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 Post subject: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:31 pm 
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Sure, why not. Sometimes interesting things about Mars get posted online. Like this new gravity map of our red neighbor posted by NASA.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/201 ... ravity-map

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:47 pm 
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First direct evidence of ancient Mars’s oxygen-rich atmosphere

https://www.newscientist.com/article/20 ... atmosphere

Quote:
“We found 3 per cent of rocks have high manganese oxide content,” Agnès Cousin of the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology in Toulouse, France, told the European Geophysical Union meeting in Vienna, Austria, earlier this week. “That requires abundant water and strongly oxidising conditions, so the atmosphere may have contained much more oxygen than we thought.”


But how long ago was this the case?

One thing to keep in mind is the dichotomy between the martian hemispheres. The southern hemisphere is made up of high plateaus while the northern hemisphere is a huge basin. One theory is Mars was struck by a gigantic object in the north, screwed up its areological cycle. The areological cycle being analogous to the geological cycle of Earth with an active core, flowing mantle, and robust magnetic field. This magnetic field protects our planet from cosmic rays, solar storms, and other phenomenon with the potential of whittling away the hydrogen and oxygen in our ubiquitous oceans.

In short, no magnetic field: no water. No water: no life.

Evidence of martian oxygen is self-evident by Mars's red regolith, made up of iron oxide or rust. More specifically, iron (II) oxide, Fe2O3. Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity have already found tons of this stuff we call hematite. It's good evidence for water, but much stronger for an oxygen atmosphere.

What's crucial for taking an ancient oxygen atmosphere out of the realm of theoretical possibility to reality is the Curiosity rover's discovery, and analysis of manganese oxide on our red neighbor.

To say this is exciting is an understatement!

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:45 pm 
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Dig those pixels, fam!

Beagle 2: most detailed images yet of lost Mars lander revealed
https://www.theguardian.com/science/201 ... r-revealed

IMHO, we should send a rover to trundle over and poke around.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 12:55 pm 
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Curiosity's First Visit to the Martian Dunes

www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/20 ... n-visuals/

Lots of purty pitchers

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 8:02 pm 
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Scientists figured out how water flows on Mars

http://gizmodo.com/one-of-the-biggest-m ... 1774225155

Quote:
The results of a new experiment published today in Nature Geoscience detail how scientists made the finding and what it means. Researchers built a chamber simulating the conditions and atmosphere of Mars, then put ice in there to melt. The ice did melt and the water from it flowed—but there was also a surprise. The surface of the water boiled as it flowed, and that boiling was strong enough to move not just the water but also dirt and debris surrounding the streams. Importantly, temperature was not the major factor in this boiling water, it was due to the pressure of the atmosphere.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 7:48 pm 
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The Giant Volcanoes of Mars

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-bl ... -mars.html

Purty pitchers from the Planetary Society

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 11:35 am 
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Cloudy with a chance of robots from that blue planet...

A mysterious cloud over Mars has been linked to a massive solar outburst
http://www.sciencealert.com/was-this-un ... r-outburst

A possible explanation for that high-altitude cloud from a few years ago.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 12:35 pm 
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Supersharp Mars Photos Show UK's Long-Lost Beagle 2 Lander

http://www.space.com/32691-europe-beagl ... hotos.html

Adventures in image processing!

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 9:01 pm 
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NASA just detected oxygen in the Martian atmosphere

http://www.sciencealert.com/a-flying-ob ... atmosphere

Who needs spacesuits anyway, eh?

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 5:23 pm 
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Mystery of Martian Methane Deepens

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... e-deepens/

Quote:
For a few weeks in late 2013 and early 2014, Curiosity noticed that atmospheric methane—a gas that could possibly be an indication of microbial activity—surged from an average background level of about 0.7 parts per billion all the way up to 7 parts per billion.


and

Quote:
(T)he rover's measurements do suggest that much subtler changes in the background methane concentration—amounts much less than during the spike—may follow a seasonal pattern.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 7:56 am 
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Evidence of Ancient Tsunamis on Mars

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36333760

Surf's up.

Quote:
"For more than a quarter century, failure to identify shoreline features, consistently distributed along a constant elevation, has been regarded as inconsistent with the hypothesis that a vast ocean existed on Mars approximately 3.4 billion years ago," said Alexis Palmero Rodriguez from the Planetary Science Institute in Tuscon, Arizona.


Forget water, it shows that Mars had geological (more appropriately areological) activity causing tsunamis. But did the ocean come before the putative great northern impact?

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 8:16 am 
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Which part of Mars is facing us?

There's an app for that.

http://www.nightskies.net/astro_now_dev/mars.html

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 12:33 pm 
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That's a handy tool. It bears considerable resemblance to the Sky & Telescope Mars Profiler available here:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/observing-tools/mars_profiler/mars.html#

Although very similar, each has a few slight differences from the other, so they're complimentary. Note that the S&T profiler opens an extraneous graphic to the right of the actual utility. Ignore it; it's present only when opened from a direct link. When opening it from appropriate page at S&T, the extraneous graphic is absent, but you need to log-in to access it from the S&T page, but no log-in for the direct link above.

BTW, this Mars Mapper works fine in both my Win 7 laptop and my iPhone 5s.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 8:52 pm 
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See the difference between the "Sky and Telescope" Profiler and the "Astronomy Now" Mapper. Which one would you want to use to locate the NPC (North Polar Cap)?


Attachments:
File comment: The Mapper software does a much better job of showing the NPC.
Mars 05_26_2016, 12_30 am.JPG
Mars 05_26_2016, 12_30 am.JPG [ 243.42 KiB | Viewed 23459 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2016 10:38 pm 
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NASA Radar Finds Ice Age Record in Mars' Polar Cap

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-r ... -polar-cap

Quote:
The new results agree with previous models that indicate a glacial period ended about 400,000 years ago, as well as predictions about how much ice would have been accumulated at the poles since then.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:42 pm 
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Curiosity's view of Mount Remarkable, in video format.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzP3Is700cY

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:38 pm 
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This is really interesting, and I want to learn more. An intensive Google search of ~120 seconds has returned nothing so I am turning to my fellow ASTRA members.

http://rebelmars.org/node/310

https://jtauber.github.io/mars-clock/

The current Mars epoch (a moment in time chosen as the origin of a particular era) began on 12/29/1873, over 50k sols ago.

Quote:
Terran astronomers often prefer to use Julian dates for timekeeping purposes. This is simply a sequential count of days, bypassing the complications of calendars. The counterpart on Mars was originally known as the Mars Sol Date, or MSD, which is a running count of sols since approximately December 29, 1873. Any start date could be used; however, it should be far enough in the past that all historically recorded events occur after the start. Over time these became known as mDays


What the heck, astronomically or culturally speaking, happened on that day? Does anyone know?

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Oh nevermind. It's the birthdate of Carl Otto Lampland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Otto_Lampland

Quote:
He was involved with both of the Lowell Observatory solar system projects, observations of the planet Mars and the search for Planet X.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:45 am 
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Spongy minerals could explain why Mars gives off methane burps

https://www.newscientist.com/article/20 ... ane-burps/

Quote:
Olivier Mousis at the Marseille Observatory in France and his colleagues suggest such a storage reservoir could be composed of zeolites: sponge-like minerals with microscopic holes and channels that easily trap and release gases.


BUT

Quote:
Unfortunately, we still haven’t found them. There has been one potential detection from orbit, but it hasn’t been confirmed. And despite searching for them on the ground, Curiosity has yet to find evidence for zeolites in Gale Crater.


Science or sciencey-ness?

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:40 am 
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NASA Mars Orbiters Reveal Seasonal Dust Storm Pattern

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-m ... rm-pattern

Quote:
Dust lofted by Martian winds links directly to atmospheric temperature: The dust absorbs sunlight, so the sun heats dusty air more than clear air. In some cases, this can be dramatic, with a difference of more than 63 Fahrenheit degrees (35 Celsius degrees) between dusty air and clear air. This heating also affects the global wind distribution, which can produce downward motion that warms the air outside the dust-heated regions. Thus, temperature observations capture both direct and indirect effects of the dust storms on the atmosphere.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:04 pm 
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A little history from my friend Dr. Beachcombing.

Life on Mars and other Stories

http://www.strangehistory.net/2010/09/1 ... r-stories/

Quote:
Lowell was well aware of the mistranslation (of channel to canal), but he nevertheless deduced, to his own satisfaction, that the canals had been built. They had been built, he decided, by a dying civilisation on Mars that wanted to drain water from the icy poles towards the equator in harvest season. What astronomers were seeing, argued Lowell, were not lines in the deserts but blooming vegetation around those lines as water filled the channels.


and...

Quote:
From the canals Lowell built a whole series of secondary theories including the position of Martian settlements and even speculation about how long it would take a Martian to build the channels in question. Lowell would then – in his talks and his writings – leave science behind and end with a dirge about how Martian life was dying as water was leaving the red planet and how this fate awaited the earth too. There was something very fin d’siècle about Lowell’s Mars.

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:06 pm 
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By the way, Lowell's books on Mars are available in your preferred ebook format at the Internet Archive!

Mars
https://archive.org/details/mars00lowe

Mars and its Canals
https://archive.org/details/marsitscanals00loweuoft

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:09 pm 
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Aaaand...

Mars as the Abode of Life

https://archive.org/details/marsasabodeoflif00loweuoft

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Bonus: Tracing the Canals of Mars

http://www.space.com/13197-mars-canals- ... owell.html

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:57 am 
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Knowing what season it is on each of Mars' hemispheres is important in understanding the changes in its visible features.

To determine the Martian season, first obtain the Martian solar longitude (Ls) by entering the Earth date in this conversion tool:
http://www-mars.lmd.jussieu.fr/mars/tim ... _time.html

Then, go to the first chart that appears in http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/mars-seasons.htm. In it, Ls is referred to as the "Areocentric longitude".

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 Post subject: Re: Mars Thread?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:40 am 
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Dutch crops grown on 'Mars' soil found safe to eat

http://phys.org/news/2016-06-dutch-crop ... -soil.html

Quote:
Abundant harvests of radishes, peas, rye and tomatoes all grown on the soil were found to contain "no dangerous levels" of heavy metals, said the team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

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