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Bewildered
2004-Sep-20, 04:08 PM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=669&ncid=669&e=3&u=/usnw/20040920/pl_usnw/water_and_methane_maps_overlap_on_mars__a_new_clue _124_xml

patrick
2004-Sep-20, 04:41 PM
Some visuals are available from the ESA's website:
http://esamultimedia.esa.int/images/marsexpress/methane-concentration.GIF
and

http://esamultimedia.esa.int/images/marsexpress/Water-vapur-concentration.GIF

Grand Vizier
2004-Sep-20, 06:41 PM
Short account from space.com:

Provocative observations (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/express_methane_040920.html)

The locations are interesting. Elysium is the second most important volcanic district on Mars after Tharsis. And there are lava domes in Arcadia. Can't find any volcanic references to Arabia, though.

Makes it a bit ambiguous. Either the results could be just due to geochemical activity, or life could be holding out in just such areas because the energy is available.

Hope they deploy MARSIS soon...

Bozola
2004-Sep-20, 08:16 PM
Water and methane?

Hmmmm. Sounds like my dog.

aurora
2004-Sep-20, 08:58 PM
Interesting that they are starting to home in on the source locations.

Still doesn't answer the question of geology versus biology for the source, though.

Grizzly
2004-Sep-20, 10:23 PM
I don't want to pour cold water (pun intended) on the ardour of everyone, heck I feel a tinge of excitement over this.

But who made the connection with water, and why? I thought that the orbiter had only detected higher elevations of hydrogen. We then connected the dots and said... "Well, since the picture indicates high elevations of hydrogen at the poles, and we know there's water there, then..."

Assumptions started coming out about the soil being a mixture of ice and rock. We started hearing about high water tables and all.

As far as I recall there's no direct evidence that it IS water down there.

Please correct me if I'm wrong...

----
Dic mihi solum facta, domina
Just the facts, ma'am

Grand Vizier
2004-Sep-20, 11:09 PM
As far as I recall there's no direct evidence that it IS water down there.


It's about water vapour, not liquid water. Like the methane, it may only be in ppm, but if the results are consistent, it must be coming from somewhere to, and that somewhere will have to be local to those regions. Hugely symptomatic of something, if true. At the least it indicates that Mars is a geologically active planet. At the most...

John Kierein
2004-Sep-21, 09:47 AM
Methane plus oxygen makes methanol and that further oxidized makes formaldehyde. http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2002/robson/methods_of_manufacture.htm

This is the stuff that is of big talk on "coast to coast am". The PFS may also have detected formaldehyde and earlier claimed to possibly have detected ammonia. This is the subject of the peer review. The claim that this is all due to life is big time stuff.

Grizzly
2004-Sep-21, 01:28 PM
As far as I recall there's no direct evidence that it IS water down there.


It's about water vapour, not liquid water. Like the methane, it may only be in ppm, but if the results are consistent, it must be coming from somewhere to, and that somewhere will have to be local to those regions. Hugely symptomatic of something, if true. At the least it indicates that Mars is a geologically active planet. At the most...

Upon reflection I realize that in my haste to leave for the day I might have not been as clear as I wanted to.

I know that they've detected water vapour, and that is most intriguing. It's also interesting that they found the water vapour in an area of higher elevations of hydrogen detected by another probe (MGO?). It may be natural to make that link concrete, but until we understand what form the hydrogen is in, it's still a big leap to say "if there's elevated hydrogen then that means lots of sub-surface ice, BECAUSE there's water vapour."

What I wouldn't give to have something, someone on the ground there.

----
Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum
Sometimes I get this urge to conquer large parts of Europe

Swift
2004-Sep-21, 02:58 PM
Interesting that they are starting to home in on the source locations.

Still doesn't answer the question of geology versus biology for the source, though.
It would be nice to have isotope information. I suspect that as on Earth, biological versus geological sources would have different
carbon-12/carbon-13 ratios.

ToSeek
2004-Sep-21, 04:27 PM
New Scientist article (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996425)

Astrobiology Magazine (http://www.astrobio.net/news/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid= 1207&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0)

kg034
2004-Sep-22, 07:04 AM
... it's still a big leap to say "if there's elevated hydrogen then that means lots of sub-surface ice, BECAUSE there's water vapour."

What I wouldn't give to have something, someone on the ground there.


As Grand Vizier said, MARSIS is supposed to settle this question of subsurface contents :). So, anyone have any news on its deployment? Last time I checked, it was on indefinite hold, fearing that the vibrations during the deployment(unfurling) might be detrimental? Kinda interesting that they discovered this in simulations before actual deployment.....Anyone have more details on this, how they came to this conclusion, etc...? MARSIS was built by a company out of Arizona, correct?

MicroKid
2004-Sep-22, 10:17 AM
Guys,

You really want to see water on Mars now?

Have a look at this blinker and xeyed photos from Opportunity's Sol 104 and Sol 108.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v376/MicroKid/FluidFlow20.gif

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v376/MicroKid/FluidFlowSol104_3d.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v376/MicroKid/FluidFlowSol108_3d.jpg

What do you think caused the darker soil patches, altered brownish to bluish soil boundary changes, moved BBs, soil covered to shinny BBs and visible to dark soil covered BBs? Opportunity taking a leak on the rock face?

MicroKid

Ian Goddard
2004-Sep-22, 04:16 PM
From news @ nature.com (http://www.nature.com/news/2004/040920/full/040920-5.html)


Martian methane hints at oases of life

Microbe population estimated, but space community is unconvinced.

In the first published study to track methane on Mars, researchers have concluded that life is the only plausible source of the gas.

01101001
2004-Sep-23, 04:26 AM
Oliver Morton's Mainly Martian Blog (http://mainlymartian.blogs.com/semijournal/) article And Back from Ischia descibes a conversation with Formisano, and punches some holes in what was reported recently about methane and water, and further back ammonia, and also mentions hints of possible abiogenic sources of formaldehyde (if it has been detected, as rumored). It's pretty long and packed with tidbits, like:


I caught up with Vittorio Formisano at lunchtime, and asked him what was going on. Here's the gist. His presentation was basically what is now up on the ESA website: the data from the Mars Express Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) seem to show three patches of enhanced methane and enhanced water vapour in the martian atmosphere, one of which is over Arabia. [...] Having talked to Bill Boynton -- who’s the principal investigator on the Odyssey gamma ray spectrometer -- a bit in the afternoon, I found him not terribly supportive of that interpretation. For one thing, the regions Formisano is talking about aren’t a terribly good match to the regions that Boynton and his colleagues have mapped out. For another, Boynton tends to think that the hydrogen they’re seeing in those low-latitude regions is more likely to take the form of hydrated minerals than ice.

Edit PS: Please don't include fat images in articles. They make it inconveniently necessary to scroll to read text. Links will suffice, fine. Thanks.

Chip
2004-Sep-23, 06:04 AM
BBC: New Mars data gives life clue (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3673248.stm)

Story from Monday, 20 September - BBC Online.

"New data showing that patterns of water and methane in Mars' atmosphere overlap may have important implications for the idea that the planet could harbour life."

Article outlines pro and con for this data.

Irishman
2004-Sep-26, 10:09 PM
MicroKid, this is now the fourth thread to which you've posted that image. We were not convinced in the first thread. WE DO NOT NEED TO SEE THIS PICTURE IN EVERY THREAD! Yes, I'm shouting so you can hear me.

Posting large pictures in threads is rude anyway. It upsets the formatting of the page and makes us have to scroll the window sideways to follow the full conversation. This is not fun, and is an extra task over nominal scrolling up and down. Repeating the same large picture over and over is extra annoying. We've already seen it. If you want to refer to it, post a link.

ToSeek
2004-Sep-29, 04:15 PM
Sky & Telescope article:

Mars Methane Boosts Chances for Life (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1358_1.asp)

Grand Vizier
2004-Sep-30, 03:29 PM
As Grand Vizier said, MARSIS is supposed to settle this question of subsurface contents :). So, anyone have any news on its deployment? Last time I checked, it was on indefinite hold, fearing that the vibrations during the deployment(unfurling) might be detrimental? Kinda interesting that they discovered this in simulations before actual deployment.....Anyone have more details on this, how they came to this conclusion, etc...? MARSIS was built by a company out of Arizona, correct?

ESA's still not giving a firm date for deployment. Since the issue is, as you say, that the deployment of the booms may prove a threat to the spacecraft's integrity, I'd guess that they are concentrating on getting in as much as they can from the other instruments before taking any risks. It's frustrating, but even if the risk is small, it's only sensible.

MARSIS is an ESA/NASA collaboration - it has its own home page at:

http://www.marsis.com/index.php3 - which for some reason likes to have most of its documents as .zip files.

...but I can't find out who actually built it - pages I looked at didn't mention Arizona. Haven't got the time to go through the site unzipping everything.

ToSeek
2004-Sep-30, 03:59 PM
...but I can't find out who actually built it - pages I looked at didn't mention Arizona. Haven't got the time to go through the site unzipping everything.

the University of Rome, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Iowa. (http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/marsx/)

Another page with more information (http://www.marsis.com/index.php3?page=involved_organization.php3)

Grand Vizier
2004-Sep-30, 04:38 PM
...but I can't find out who actually built it - pages I looked at didn't mention Arizona. Haven't got the time to go through the site unzipping everything.

the University of Rome, the NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the University of Iowa. (http://www-pw.physics.uiowa.edu/marsx/)

Another page with more information (http://www.marsis.com/index.php3?page=involved_organization.php3)

Got that - I just thought they might have sub-contracted it. It's a trivia question, anyway...

ToSeek
2004-Nov-12, 06:55 PM
Mars Methane Boosts Chances for Life (http://skyandtelescope.com/news/article_1389_1.asp)


Tantalizing new evidence possibly suggestive of current life on Mars has just been reported by two independent teams. The groups, led by Michael J. Mumma (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) and Vladimir A. Krasnopolsky (Catholic University of America), have found the spectral signature of methane (CH4) in the Martian atmosphere. Mumma's team found significant enhancements of methane near the equator, while Krasnopolsky's results show a global level of atmospheric methane. The results were presented this week at the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Sciences conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

ToSeek
2004-Nov-15, 05:42 PM
Scientists face the fact of Mars methane (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996669)


There is methane on Mars, scientists have concluded from the latest data. And one group of researchers argue there may be a lot more methane being produced than previously thought.

Methane is of great interest because on Earth, almost all of it comes from living things - everything from rotting plants to bovine flatulence. But there are other possible sources of methane on Mars.

While one researcher, Vladimir Krasnopolsky at Catholic University of America, argued that those other sources are so unlikely that the methane must be biologically produced, most scientists at the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, said they are concentrating on the non-biological mechanisms.

Shadow
2004-Dec-08, 08:06 AM
Hello again

well isnt this an interesting thing to come up...methane on mars ...and Sir Charles had it on his site the whole time. and about the SOL 120 images....hidden ..and now made public ...wonder why ? they were posted at http://www.xenotechresearch.com/marsindx.htm long beofre they "NASA"got them up. I wonder why they "NASA" didnt put them on their site? before now they are after all only images. LOL oh well. I am glad to see Sir Charles was right all along and that he never stooped to a level of name calling or any child like acting for his findings. It just serves to show that he has integrity. That befits his Knighthood. So i guess back peddling will be going on now for a spell, I like that. So many people with varied opinions and most wrong.
I have a thought... look beofre you leap. that works.

So the work goes on with Sir Charles. Isnt it amazing that NASA has proved once again that Sir Charles is right. AMAZING.

jt-3d
2004-Dec-08, 02:46 PM
Is this the part where we now have to accept everything he's says because he may have been right once? Sign me up, Scotty.

Oh and please don't spam the board. Once would have been enough.

ToSeek
2004-Dec-08, 02:56 PM
Hello again

well isnt this an interesting thing to come up...methane on mars ...and Sir Charles had it on his site the whole time. and about the SOL 120 images....hidden ..and now made public ...wonder why ? they were posted at http://www.xenotechresearch.com/marsindx.htm long beofre they "NASA"got them up.

The word "methane" appears nowhere on the linked page. And if NASA didn't publish the images, how did Sir Charles get them?