00:39

RobS
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From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
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Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

I think Spirit and Opportunity will cause the pendulum to swing back in favor of life, or at least ancient life. Indeed, we may be Martians after all. As Zubrin points out in his new book *Mars on Earth,* whenever a more advanced lifeform has evolved on Earth, the primitive form usually was not driven into extinction; thus multicellular life did not doom bacteria. But bacteria must have doomed all their precursor forms, because they don't exist. Yet bacteria are pretty sophisticated compared to the precursor forms that had to have existed. This may be an argument that bacteria evolved on Mars and were flung here; thus there are no precursors HERE, but we may find them in the Martian rocks. Life could have started on Mars faster because it would have cooled off first, and because the lack of plate tectonics means organic carbon accumulated in the Martuan sediments rather than being recycled by rapid early-Earth plate tectonics, so the Martian atmosphere could have accumulated traces of oxygen faster than the terrestrial atmosphere. It's a fascinating argument, testable only by going there.

         -- RobS

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#74 2004-07-13 01:59:30

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Well, I've always been a firm believer in the whole "wet Mars" theory, and those came true. And with water we find comes life. Everywhere we look, as long as there's water, there's life. So I guess it was naive or at least pessimistic of me to believe that Mars didn't have life. I mean, I have stated before that I think Mars probably did have life at one point but it doesn't any more because the changes that occcured on Mars happend over a timescale which evolution couldn't combat (ie, one big ass astroid hit and Mars pretty much shut down). But that position had changed for me, because looking at impact pictures of Mars, I found it really difficult to imagine that, well, life could easily have managed to get around on a planet that is getting constantly pummeled as Mars was. But the recent evidence is making this increasingly unlikely and in the end it is probably another naive belief (that life, this thing which can survive in some of the harshest conditions imaginable, cannot exist on a planet being riddled with asteroids!).


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#75 2004-07-13 02:50:08

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Spirit & Opportunity *7* - ...continuing...

Sheesh, Josh ... you sure have a convoluted way of expressing yourself at times!   yikes

    I think I detect the opinion that life probably did survive the asteroid bombardment and probably still exists on Mars today. Am I right? Is that what you're saying?
                                        ???   smile


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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