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You are browsing the archive for Water on Mars Archives - Page 3 of 8 - Martian Chronicles.

5 January 2010

Putative "recent" lakes on Mars

I have a new article up at Universe Today about the discovery of possible lakes on Mars as recently as 3 billion years ago. I’m skeptical of the conclusion because there are a lot of uncertainties in crater age-dating on Mars, and the whole argument hangs on the discovery of small channels between pits that are supposedly due to flowing water, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Stay tuned, I have more …

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16 December 2009

AGU 2009 – Day 1

For those not familiar with the conference, the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union is a terrifyingly, overwhelmingly large conference. Each year, something like 16,000 geoscientists descend on San Francisco to share their work. It is also one of the major planetary science conferences, so a lot of new results are first presented here. This year, the first talks that I checked out on Monday were about radar observations …

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17 November 2009

Be a Martian!

Fact #1: As a Mars scientist, I am incredibly spoiled. There are so many missions to Mars right now sending back so much data, that even if they all went silent tomorrow, it would be decades before we managed to look at all the data and figure out what it’s telling us. Fact #2: There are lots of people out there (I’m looking at you, loyal readers!) who would love …

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14 July 2009

Book Review: Red Mars

Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Red Mars” is, in the words of Arthur C. Clarke, “The best novel on the colonization of Mars that has ever been written… It should be required reading for the colonists of the next century.” I read it back in 2002 during the summer between high-school and college, and then promptly went back to the library to check out “Green Mars” and “Blue Mars”, the two other …

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6 July 2009

Student Questions about Mars Exploration

A few months ago, a class of 6th graders at JFK Middle School in Hudson, MA contacted the astronomy department at Cornell. They were doing an egg-drop project, modeled after the Mars rovers, and their teacher had them each write questions to Steve Squyres about the rover mission. Steve was out of town (and is always extremely busy), but he suggested that many of the questions could be answered by …

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28 March 2009

LPSC 2009: Day 2

Day 2 was all about ice in the mars sessions: the morning focused onĀ  the polar caps and the afternoon focused on the subsurface. I also managed to catch a few non-mars talks. One of the first talks I saw was by Ken Tanaka, famed for his geologic maps of Mars. He showed the results of his studies of the north polar cap, and identified at least two major hiatuses. …

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24 March 2009

LPSC 2009: Day 1

Unfortunately I missed the earliest sessions today because I had to drive down to Johnson Space Center to get a badge. I am going to be working there for four weeks after LPSC and another five weeks later in the summer, characterizing rock samples and shooting them with a laser, so I needed a badge to be able to do that work. I got back to the conference just in …

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22 March 2009

The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

(This is the final day of a week-long field trip in Arizona. Get caught up with days 1,2,3,4,5, 6) Friday was the last day of the field trip, and we spent it at the Petrified Forest national park. We were there to study the colorful clays and river deposits, but we began the day with an unexpected bonus: our guide, Bill Parker, is a paleontologist at the park, and he …

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20 January 2009

Mars Methane Movie

NASA has put together a nice movie of Dr. Mike Mumma summarizing his discovery of methane on Mars. He brings up the possibility that the methane detection might influence landing site selection for MSL. I suspect that the Nili Fossae site will get some more attention because it was identified as one of the methane-producing regions, but it was taken off the list of finalist sites mostly due to safety …

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18 January 2009

Methane on Mars

If you follow space news, you’ve probably heard by now the announcement that methane has been detected with confidence in the martian atmosphere. This is a big deal because methane is broken down very quickly on Mars, so the fact that it is detectable means that there must be a source somewhere, indicating either geologic or biological activity. It’s important to point out that this is not evidence of life …

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