Mars - Water

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Mars - Water

Unread postby Tzunamii » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:06 pm

http://www.latimes.com/news/printeditio ... 4208.story

"A soil sample was cooked twice in one of Phoenix's eight ovens over the last few days, according to William Boynton, The first test reached 95 degrees, the second 350 degrees.
"Had there been any ice, it would have melted," Boynton said. "We saw no water in the soil whatsoever."



"It looks like we clipped the edge of the top of a polygon," said Ray Arvidson, the lead scientist for the lander's robotic arm."
The polygonal land forms -- small mounds bounded by shallow trenches -- are similar to features that scientists have seen in the Arctic on Earth caused by subsurface ice."


Any relation to other polygonal observences in the solar system?

"This could be the tip of the iceberg," Arvidson said."

Of course if it were, then they would have found water ;)
Perhaps just a posative attitude.
Hope they find Something worth the $$ invested.
Last edited by nick c on Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Thread title changed to accomodate merged posts
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby Solar » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:04 pm

Tzunamii wrote:"This could be the tip of the iceberg," Arvidson said."

Of course if it were, then they would have found water ;)
Perhaps just a posative attitude.
Hope they find Something worth the $$ invested.


They're efforts to find H2o are beginning to look rather 'LIGO-ish'. :lol:
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby David Talbott » Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:59 am

Please note that I've posted a few clarifications in the TPOD forum:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=774&p=7174#p7174

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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby viscount aero » Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:40 pm

This is starting to look like the "dirty snowball" thing all over again but on a planetary scale.

Mars is probably dead and never with biologic life ever in it's history. The sterile surface and soil is looking more and more abiotic. And as the years of reports and findings push the "age of water" farther and farther back into the Martian past, the entire notion of it ever being there is becoming very reaching and not believable anymore.

They're not following the water but following the dirt. And if the belief that only 1/5 it's surface ever had any sustainable water, with such brevity of existence, then I think it's time to get out denial and start to entertain the idea that Mars is simply a dead world; beautifully desolate, but dead.


I still hold out hope for geothermal water somewhere within the crust. They may have to actually drill a well somewhere or explore caves. But that is for another century, not this one.
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby substance » Thu Jun 26, 2008 8:50 pm

They seem to have actually found "water that had been chemically bound to elements of the soil long ago" with a pH of over 8, so that "the soil was similar to what people would find in their back yards on Earth" and "you could probably grow asparagus, but not strawberries". Of course that doesn`t necessarily contradict Plasma Theory, but still I wonder about the latter statement, about the asparagus :lol:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/26/AR2008062603578.html?hpid=moreheadlines
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby bdw000 » Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:47 am

THis is the only thing I can find at NASA "confirming" water on Mars:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoen ... 80626.html

Lander cameras confirmed that white chunks exposed during trench digging were frozen water ice because they sublimated, or vaporized, over a few days.


How can they KNOW it's water just by looking at it? The time it takes to sublimate when you know the temperature and pressure? Iis this really CERTAIN?

At this point, we can say that the soil has clearly interacted with water in the past.


In the article they don't say WHY they can make that conclusion: it is just an assertion. Why not say WHY they can conclude that? What is their evidence?

My impression is that they are playing fast and loose with their data (but, to be honest, I don't even know what their data is) because they won't come out and say what the data is.

Personally I find this frustrating. Either tell us what the data is, or shut up.

Any experts have an opinion? (I am definitely NOT an expert here).
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby substance » Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:39 am

I thought it was the salts in the soil that pointed at water interaction in the past, but hey, I`m no scientist. I`m even still in highschool. ;)
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby Solar » Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:25 pm

Phoenix Returns Treasure Trove For Science

"This soil appears to be a close analog to surface soils found in the upper dry valleys in Antarctica," Kouvanes said. "The alkalinity of the soil at this location is definitely striking. At this specific location, one-inch into the surface layer, the soil is very basic, with a pH of between eight and nine. We also found a variety of components of salts that we haven't had time to analyze and identify yet, but that include magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride."

"This is more evidence for water because salts are there. We also found a reasonable number of nutrients, or chemicals needed by life as we know it," Kounaves said. "Over time, I've come to the conclusion that the amazing thing about Mars is not that it's an alien world, but that in many aspects, like mineralogy, it's very much like Earth...

"At this point, we can say that the soil has clearly interacted with water in the past. We don't know whether that interaction occurred in this particular area in the northern polar region, or whether it might have happened elsewhere and blown up to this area as dust."
"


Hmmmm. For an animated image of the "Wet Chemistry Lab (WCL)" go here. I guess I'm having problems with the wet test using water. Can someone explain why anything tested using water *wouldn't* appear to have been influenced by the water used for the testing?
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby bdw000 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:19 am

Solar:
Can someone explain why anything tested using water *wouldn't* appear to have been influenced by the water used for the testing?


Exactly!

I'm sure they've got their answers to that.

NASA seems to just want to mention the word "water" as much as possible, without actually coming out and saying that they have or have not actually found any now. Seems like typical propaganda to me. Maybe I am missing their statements. Maybe they aren't putting the most important data on their website? Would that make sense?
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"Behind the Water Ice Decision"

Unread postby Solar » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:52 am

Found this on a Phoenix Mission blog

So a lot of people have been asking me really good questions like "How can you be sure it's water ice and not dry ice?" or "Why didn't TEGA find water?" I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain how the process has gone and answer a few of the questions I've gotten...

The first indication of water ice was when the robotic arm camera (RAC) looked under me and saw a huge patch of something. The only thing we could tell is that it was white and really bright in sunlight. Some of the team immediately jumped to the conclusion it was ice, most wanted more evidence.

The second major discovery was when I started digging with my robotic arm (RA) and in the trench, a white streak was evident. Some more team members immediately jumped to the conclusion it was ice, more still wanted more evidence. I dug another trench next to the one I had just dug, and more of the white stuff showed up. I dug again and even more showed up! The team commanded me to do was to expose more of the white stuff, so I combined all 3 trenches and dug a bit deeper. More of the white stuff was exposed. By this time, half the team said it was ice, half said it was some sort of salt. A lot were skeptical because they couldn't believe my entire mission was going right...

The next thing I did was take what's called a multispectral spot...

When we took the spot on the white stuff, it was very similar to the spectrum of water. It was off the charts in the blue part of the spectrum. This was even better evidence of the white stuff being water ice...

The final nail in the coffin on the salt theory was when we looked in the trench after a few days and some of the chunks were gone. They must have sublimated, or gone from a solid to gaseous state without becoming liquid, to have disappeared. Salts do not do that....

Some ask "Why isn't it dry ice?" First off, dry ice can't exist in this region quite yet because it simply isn't cold enough. Dry ice needs to be below -78.5 degrees Celcius (-109 degrees Fahrenheit) on Earth to be a solid. This is even much lower for on Mars because of the lack of atmospheric pressure. I simply haven't seen the sorts of temperatures necessary for dry ice so far.

Some ask "Why can't it be some chemical we've never seen before that acts like that?" While it very well could be some chemical we've never seen before, the evidence is strongly against this hypothesis. If it looks and acts like water ice, then it probably is water ice. - Behind the Water Ice Decision
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby Joe Keenan » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:28 pm

We landed where we did on Mars because, we had evidence of "ice" sublimating on Mars, satellites in orbit showed this. We land a 400 million dollar piece of equipment on Mars to detect, with scientific instruments, water. While scratching the soil to get a sample, white stuff is uncovered, it's believed to be "ice." Great! We happen to have a 400 million dollar piece of equipment there to test the white stuff. Should be pretty cut and dry, drop a shovel full of white stuff in over, heat to above 212 deg f, "see" H20 via mass spec or gc. No, we don't do that, we crow about "ice" sublimating 6 feet infront of the landers camera, so what? Why is that better than what we saw from space? It's not of course.

What do we have, "assurances" that at some time in the past the soil of Mars was in contact with water, What? What concentration was the water discovered on Mars at? What PPM, or, PPB? Forget the soil, dump the white stuff in and see what it is. If it's water there will be no need to talk about the soil "being associated with water" in some distant past. The reading will be 1,000,000 PPM, water. They won't of course, because, it's not water. They're setting the stage for further exploration, they're establishing the needed narrative thread. They haven't found Jack yet, if they had they'ld be slapping each other on the back. Let's not forget why they're looking for water, they need it for astronauts, they need millions of gallons, they haven't found it.
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby bdw000 » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:21 am

Thank you Joe Keenan for putting into words what I was unable to.

I certainly do not know if there is water on Mars or not. And the blog entry above seemed to answer most of my questions, before Joe did some thinking for me.

As Joe says, if all of the "white stuff" is water ice, they should be able to put a shovel full into their oven and get a very, very positive, unambiguous result for water. But they haven't.

Since water has to be the number one priority here, to drag their feet on this issue just makes me agree with Joe that they haven't found any, despite all the pictures.

To keep using the word water whenever they open their mouths appears (I am being kind here!) like propaganda, since they have used the word every way they can except to say "we have found it. Period."

I think Joe is right: if they really were positive about it being water, NASA tv would have endless hours of them literally slapping their backs and jumping up and down.
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby Ben D » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:50 am

I don't like the sound of this!

It could be that results are so unexpected that the lid is closing on any future delivery of findings into the public domain.

Not that this should be unexpected if 'interesting' results are emanating, but it is frustrating for those of us not in the know!

Phoenix To Bake Ice-rich Sample Next Week

July 2, 2008 -- The next sample delivered to NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander’s Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer (TEGA) will be ice-rich.

A team of engineers and scientists assembled to assess TEGA after a short circuit was discovered in the instrument has concluded that another short circuit could occur when the oven is used again.

“Since there is no way to assess the probability of another short circuit occurring, we are taking the most conservative approach and treating the next sample to TEGA as possibly our last,” said Peter Smith, Phoenix’s principal investigator.

http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby Joe Keenan » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:24 pm

Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm in the middle of a WWE story line? The "we might have a short circuit when we run the next test" line seems like a attempt to immunize the test from failure. If it is ice, they'll rightly crow, if it's not ice they have a pre-established thread to immunize the failure. Is anyone other than me put off by the shameless PR campaign coming out from NASA? Pictures from a Mars rover (you have them here on this sight) showed the white stuff under the soil, they knew it was there before they dug, then they then act surprised and squeal like a bunch of adolescent girls at a Bay City Rollers concert when they see more white stuff. W need some staid Germans to start running the place again.
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Re: "No signs of water yet from Mars lander"

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:49 pm

Joe Keenan wrote:Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm in the middle of a WWE story line? The "we might have a short circuit when we run the next test" line seems like a attempt to immunize the test from failure. If it is ice, they'll rightly crow, if it's not ice they have a pre-established thread to immunize the failure. Is anyone other than me put off by the shameless PR campaign coming out from NASA? Pictures from a Mars rover (you have them here on this sight) showed the white stuff under the soil, they knew it was there before they dug, then they then act surprised and squeal like a bunch of adolescent girls at a Bay City Rollers concert when they see more white stuff. W need some staid Germans to start running the place again.

Nice post Joe but what's WWE? Bay City Rollers? Showing your age there aren't you? (I hope you weren't a fan?)
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