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Sol 65 and after, Digs in Neverland, Cupboard, Stone Soup, Burn Alive...
elakdawalla
post Jul 31 2008, 04:55 PM
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Since there will be a press briefing today at 11 am PDT / 1800 UT it seems like a good time to start a fresh Phoenix thread. Phoenix hasn't gotten that icy sample yet but they do seem to have overcome their concerns about using TEGA so it looks likely we'll see a lot more sample acquisitions and deliveries in the coming weeks.

Press briefing will be on NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv on both public and media channels. Here's that higher-bitrate stream on Yahoo: http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html

--Emily


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JRehling
post Jul 31 2008, 05:48 PM
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To take the question of the rate of circulation -- the water "cycle" on Mars (if indeed a cycle it be), and tie it to the ice sample -- the D:H ratio of the sample could give us a lot of evidence. If this topmost layer of ice has a different D:H than the atmosphere, then it's been here for a long time. Not to make too much of one tiny measurement, but it really is a huge issue:

-- Maybe there is a cycle, but only where the ice is even closer to the surface than it is at the Phoenix site.

-- Maybe there is a cycle, but the summertime ice level is some tiny epsilon below the winter ice level, and it's that seasonal epsilon that cycles. If so, a summer measurement of the very topmost ice might show a difference from atmospheric D:H that belies the truth. (With CO2 overlying the H2O in winter, the seasons become very complex with regard to the surface of that H2O layer.)

-- Given any possible cycle, the question of how much and how often becomes a "verbose" one.

Am I getting too excited over this... because I could see follow-up missions to measure the D:H at a variety of depths and latitudes. It's eminently doable. Is it making too much over too little? It seems to me that the whole martian water cycle is what would be characterized in that way. Moreover, you could play "Twenty Questions" cleverly and end the game by finding negative evidence in the most favorable spot. (Exposed polar H2O ice right before or right after the CO2 covers it.)

Can D:H be determined in water ice with any reliability spectroscopically from orbit? That could be the magic measurement. Maybe the data is already in hand?!
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djellison
post Jul 31 2008, 06:17 PM
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They got the OK for an extension to Sol 124!

Doug
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elakdawalla
post Jul 31 2008, 06:18 PM
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Did you catch the calendar date on that? I missed it.

--Emily


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elakdawalla
post Jul 31 2008, 06:20 PM
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Bill Boynton says: TEGA got ice!!!

--Emily



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jamescanvin
post Jul 31 2008, 06:20 PM
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Ice sample! Wow! smile.gif


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SickNick
post Jul 31 2008, 06:22 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Aug 1 2008, 03:48 AM) *
To take the question of the rate of circulation -- the water "cycle" on Mars (if indeed a cycle it be), and tie it to the ice sample -- the D:H ratio of the sample could give us a lot of evidence. If this topmost layer of ice has a different D:H than the atmosphere, then it's been here for a long time.


John,

look at the speed with which the "Snow Queen" feature has sublimed, once it was exposed. We're looking at a moderately to highly dynamic system here. Of course things are slower when they are buried by a few cm of insulating dirt, but over timescales of a few thousand years, these ice deposits are VERY active. let alone millions of years. D:H ratios don't change very fast...


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TheChemist
post Jul 31 2008, 06:25 PM
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The hat was hilarious ! :-)
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elakdawalla
post Jul 31 2008, 06:30 PM
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smile.gif
Attached thumbnail(s)
Attached Image
 


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jamescanvin
post Jul 31 2008, 06:30 PM
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How did we miss that lidar image?!


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ElkGroveDan
post Jul 31 2008, 06:38 PM
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Who was that young lady? She has a great public persona. She makes a fantastic spokesperson, they should send her on tour when this is all over.


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fredk
post Jul 31 2008, 06:38 PM
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Did anyone catch where the tega sample that had some ice (a few percent or less, Boynton said) was collected? Was it a new soil sample or old rasp shavings?
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elakdawalla
post Jul 31 2008, 06:48 PM
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Here's a link to the graphics for today's press conference.
http://jpl.nasa.gov/news/phoenix/images.php

EDIT: Boynton said the sample was "a quick scraping of the soil above the ice layer" so I assume that means Wicked Witch came from the Snow White trench, a newly scraped sample.

--Emily


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Stu
post Jul 31 2008, 07:00 PM
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Hmmm... Craig Covault was very cryptic there wasn't he? dry.gif Almost like he was suggesting he knew they'd found Something Interesting but weren't telling... Conspiracy theorists are going to LOVE that...


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djellison
post Jul 31 2008, 07:19 PM
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QUOTE (jamescanvin @ Jul 31 2008, 07:30 PM) *
How did we miss that lidar image?!


I know - it's quite obvious now, looking at the Raw's

http://www.met.tamu.edu/mars/i/SS061EFF901...8_16AA3RBM1.jpg
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