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Space.com Update On Mars "rotini" And "lichen"
Guest_paulanderson_*
post Feb 15 2005, 07:10 AM
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An interesting note re the original "rotini" - in this update today from Space.com, it mentions that the same kind of shape has not yet been duplicated by the RAT or any other instruments in the months of ratting done since then:

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/myst...day_050214.html

Quotes:

"Early in its mission at Meridiani Planum, the Opportunity Mars rover shot back a Microscopic Imager photo that included a feature shaped like a Rotini pasta. At the time, its profile sparked discussion both inside and outside of the NASA Mars Rover Exploration team."

"I am surprised I do not hear any more commotion about the good old ‘rotini’ shape from Meridiani in the early part of the mission," Gorevan said. "We have not yet been able to duplicate that shape with the RAT or any Mössbauer Spectrometer or Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer contact mechanisms." But Gorevan hastened to add: "That’s infinitely far from saying it is of biologic origin, but it is proving resistant to duplication."

The other recent lichen-like area also mentioned is thought to probably be a rat brush mark, although that isn't 100% known yet either. I forget which rock this was on again - ?
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Marcel
post Feb 15 2005, 10:34 AM
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I can't resemble the rock either, but what i do know, is that there's one image that made me drop straight down from my chair last year considering possible hints to life, and that's the one that was discussed in a topic in this forum loong ago: the shell.

I have never heard anyone say somthing about it anymore and i don't understand why. Sceptical as i am, i think one should be very cautious about the L-word on Mars. But this image made me doubt: should we proove that it is a shell, or should we prove it's not. Can we ?

It looks like it to me !

I hope it is.

Could geometric comparison with a variety of shells make anything more clear ? Someone knows about more images of this one (from another point of view) ?
Any stereopairs ?
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Bubbinski
post Feb 15 2005, 05:29 PM
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That was taken by Oppy in Eagle Crater, wasn't it? (I hadn't discovered the board until recently, I didn't see the discussion you mention). Between that and the "rotini" if I were asked to develop a new rover with life detecting instruments, Eagle Crater and Meridiani Planum would be a spot I'd send the rover to.


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brachiopod
post Feb 16 2005, 07:26 PM
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Since we are on the subject of recent space.com reports, here is the latest about the "Mars Methane" readings that were rumored before...

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars_life_050216.html

It will be very interesting to see the paper that comes out in Nature.

-Bryan
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Feb 16 2005, 08:41 PM
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Someone at UK's Channel 4 News has been visiting Space.com, they had a tiny piece about this in the programme. wink.gif
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Pando
post Feb 16 2005, 08:53 PM
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MSNBC picked up the story as well:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6981361/
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Feb 16 2005, 09:26 PM
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Started a thread in the Mars Express section, nice story from New Scientist.
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ups
post Mar 17 2005, 01:18 PM
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Is this the 'lichen' rock you are discussing or is it something else entirely?
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tedstryk
post Mar 17 2005, 01:38 PM
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While I am doubtful about the lichten and even more doubtful about the shell, God I would like that to be the truth. I think the lichten thing might get interesting as spring comes around...Perhaps if oppy could catch these features increasing with the season, or perhaps park for a while and watch one grow, it would be the best thing that has ever happened to the Mars program since Mariner 9 discovered it wasn't the Moon-II with a thin atmosphere. Again, I am extremely skeptical. And I would caution against jumping to any conclusions - it could permenantlly damage the program to have another round of "Mars Life Discovered - Oh, Wait Nevermind!" headlines.


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TheChemist
post Mar 17 2005, 02:58 PM
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QUOTE (ups @ Mar 17 2005, 03:18 PM)


Is this the 'lichen' rock you are discussing or is it something else entirely?

ups,
It would be nice if links to raw images were included in posts presenting cropped/processed ones, so we can judge the context right.
Thanks.
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ups
post Mar 18 2005, 02:51 AM
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I understand what you are saying, however there is no 'context' for this particular image. I'm just trying to understand if I am picturing the correct rock formation that has been described as being similar to lichen. Just trying to jog some memories.

At any rate here is the original from which my enhancement came:

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/spirit/mi...HPP2906M2M1.JPG

---ups
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TheChemist
post Mar 18 2005, 09:07 AM
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Thanks ups, that's all I was asking, the original so I can judge sizes smile.gif
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atomoid
post Mar 18 2005, 10:03 AM
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QUOTE (ups @ Mar 18 2005, 02:51 AM)
...
At any rate here is the original from which my enhancement came:

http://qt.exploratorium.edu/mars/spirit/mi...HPP2906M2M1.JPG

---ups


Spacecraft: SPIRIT
Camera: Microscopic Imager, dust cover OPEN
Spacecraft clock: 159393327 (seconds since January 1, 2000, 11:58:55.816 UTC)
Product type: EDR full frame
Site number: A2
Drive number: HP
Command sequence number: P2906 (PMA or remote sensing instrument) MI
Producer: MIPL/JPL
Acquisition time (Earth): Tue Jan 18 23:43:20 2005 Pacific Standard Time
Acquisition time (Mars): Sol 372 13:03:38 <- wrong time!!
Current local time (Earth): Fri Mar 18 02:18:10 2005
Current local time (Mars): Sol 429 02:33:06
Elapsed time since acquisition: 58 days, 02:31:36
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ups
post Mar 18 2005, 09:44 PM
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So is this the 'lichen' rock you are speaking of at the top of the thread?

thanks biggrin.gif
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slinted
post Mar 19 2005, 02:07 AM
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No, the 'lichen' rock refered to in the space.com story was Alligator, the target brushed by Spirit on sol 386. The feature they refer to is almost certainly a product of the dust being piled up by the RAT brushing process.

Spirit sol 386 MI
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