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Will curiosity find life on Mars??

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In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 00:13:48 GMT
Oh that he is, that he is.

why do you all read his posts, he enjoys it.

If everyone just ignored him he would disappear, he blatantly knows nothing and winds people up to get an argument.

Just ignore every single thing he writes and chill out

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 00:17:30 GMT
What, you do this to, we all do, be honest

and dont ever pretend you have a friend in spin, the man is poison and he will turn on you in a nanosecond if the thinks he can put you down.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 00:18:05 GMT

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 00:19:30 GMT
think of the children

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 02:02:20 GMT
J. Forbes says:
Because you keep responding to his posts.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2013 09:36:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Mar 2013 11:05:06 GMT
Dan Fante says:
Come off it, you spend most of your time of here either repeating half-baked cliches*, trying to wind people up and asking questions of your own whilst not answering those put to you (accept with another question). You're a classic troll whose material has long since dried up. You're clearly quite clever, although not half as clever as you'd like to think, so I'm assuming this won't be news to you.

*Save me the "ad hominem" response please :P

Posted on 2 May 2013 14:50:51 BDT

Lots going on lately - new job, potential house move and much much more boring stuff, here is the most up to date status report on Curiosity rover which has resumed normal activity after a glitch forced it to resort to its back up computer system.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Remaining Martian Atmosphere Still Dynamic

VIENNA -- Mars has lost much of its original atmosphere, but what's left remains quite active, recent findings from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity indicate. Rover team members reported diverse findings today at the European Geosciences Union 2013 General Assembly, in Vienna.
Evidence has strengthened this month that Mars lost much of its original atmosphere by a process of gas escaping from the top of the atmosphere.

Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument analyzed an atmosphere sample last week using a process that concentrates selected gases. The results provided the most precise measurements ever made of isotopes of argon in the Martian atmosphere. Isotopes are variants of the same element with different atomic weights. "We found arguably the clearest and most robust signature of atmospheric loss on Mars," said Sushil Atreya, a SAM co-investigator at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

SAM found that the Martian atmosphere has about four times as much of a lighter stable isotope (argon-36) compared to a heavier one (argon-38). This removes previous uncertainty about the ratio in the Martian atmosphere from 1976 measurements from NASA's Viking project and from small volumes of argon extracted from Martian meteorites. The ratio is much lower than the solar system's original ratio, as estimated from argon-isotope measurements of the sun and Jupiter. This points to a process at Mars that favored preferential loss of the lighter isotope over the heavier one.

Curiosity measures several variables in today's Martian atmosphere with the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS), provided by Spain. While daily air temperature has climbed steadily since the measurements began eight months ago and is not strongly tied to the rover's location, humidity has differed significantly at different places along the rover's route. These are the first systematic measurements of humidity on Mars.

Trails of dust devils have not been seen inside Gale Crater, but REMS sensors detected many whirlwind patterns during the first hundred Martian days of the mission, though not as many as detected in the same length of time by earlier missions. "A whirlwind is a very quick event that happens in a few seconds and should be verified by a combination of pressure, temperature and wind oscillations and, in some cases, a decrease is ultraviolet radiation," said REMS Principal Investigator Javier Gómez-Elvira of the Centro de Astrobiología, Madrid.

Dust distributed by the wind has been examined by Curiosity's laser-firing Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument. Initial laser pulses on each target hit dust. The laser's energy removes the dust to expose underlying material, but those initial pulses also provide information about the dust.

"We knew that Mars is red because of iron oxides in the dust," said ChemCam Deputy Principal Investigator Sylvestre Maurice of the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in Toulouse, France. "ChemCam reveals a complex chemical composition of the dust that includes hydrogen, which could be in the form of hydroxyl groups or water molecules."

Possible interchange of water molecules between the atmosphere and the ground is studied by a combination of instruments on the rover, including the Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons (DAN), provided by Russia under the leadership of DAN Principal Investigator Igor Mitrofanov.

For the rest of April, Curiosity will carry out daily activities for which commands were sent in March, using DAN, REMS and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD). No new commands are being sent during a four-week period while Mars is passing nearly behind the sun, from Earth's perspective. This geometry occurs about every 26 months and is called Mars solar conjunction.

"After conjunction, Curiosity will be drilling into another rock where the rover is now, but that target has not yet been selected. The science team will discuss this over the conjunction period." said Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger, of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to investigate the environmental history within Gale Crater, a location where the project has found that conditions were long ago favorable for microbial life. Curiosity, carrying 10 science instruments, landed in August 2012 to begin its two-year prime mission. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

For more about the mission, visit: and .
You can follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at: and .


In reply to an earlier post on 2 May 2013 17:46:29 BDT
Spin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 3 May 2013 09:59:40 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 May 2013 10:00:50 BDT
Dan Fante says:
Spin, that's your posting style. I think many others would agree. You might like to think you pull the wool over people's eyes with your patter on here but I'm afraid that, more often than not, you don't. Sorry to dent your fragile ego. Incidentally, how would a post written at lunchtime show me letting off steam after a rough day at the office? That's another rhetorical question by the way :P

Posted on 3 Jun 2013 16:09:03 BDT
Pebbly Rocks Testify to Old Streambed on Mars

PASADENA, Calif. - Detailed analysis and review have borne out researchers' initial interpretation of pebble-containing slabs that NASA's Mars rover Curiosity investigated last year: They are part of an ancient streambed.
The rocks are the first ever found on Mars that contain streambed gravels. The sizes and shapes of the gravels embedded in these conglomerate rocks -- from the size of sand particles to the size of golf balls -- enabled researchers to calculate the depth and speed of the water that once flowed at this location.

"We completed more rigorous quantification of the outcrops to characterize the size distribution and roundness of the pebbles and sand that make up these conglomerates," said Rebecca Williams of the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Ariz., lead author of a report about them in the journal Science this week. "We ended up with a calculation in the same range as our initial estimate last fall. At a minimum, the stream was flowing at a speed equivalent to a walking pace -- a meter, or three feet, per second -- and it was ankle-deep to hip-deep."

Three pavement-like rocks examined with the telephoto capability of Curiosity's Mast Camera (Mastcam) during the rover's first 40 days on Mars are the basis for the new report. One, "Goulburn," is immediately adjacent to the rover's "Bradbury Landing" touchdown site. The other two, "Link" and "Hottah," are about 165 and 330 feet (50 and 100 meters) to the southeast. Researchers also used the rover's laser-shooting Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the Link rock.

"These conglomerates look amazingly like streambed deposits on Earth," Williams said. "Most people are familiar with rounded river pebbles. Maybe you've picked up a smoothed, round rock to skip across the water. Seeing something so familiar on another world is exciting and also gratifying."

The larger pebbles are not distributed evenly in the conglomerate rocks. In Hottah, researchers detected alternating pebble-rich layers and sand layers. This is common in streambed deposits on Earth and provides additional evidence for stream flow on Mars. In addition, many of the pebbles are touching each other, a sign that they rolled along the bed of a stream.

"Our analysis of the amount of rounding of the pebbles provided further information," said Sanjeev Gupta of Imperial College, London, a co-author of the new report. "The rounding indicates sustained flow. It occurs as pebbles hit each other multiple times. This wasn't a one-off flow. It was sustained, certainly more than weeks or months, though we can't say exactly how long."

The stream carried the gravels at least a few miles, or kilometers, the researchers estimated.

The atmosphere of modern Mars is too thin to make a sustained stream flow of water possible, though the planet holds large quantities of water ice. Several types of evidence have indicated that ancient Mars had diverse environments with liquid water. However, none but these rocks found by Curiosity could provide the type of stream flow information published this week. Curiosity's images of conglomerate rocks indicate that atmospheric conditions at Gale Crater once enabled the flow of liquid water on the Martian surface.

During a two-year prime mission, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 science instruments to assess the environmental history in Gale Crater on Mars, where the rover has found evidence of ancient environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

More information about Curiosity is online at: and .

You can follow the mission on Facebook at: and on Twitter at .


In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2013 18:30:07 BDT
DB says:

Good to catch up on this again. They seem to be discovering so much.
Your posts are interesting and informative to us non science graduates.
This is probably a stupid question, but how do they know that the liquid was water, as we know it?

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2013 12:39:49 BDT
Spin says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2013 11:03:47 BDT
I think its the 'best fit' if you like DB, although not a stupid question - I certianly don't know the exact answer.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2013 18:50:06 BDT
"This is probably a stupid question"

No such thing: it is never stupid to ask questions.

Never asking questions, however, is a different story.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2013 19:27:31 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2013 19:28:26 BDT
Bellatori says:
You might like to look at

They are using the evidence of the formation of specific types of clay which indicate that water must have been present.

You will see the word SPECTROMETER.

This is a special type of instrument which examines light by passing it through a prism (I am simplifying here). Depending on the type of spectrometer it will examine infrared or visible or ultraviolet light. If you sit in your car you cannot get a sun tan. The UV light is absorbed by the glass though visible light passes through. The same is true of all liquids. They absorb some of the wavelengths of the light passing through them and if you look at the light spread out through a prism you will see dark lines where the 'light' was absorbed. is a nice demonstration of a spectrometer working.... note a diffraction grating is a 'version' of a prism.

The pattern of light absorbed is unique for a given substance so it is like a fingerprint.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2013 19:37:01 BDT
J Doyle says:
"how do they know that the liquid was water, as we know it?"

Water is a molecule composed of two hydrogen and one oxygen atom. Mars water is identical to Earth water.

The main reason why we know it is water is because it is still there. The planet is now too cold and the atmosphere too thin for it to be present in liquid form, but there is still lots of frozen water present in the soil particularly at the poles.

Note that there are very few compounds which have a liquid phase under the conditions we are talking about.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2013 22:32:53 BDT
HotFXMan says:
I am also wondering what Diane means when she says "water, as we know it".

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Jun 2013 00:11:18 BDT
Water is not actually fully understood. Its intricate workings still baffle scientists who admit they do not yet fully understand it.
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  47
Total posts:  693
Initial post:  7 Aug 2012
Latest post:  21 Jun 2013

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