The Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area

Mars Thread?
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Author:  BetaDraconis [ Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Curiosity May Try to Sample the Water on Mars ... r-on-mars/

If images taken with Curiosity's MastCam camera confirm that the hilly region nearby has periodically flowing liquid water, then NASA will consider sending the rover to take a sample, a decision that ultimately would fall to the "planetary protection officer," the person in charge of ensuring that spacecraft don't mistakenly contaminate another celestial body with microorganisms from Earth.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Inverted Crater Found On Mars ... overy.html

Scientists speculate that the circular feature in question was originally an ordinary impact crater that was later filled in with sediment. The fill eventually hardened and became more resistant to erosion than the surrounding material, thus resulting in the creation of this inverted formation.

This theory proposes it's a Martian analogue of Devil's Tower in Wyoming best known for its appearance in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. While not volcanic like Devil's Tower, the mechanism is similar.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Once upon a time, Mars may have been Earth-like. ... arth-like/

The crux of the matter lay with Mars losing its magnetic field. Solar radiation affected martian water, the split hydrogen floating into space while the oxygen recombined with iron (rusty surface) and other materials.

What could Mars have been like if its dynamo had not been silenced?

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Is Mars Missing a Moon? ... ng-a-moon/

60 second podcast, biggest issue is the assertation Phobos was created from a debris disk. Phobos has a retrograde orbit around Mars, while Deimos is prograde. Conventional wisdom holds objects with retrograde orbits are captured since retrograde objects will eventually impact the parent body.

The concept is interesting, moreso with the prospect of Mars being surrounded by a debris disk.

Evidence found by Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity have discovered evidence that Mars was once wetter and more Earthlike.

A prevailing theory as to how Mars lost its magnetic field was a major impact disrupted the areological cycle ( Evidence of this may lay in the northern hemisphere. There is a dichotomy between Mars's hemispheres where the north could be a vast ocean basin while the southern hemisphere is made up of highlands. What if it wasn't a single impact, but multiple impacts over brief (though not by human standards) period in the northern hemisphere? There are remnants of Mars's magnetic field in small portions of its crust, notably in the southern hemisphere. I'll have to research if there are magnetic bits still in the north.

With this in mind, it's a bit more plausible than a Theia-like impact most believe created our largest natural satellite.

For those with access, doi:10.1038/ngeo2742

Everyone else can use Bless those crafty Russians for making science available to everyone.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Pareidolia... or something deeper?

Astronomers just discovered a Morse code message in the dunes of Mars ... es-of-mars

These images were taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which is on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been photographing the Red Planet for the past decade.

Spoiler: It doesn't say "Drink More Ovaltine"

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Do these strange Martian rocks hint at life on the Red Planet? ... Red-Planet

In 2013, Mars rover Curiosity identified large amounts of the element manganese in a piece of rock – which, by all accounts, shouldn’t have been there. Now, analysts say the discovery could be proof of a once-oxygenated Martian atmosphere.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Martians Might Be Real. That Makes Mars Exploration Way More Complicated

“When you look at Earth, everywhere we go where there’s liquid water,” said Jim Green, the agency’s director of planetary science, “we find life.” And the Martian water wasn’t confined to that one crater wall. Once scientists knew what to look for, they found similar dark streaks at more than a dozen other sites. The agency’s Curiosity rover was actually within striking distance of a few of these streaks. “We might be able to visit,” Green said. The announcement made headlines around the world. It also set off a bunch of quiet changes within the space agency itself.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Aug 09, 2016 9:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Volcano Summit Image, Hawaii

http://photography.nationalgeographic.c ... ope-scene/

Could this be what our descendents, or some of us as posthumans, could see as humanity begins terraforming Mars?

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Time On Mars Moves Faster Than Time On Earth ... curiosity/

According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, the higher gravity on Earth's surface makes time move more slowly relative to time on Mars.

Uh... really? It's enough to be noticeable? Could any time difference would be a wash between the two planets?

For those of you playing along at home, a martian second is 1.027 terran seconds.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

A Traditional Globe Maker is Making 3-D Versions of Historic Martian Maps ... rtian-maps

Something neat for those of you wanting an astronomy-related knick knack for your home.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Mars Life? 20 Years Later, Debate Over Meteorite Continues ... years.html

The scientists behind the 1996 study "continue to support our original hypothesis," Thomas-Keprta said. Gibson concurred, adding that "no scientific data has been presented to date that disproves any of the four original lines of evidence presented in 1996. Interpretation of the data is where the disagreement arises."

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

NASA Just Released More Than 1,000 New Images Of Mars' Surface ... rs-surface

Samantha Cole shares some of her favorites, and links to the entire catalog for your pleasure:

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Meteors might have wiped out evidence of life on Mars in the places we’re looking ... tudy-finds

In the end, they found that typical meteorite impacts produce enough energy to destroy long chain hydrocarbons and chemically alter aromatic hydrocarbons, concluding that impact craters might not be the best place to search for signs of life.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

New technique may help detect Martian life ... tian-life/

What's interesting here is Shell Oil funding this investigation. Are they looking for extraterrestrial petrochemicals? Do they hope to answer the question if oil is abiogenic or not?

Another case in point:

Stromatolites: Astrobiological Implications

The result: Both Big Oil (Chevron, Repsol, BP and Shell) and NASA are supporting research into stromatolites, the calcium-carbonate rock structures built up by lime-secreting bacteria (technically, cyanobacteria, that draw their energy from photosynthesis). We can probe ancient life on Earth by studying these accreted structures, some of which go back more than 3.5 billion years.

Matthew would have a field day with this.

Author:  doctorcos [ Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

I never was interested in biological chemistry.
I'd rather NASA spend the money to put telescopes on the Moon, especially radio telescopes on its far side, where there would be no interference from manmade radio waves coming from Earth.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Aug 16, 2016 6:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

See I thought you would have a field day with Big Oil being involved with astrobiology, rather than fussing over biological chemistry vs. inorganic chemistry.

Conspiracies, if you will.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Orbiter Detects Changing Climate on Early Mars ... early-mars

New results by SETI Institute researcher Dr. Janice Bishop and Houston colleague Dr. Elizabeth Rampe indicate a change in climate from the environment supporting liquid water and formation of clay minerals to an environment where liquid water was no longer abundant on the surface. This study is published in the August issue of EPSL.

Tons of charts and graphs, if that's your thing and I'm not judging.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Mars' Polar topography reveals astronomical forcing of climate ... graphy.pdf

These new findings allow us to confidently connect Martian polar ice layers with specific dates for the first time.

Unfortunately there is nothing else except this "science nugget" pdf.

Here's the profile page for the guy behind this finding.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Shades and Textures: A Piece of Mars ... -textures/

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Martian Methane May Come From Comets ... 180960428/

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Some Ancient Mars Lakes Came Long After Others ... ter-others

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Marsquakes Could Potentially Support Red Planet Life ... -life.html

Prior work suggested that when rocks fracture and grind together during earthquakes on Earth, silicon in those rocks can react with water to generate hydrogen gas. Study lead author Sean McMahon, a geomicrobiologist at Yale University, and his colleagues wanted to see if marsquakes could generate enough hydrogen to support any microbes that might potentially live on the Red Planet.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Senate panel authorizes money for Mars mission, shuttle replacement ... /90793160/

The measure would:

Direct NASA to continue working on the Space Launch System and Orion multi-purpose vehicle that are the linchpins of a planned mission to send astronauts to Mars by the 2030s. The bill includes specific milestones for an uncrewed exploration mission by 2018 and a crewed exploration mission by 2021.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

Was There Ever Life On Mars? ... e-on-mars/

Signatures of such life might still exist now, she said; the instruments on the Curiosity rover were designed to find out if it was possible for those signs to survive. Curiosity data showed that some large carbon-based molecules remain in the soil of Mars, and they aren't just the results of contamination from the rover itself.

Author:  BetaDraconis [ Tue Oct 04, 2016 1:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mars Thread?

An ultraviolet spectrograph of Mars. ... 7634c257c6

If the link doesn't work, let me know and I'll rehost it.

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