View Full Version : Discussion: Success! Spirit Lands Safely on Mars

2004-Jan-04, 06:13 AM
SUMMARY: NASA controllers confirmed that the Spirit rover successfully landed on Mars today. The spacecraft passed through the atmosphere, deployed its parachute, fired its retrorockets, and then bounced along the Martian surface protected by airbags - its landing time was January 4 at 0435 UTC (11:35 pm EST January 3). Pictures from the Martian surface are expected soon. Spirit will spend at least 90 days traveling around the surface of Mars, searching for evidence of past water with several scientific instruments. The next rover, Opportunity, is expected to land on January 24.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Jan-04, 06:20 AM
Woo-hoo! I've been listening to NASA TV on the net. Boy, those scientist are relieved and so happy!

2004-Jan-04, 07:47 AM
It's so strange, they were happy before landing.

2004-Jan-04, 11:27 AM
anticipation and finally relief, now for the data

2004-Jan-04, 02:18 PM


Polly V
2004-Jan-04, 04:52 PM
Congratulations Spirit ! (Big relieved sigh) I have a whole 6 pictures to mull over, can't wait to see more. Ah yes congrats to NASA for a job well done.

I have the NASA Mars page up because for some reason I have never had any luck with NASA TV on previous occassions. don't know why :unsure:

2004-Jan-04, 08:28 PM
Yay!! *dances around* I have NASA TV on my satellite dish, so I was watching the whole thing. Quite nervous was I! Especially when they lost communications for awhile, I was biting my nails and praying every prayer I could remember from when I used to go to catholic school. But I'm really excited it worked :D

2004-Jan-05, 02:30 AM
Congrats to NASA on their success. I wonder if they could contact Beagle 2 and tell it to 'phone home'.

2004-Jan-05, 03:46 AM
I'm glued to nasa tv. Can't wait for high gain antenna to be operational.

2004-Jan-05, 04:52 AM
I have a question. There was an airbag still partly inflated (just like in pathfinder). If the probe had not landed right side up, would this have caused a problem?

2004-Jan-05, 05:01 AM
High gain antenna working! Transmitting in 18 minutes!

2004-Jan-05, 05:11 AM
I don't have NASA TV. Guess I'll have to settle for brodcast news coverage, and/or internet news service.

I'm awful glad Spirit made it. Now I got the job of explaining all the hubb bubb to my wife.

2004-Jan-05, 05:18 AM
Watch it on the web. The main NASA TV link can get a little overwhelmed, but some of the alternative ones still have the bandwidth.

2004-Jan-05, 05:21 AM
Data flowing from high gain antenna as of 10 seconds ago. Very strong signal strength.

2004-Jan-05, 05:32 AM
I wonder why there is no color on those picture... ;)

2004-Jan-05, 05:45 AM
I assume we should start seeing colour pictures in the not too distant future once we start receiving images through the high gain antenna.

2004-Jan-06, 04:08 AM
that would be awesome! be nice to get some color in

2004-Jan-07, 02:43 AM
Hey guys,

Check out the new spirit photos, those balloon track marks in the sand.



http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/pre.../20040106a.html (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040106a.html)
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/pre...6a/PIA04998.jpg (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040106a/PIA04998.jpg)
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/pre...6a/PIA04995.jpg (http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/20040106a/PIA04995.jpg)

2004-Jan-07, 02:49 AM
call me a pessimist, but i'd have to have chemical proof to back up a statement like that

2004-Jan-07, 02:52 AM
Dude, look at it. Does it look like dry sand?

No doubt about it, that's wet sand.

2004-Jan-07, 02:54 AM
i am looking at the pictures....and i see nothing that says wet sand

2004-Jan-07, 02:56 AM
Are you looking at the balloon track marks in the sand?

What aren't you seeing that's wet sand?

2004-Jan-07, 02:58 AM
i am looking at all the pictures in your original posting and i am seeing shifted disturbed sand, but not wet sand....i see a similar thing when i am working in the Outback

2004-Jan-07, 02:59 AM
Dude are you mad?

How do those balloon track marks look like dry sand?

2004-Jan-07, 03:02 AM
they look like dry disturbed sand to me, i will wait until they announce any moisture, it ought to be detected i imagine. but no, i am no where near convoince that it shows wet sand

2004-Jan-07, 03:02 AM
The sand is clearly clumping together in and around the track marks.

As well as holding steeply smooth shapes uncharacteristic of dry sand.

2004-Jan-07, 03:05 AM
nope, just disturbed dry sand - well thats what it looks like....like i said i have seen this in the Outback sand

2004-Jan-07, 03:08 AM

If you have seen it in outback sand then it was sand with some moisture content.

That definetly looks more like sand with moisture content than bone dry sand, that much nobody can argue with, whether it's a photographic illusion or not.

2004-Jan-07, 03:13 AM
have you been in the outback? i mean way out in the outback??

like i said, until they come up with conclusive evidence, i.e. detect water/moisture, i will still believe that the image is showing disturbed martian sand

2004-Jan-07, 03:16 AM
Well good for you and I applaud your scientific skepticism which I am sure you demand (the applause I mean).

But please tell me what it is about outback sand that makes it look like wet sand when it is bone dry.

2004-Jan-07, 03:19 AM
I&#39;m questioning myself after looking at the given photos in large image...If it were "wet sand" the impressions would be more detailed...wouldn&#39;t they? I see hi-def planted rocks all around, yet no view of sunk in or dry vs. wet lines in ...anything. Maybe I need to look again. <_<

2004-Jan-07, 03:22 AM
mate, firstly can the sarcasm be removed, it is called a difference of opinion - we simply disagree. I demand no applause, that is ridiculous.

Secondly when i was working with mining companies in Outback Western Australia the ground always appeared wet when disturbed, i am not 100% certain why though.

Thirdly, what is so wrong with waiting for actual concrete data? yes it does look interesting, but given what is known of water on Mars (ie exists as a gas and a solid only - this is just what i have read countless times) then i am exceedingly skeptical that this is moisture. As Victoria said, there would be a far more defined impression.

Fourthly, if it does turn out to be moisture then fantastic&#33;&#33; the implications would be huge and exciting&#33;

I am not competing, i am merely stating that i disagree with you, its not personal, it happens a lot with everyone. Sarcasm and profanity will not sway my decision in any way.

2004-Jan-07, 03:33 AM
Well at least we have gotten to the point where we agree that sand looks wet as opposed to not.

Maybe you can send your observations on outback sand to nasa :

NASA debuts first color picture from Mars rover

By Kate Tobin and Richard Stenger
Tuesday, January 6, 2004 Posted: 7:27 PM EST (0027 GMT)

...While they wait, the science team is already scratching its head over a strange looking patch of ground that they believe was exposed when the landing craft&#39;s airbag dragged across it.

Describing it as a "layer of cohesive material," scientists say they saw something similar in photographs taken at the landing sites of the Viking spacecraft back in the 1970s. It even has a name, "duracrust." But beyond that, the scientists are baffled.

"It&#39;s not like anything I&#39;ve ever seen before," said Squyres. "It&#39;s very weird looking stuff."....

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/01/06/m...rpic/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/space/01/06/mars.colorpic/index.html)

2004-Jan-07, 03:40 AM
duracrust....yes, i know of that very well, still does not imply moisture now, but does imply it from the past - already established.

duracrust is like laterite in the desert - no moisture there....in the article they do not mention moisture in the present day for that site.

Until sensors on the rover pick up moisture in the soil, i will remain skeptical

by the way, NASA already have been in the outback several times over the years.

2004-Jan-07, 03:57 AM
:D How exciting that will be...to see what lays on the surface and beyond.

2004-Jan-07, 03:59 AM
yes that is very true Victoria&#33; it&#39;d be awesome to have a closer look at things like the duracrust, the boulders etc.

methinks the next few months are gonna be awesome&#33;

2004-Jan-07, 04:00 AM
Here&#39;s an interesting analysis of Duracrust from the Viking mars mission:

"Sulfate mineralogy in hydrothermal systems and dried lakebeds
would probably produce more highly crystalline min-
erals (such as gypsum or anhydrite) than seen in the
duracrust based on comparison with terrestrial sys-
tems. Mapping sulfates in this wavelength region
thus offers high potential in locating aqueous sites on
Mars. "

Also see "Hydrous Magnesium Sulfates--A New Possibility" in the same article:

http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:SpV9QI...&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 (http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:SpV9QIxCKk8J:www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2001/pdf/1919.pdf+duracrust&hl=en&ie=UTF-8)

2004-Jan-07, 04:04 AM
yes i have seen that article, it furthers the theory that mars was indeed a wetter and possibly warmer place in the past....it may indicate moisture from the past (heck even may indicate concentrations of permafrost in the substrate), but it still doesn&#39;t say that it is wet/moist soil near the rover....

I am hoping the sensors on the rover may pick something up, as it would add to the possibility that mars may still be wet.

2004-Jan-07, 04:11 AM
Looks to me like the liquid is condensing for longer than thought. That sand looks wet to me:

"The duracrust on Mars is the actual surface locally. The dust is cemented locally to about a few millimeters, a few centimeters&#39; depth. It&#39;s thought by water that sublimates from ice that&#39;s pretty deep below the surface migrates toward the surface, condenses very briefly at the surface, melting cementum -- that is clay-like material -- and very loosely binding the Martian sand together. Martian sand grains are maybe on the order of tens to hundredths of microns in size."

http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:KuwCFD...&hl=en&ie=UTF-8 (http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:KuwCFDu4ssgJ:robotics.nasa.gov/courses/fall2002/event/oct8/translog.htm+duracrust&hl=en&ie=UTF-8)

2004-Jan-07, 04:13 AM
maybe the sensors will pick that up, it&#39;d be very exciting if it did&#33;

it may look wet, to me it looks disturbed, the only way to know is if the rover tests for that moisture

2004-Jan-07, 04:18 AM
Seems like NASA is talking up going first to examine that impact crater rather than examining that very "strange, wierd" and baffling "stuff".

I find that rather odd.

2004-Jan-07, 04:20 AM
i do agree with you there, it would be wise to discern if the sublimation of water on mars is actually true or not.

2004-Jan-07, 04:22 AM

Maybe Beagle 2 fell into some quicksand&#33;

2004-Jan-07, 04:25 AM
:lol: now THAT would be something....not to mention definitive proof of water....:lol:

2004-Jan-07, 04:35 AM
I mean come on&#33; Is there any doubt that there is subsurface ground ice on mars?

I mean the the evidence is so damned overwhelming&#33;

2004-Jan-07, 04:40 AM
i have noooooo problem with permafrost, subsurface and polar ice, just with wet/moist soil....unless they can find definitive proof

2004-Jan-07, 05:09 AM
Sorry meant ground water....

I mean if you accept permafrost and ice, then given that pathfinder found surface temperatures above freezing, water is not too far a stretch.

I tend to believe Viking&#39;s life detection experiment creator. Viking found evidence of life on mars.

Ok...life is maybe a bigger stretch. But water certainly not at all.

2004-Jan-07, 05:12 AM
i think ice sublimes due to the low pressure, however, there can be pockets in the substrate of higher pressure

2004-Jan-07, 05:22 AM
Ahh..here we are:

---In what could be judged as an impromptu science experiment done on Mars, Squyres said the retraction of Spirit&#39;s airbags have uncovered "bizarre" subsurface material.

The "weird stuff", Squyres said, appears to be "strangely cohesive."

"We don&#39;t understand it…we&#39;re dying to get a close-up look," Squyres added.

Bell told SPACE.com that many on the team are hungry to make a higher-resolution scan of the "un-marsed" material before the rover drives away.

It is conceivable, Bell said, that this newly exposed mystery material -- never seeing daylight on Mars -- could become altered given its exposure ultraviolet light streaming down on the surface. --------

Shame bout the UV exposure, it&#39;s true. They need to work fast dangit&#33;

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/spiri...lor_040106.html (http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/spirit_color_040106.html)

2004-Jan-07, 07:01 AM
when i was young i play at beach to grave a hole as deep as possible. how deeper how darker but wetter too.
it&#39;s strange and sees impossible because move some little 1 cm deep sand away and i&#39;t sees wet and dark already so it could be very near in ground is wet that mean there is just many liquid material that is under but it&#39;s not.
there must be another reasons.

Dr. K
2004-Jan-07, 10:09 AM
For news, status, updates, scientific info, images, video, and more, check out:
Mars Exploration Rover Highlights (AXCH) (http://axonchisel.net/etc/space/mars-exp-rover-highlights.html)

2004-Jan-07, 02:47 PM
If in the next few days that track mark sand changes color (while Spirit is still getting ready) then we&#39;ll know it was wet sand. Maybe a subsurface "puddle" that got scratched up, since I don&#39;t see any other track marks around the final resting spot.

2004-Jan-07, 03:56 PM
Outstanding gentlemen&#33;

2004-Jan-07, 03:58 PM
Stupid guess:

Charged ferromagnetic dust? :P (Would explain the cohesiveness maybe? hehe)

Given the color of the surface, there seem to bee a lot of iron in the dust...(Oxidized on the surface layer, but darker underneath)

2004-Jan-07, 04:06 PM
Originally posted by Guest_Topkatt4@Jan 7 2004, 03:56 PM
Outstanding gentlemen&#33;
I am estatic at the success of Spirit. The pictures can&#39;t come fast enough. Amazing images so far. We&#39;re one step closer to the world understanding how vital these missions are for the future of our race. :D

2004-Jan-07, 04:58 PM
---The flight team is also finding ways to prevent overheating of electronics inside Spirit. "Our robot geologist was dressed a little warm for the weather on Mars," Trosper said. The atmosphere and surface at the landing site this week are not as cold as anticipated. However, the rover&#39;s temperatures are expected to drop when it rolls off its lander platform and gets its wheels onto the ground.-----

http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressr.../20040106c.html (http://marsrovers.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20040106c.html)

Gentlemen, I really believe what we see there in the track marks is wet sand. Possibly helped by insulation from sublimed ice vapors pocketed under the duracrust.

2004-Jan-07, 06:04 PM
Here&#39;s a good question about the track marks:

What happened to all the rocks that were there????

If you look at general pictures of the surrounding area there are rocks and bumps o&#39;plenty....the track marks seem to have been cleared of rocks...where are they all?
burried under the smoothed sand?

What about all those tiny lumps and bumps in the surrounding sand...what are those? small dust covered rocks? Then where are they in the track marks? Burried? All of them?

That track mark seems to be the smoothest area we&#39;ve yet seen (apart from the distant craters and sand dunes). Where are all the closely spaced rocks that must have been where the track marks now are?

2004-Jan-07, 10:15 PM
It really looks to me like mud under fine sand. The latest pictures (jan 7) of the disturbed soil show that rocks are very easily pushed into that mud with a crater-like border around some rocks. There is even a glare on some rocks that really look wet, one particular rock (lower right) show signs of flowing mud around it. Many bolders are fractured in the way they are on earth after many cycles of freezing and thawing, those cycles tend to fracture rocks and put space between the parts because water expands when freezing pushing the pieces appart. I hope that soil is able to support the rover&#39;s weght... All this is fascinating, I really hope this is wet sand and that the liquid is water...

2004-Jan-07, 11:02 PM
I wouldn&#39;t hold your breath. At -50 C there isn&#39;t going to be too much liquid water around. Also, even if the temperature range was acceptable, the Marsian atmosphere is so thin that it would evaporate instantly. In the Marsian atmosphere, water sublimes from solid directly into gas due to low air pressure (like the way carbon dioxide behaves on Earth).

2004-Jan-07, 11:09 PM
Think of any hot spring, where the ground bubbles up then relaxes into a depression when the activity has ended. This might explain the different colors that ring the craters; cooling at different rates, different minerals, etc. The "footprints" possibly left as Spirit came to a landing looks like a Georgia road after a light rain, when the clay can be pushed up easily. I grew up in Key West in the 50&#39;s, when there were still salt flats there. As a child I could walk out on them, sinking in at different depths, depending on many factors. My older brother, and much heavier, was usually up to his knees. Crabs and other things, including some rocks, seemed to stay above it with no problem. That&#39;s what I see from the photos. And who says it has to be H2 O? Doesn&#39;t alcohol and other things have a much lower freezing point? The newest photo from Fraser seems to really show layers of "something" in the atmosphere.

2004-Jan-08, 01:22 AM
Ahhh yes....but most people are in agreement that it is highly probable that there is water buried deep - sealed against evaporation, pressurized by depth, and warmed above freezing by internal planetary heat from original accretion and continuing radioactive decay.

I don&#39;t think it is a very large leap to figure there can be fountaining possible from those deep pressurized wells.

2004-Jan-08, 02:07 AM
Would geysers and hot springs confirm that? Where deep within lies molten and I&#39;m sure all kinds of more flowing material..Would there be a relation? I can&#39;t wait for the next contact.

2004-Jan-09, 05:52 AM
Mars Volcano Olympus Mons (http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/planet_volcano/mars/Shields/oly_mons_3d.html)

I have a couple of things I kind of wanted to throw in the loops of questions. To start, they are supposadly in the lakebed. I have the 4MB image stored on my desktop, after looking closely where the airbag drug against the surface in the lower right corner of the image is a blackish residue that looks an aweful lot like mud to me, if it is soil it is cohesive like clay which means mositure is present right? This would neggate anything I am about to say, but bare with me.

I am not in doubt that when the surveyor passed over the polar regions and discovered the large ice glaciers that there certainly would have been water in mars, that sattelite is quite intelligant. But I don&#39;t believe water may have existed on the surface for many reasons. My biggest reason being that it&#39;s -150 degrees on the surface which means the water would be frozen, if it were frozen it would have taken a lot of heat to make it evaporate, or even melt away in the dirt. The planet has only gotten warmer in time and the atmosphere (unless the elecrical theory is true) has never been a significant "insulation" for heat like ours is.

The latest theory is that water existed on the surface as many as 3 billion years ago, most of the volcanoes and mountains on mars are twice that old, if water was precipitating, then it is most likely you&#39;d see ice caps on several of the mountains such as the tallest one I posted a link of above. The tops of those mountains are even colder, likely -250 to -300 degrees, it wouldn&#39;t have gone anywhere, if it had "sunk" so to speak, you&#39;d see evidence of its sinking right?

We have already proven the existance of water on mars in glaciers about 200 feet under the surface mostly in the polar regions. How does water get to the polar regions of all planets and the moons? There&#39;s 2 reasons: a) it&#39;s colder usually so it doesn&#39;t melt as quickly (like on earth) and 2) plate movement would more or less force all "loose" plates to migrate toward the north or south poles as the planet vibrates. Plate movement does not occur on mars and hasn&#39;t for some 4 to 8 billion of years if ever, if there has been plate movement, you&#39;d see much larger canyons and not localised like they are..

Mars is a confusing planet because we see things that we have seen here on earth, but without the same explanations. Canyons do not form without plate movement right? There are spurratic canyons but no contiguism that would suggest its from plate movement, which means it would have to be cut with water. But the only way water can cut canyons is if it is wet and moving, the minute water would come to the surface of a -150 degree planet (keeping in mind the planet has only gotten warmer through the years, billions of years ago it was much cooler, further away from the sun). It is possible strong uninterupted wind currents cut the canyons and not water.

Hard to explain isnt it? I think we need to just take 2 steps back and say we really don&#39;t know the history of the planet. I believe if we are going to go back many billions of years, then venus was more likely to have sustained life in it&#39;s younger, cooler days, of course the level of heat on venus would more or less destroy any rover and likely any evidence of life&#39;s existance today, right?

I dunno.. is this research really necessary? I think these should be fact finding missions & ooooh and awe type missions. We as humans like to go places we weren&#39;t meant to, like deep under sea and the moon. Rather than trying to discover "if life existed" etc.. etc.. we should just start scouting spots to dig our first well and land someone on the planet and return him or her safely home undamaged. :) Rover missions are cool because you see thing you can&#39;t see unless your on the surface and you might explain some things a little better and discover things. I don&#39;t like to be a pecimist, but it&#39;s highly unlikely that life existed on a -200 degree planet 3-5 billion years ago, and just as unlikely it still exists on the -150 degree planet of today.

The electrical theory that mars once had a thicker atmosphere and gave it to venus & earth through gigantic interplanetary static discharge is not quite possible since all the planets are quite a negative charge (except saturn for some reason) and this discharge would likely occur between the sun and any of it&#39;s planets. If that happened, I am afraid there wouldn&#39;t be much more then a large asteroid debris field left of the planet.

write me regarding this if you must dmolieri@yahoo.com

2004-Jan-09, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Guest@Jan 9 2004, 05:52 AM
But the only way water can cut canyons is if it is wet and moving, the minute water would come to the surface of a -150 degree planet (keeping in mind the planet has only gotten warmer through the years, billions of years ago it was much cooler, further away from the sun). It is possible strong uninterupted wind currents cut the canyons and not water.

Canyons can be carved by moving glaciers too..

2004-Jan-09, 04:40 PM
It seems like the surface temperature at landing point is higher than first thought,I read that the expected temperature at this time shoud have been around -50 celcius, but its hotter too the point where it could be a problem for the rover due to overheating. Does anyone have any data concerning the actual temperature? Also I believe it is quite possible that given higher temperature and radiation from the sun a solution containing water could exist in the soil. Some pictures really shows what looks like mud.

2004-Jan-09, 08:59 PM
Yes, when I wrote the long message above I pointed that out but nasa saw those images first thing which is crazy in and of itself, it has reflective material, I see a gloss to it almost like water, and it&#39;s cohesive, it balls up like clay and by the look of it it&#39;s muddy. Mud would ofcourse be quite frozen so it would have to be mixed with something to keep it from freezing your right, maybe sodium or something.

The temperture I was referring to above was in farenheit i should have been more specific. -50C is roughly -122F. In direct sunlight, despite the actual temperture things may get warm so to speak through absorbsion, but not enough to melt. (the same way your leather carseat gets really hot when the suns beating down on it all day)

How could the rover overheat in weather hundreds of degrees below zero? That would be news to me, maybe in reentry things could have overheated?

Glaciers can cut canyons?

2004-Jan-09, 08:59 PM
Ahhh.....But what&#39;s the temperature at the bottom of the ocean?

-50 c?

(i mean elsewhere than on the lip of a thermal vent of course)

2004-Jan-09, 10:05 PM
The ocean floor salinity levels prevent water from freezing, the only way the water can reach such a high salinity level (level of salt) is because of the intense water pressure. The ocean floor where it is actually -20 degrees celcius (not -50) is actually mostly methane & concentrated salt water. There is a lot of ice down their too.

The research vessel alvin could not penetrate the salt water (i just researched it) because there was so much salt in the water. At that depth, pressure is not the only issue.

On mars, air pressure is roughly 5 to 8 bars, 1/150th that of earth&#39;s pressure, hardly enough to keep water from freezing on mars even with strong sodium content, the ocean floor is roughly 800 bars, give or take 100. In the deeper pacific it&#39;s about a thousand.

It is possible that water deep under the martian surface could be flowing, but not likely, more likely just glaciers of ice in that case.

2004-Jan-10, 01:01 AM
I first heard about the possible heating problem reading an article from JPL at :http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2004/10.cfm I can imagine that heat dissipators wich where sized to transfer heat from the electronics according to a presume ambiant temperature might not be suffisiant in case of higher temperature. The actual temperature must be quite a bit more because there is always a margin of security calculated when sizing dissipators, but they believe those problems will be lessened when the rover gets down the ramp.

2004-Jan-10, 05:46 AM
Yes but the point is that there is life living down there on the Ocean floor, which magically congregates around thermal vents when they appear.

Or so the hypothesis goes about what happens to the life around thermal vents when those thermal vents shot off. They go into a sort of stasis, waiting for another vent to appear.

Thermal heat from Mars&#39; core may allow for liquid water deep under the ground, or so the theory goes.

2004-Jan-11, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Guest_guest@Jan 9 2004, 08:59 PM
Glaciers can cut canyons?
Yes, when ice builds up on a glacier, the weight of the ice forces the edges of the glacier to move outward, just like when you pour pan cake batter into a pan. Moving glaciers have much of the same effect as moving water.

Here&#39;s an example: BIG PINE CANYON (http://www.thesierraweb.com/bigpine/bpcnyn.html)

2004-Jan-12, 06:33 AM
Nietsyo is absolutely right about glaciers moving and cutting canyons. Have you ever overfilled an ice tray? The water expands over the top of the tray when it freezes into ice. They move slower than rivers, but can move stones and boulders the size of 5 story buildings or larger. They cut into the land like sharp knives and with more, or at least, as much force as water. Glaciers are of a great concern to people in Canada, Alaska, Iceland, and anywhere else near the poles. Glaciers in Alaska have recently picked up speed and are moving faster than predicted. Scientists are formulating theories for the cause (greenhouse, magnetic pole shifts, ect.)

2004-Jan-12, 06:39 AM
applying what anewton has said to mars, is it therefore possible to deduce that some of the canyons have been carved from the ice caps, apparantly the caps are indeed shrinking so they would have formed earlier.

2004-Jan-12, 07:36 AM
Glaciers retreated after every ice age here. But, what I see in the Mars photos seems too smooth, at least in this area, to have been formed by glaciers. I&#39;ll say again, it looks like a saltpond that has lost the upper layer of water (evaporated) and left a thick, fairly smooth surface, with smaller areas that held a liquid of some kind, for later evaporation. There still may be a large amount of moisture, like in clay.

2004-Jan-12, 01:23 PM
Maybe a thinning of the Martian atmosphere corresponded to an all-out evaporation of the basins. Maybe its a combination of the two. I wonder if there have been any evaporitic deposits found such as anhydrite...or if there is something like kaolin

2004-Jan-12, 02:40 PM
hmmm-how long was it before the retracted the airbags?-could they have somehow lensed the solar heat reaching them onto the ground,then falling over it,and insulating it?-in combo with the above average temprature,and possibly residual heat from the lander(sure the surface of the thing would have been cold by touchdown,but the airbags were presumably packed in spaces that could have retained the heat.
dunno sounds unlikely,but there u go.

2004-Jan-12, 03:10 PM
big loud: HUH?