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NASA Images Suggest Water Still Flows on Mars
Guest_Sunspot_*
post Dec 4 2006, 09:25 PM
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Dec. 4, 2006

Dwayne Brown/Erica Hupp
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Guy Webster
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MEDIA ADVISORY: M06-186

NASA SCHEDULES BRIEFING TO ANNOUNCE SIGNIFICANT FIND ON MARS

WASHINGTON - NASA hosts a news briefing at 1 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Dec.
6, to present new science results from the Mars Global Surveyor. The
briefing will take place in the NASA Headquarters auditorium located
at 300 E Street, S.W. in Washington and carried live on NASA
Television and www.nasa.gov.

The agency last week announced the spacecraft's mission may be at its
end. Mars Global Surveyor has served the longest and been the most
productive of any spacecraft ever sent to the red planet. Data
gathered from the mission will continue to be analyzed by scientists.


Panelists include:
- Michael Meyer -- Lead Scientist, Mars Exploration Program, NASA
Headquarters, Washington
- Michael Malin -- President and Chief Scientist, Malin Space Science
Systems, San Diego, Calif.
- Kenneth Edgett -- Scientist, Malin Space Science Systems
- Philip Christensen -- Professor, Arizona State University, Tempe,
Ariz.
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monitorlizard
post Dec 4 2006, 10:08 PM
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The presence of Philip Christensen (PI for TES) on the panel may indicate the discovery of a new spectral feature on Mars. That could be very interesting, and downright thrilling if CRISM and HiRISE follow up on it!
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Tesheiner
post Dec 5 2006, 09:22 AM
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I just found this while reading NASA Watch; perhaps it is related to Wednesday's briefing. Take it with A LOT of care; it might be just smoke.

Editor's note: According to an item first posted by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine: "NASA is ready to announce major new findings about the presence of water currently emerging onto the surface of Mars.

http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2006/12/...n_week_e_1.html
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djellison
post Dec 5 2006, 09:51 AM
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It's impossible to know where smoke ends and facts start with NW nowadays - it's turned into KC's personal ranting-blog instead of a reliable news source, a pity really. However the AW speculation is likely to be fairly sound.

Doug
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 5 2006, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE (djellison @ Dec 4 2006, 11:51 PM) *
It's impossible to know where smoke ends and facts start with NW nowadays - it's turned into KC's personal ranting-blog instead of a reliable news source, a pity really. However the AW speculation is likely to be fairly sound.

As for Cowing's "ranting," what's really funny is this little bit:

QUOTE
Apparently some reporters were given access to embargoed information from the participants and NASA JPL while others were not. So much for providing equal access to all media. NASA is playing favorites once again.


I guess he hasn't been getting any rides on NASA One lately.

EDIT: Apparently, my original post has created some flak for Doug. Although this is a discussion forum, I should have stated what I thought was obvious, that that was my opinion, not Doug's. I apologize for any inconvenience to Doug or UMSF, both of whom/which I hold in high regard. For that reason, I've edited the statement by deleting a sentence. Hopefully, this will end the harangue Doug has been enduring from a certain person. Though I do stand by the "ranting" part cool.gif

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Dec 12 2006, 05:52 PM
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 5 2006, 04:14 PM
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QUOTE (monitorlizard @ Dec 4 2006, 12:08 PM) *
The presence of Philip Christensen (PI for TES) on the panel may indicate the discovery of a new spectral feature on Mars. That could be very interesting, and downright thrilling if CRISM and HiRISE follow up on it!

Listen very carefully, and I mean carefully, to the very last bit of Christensen's recent interview on Planetary Radio (which was posted yesterday).
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Dec 5 2006, 04:52 PM
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Gullies smile.gif
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tglotch
post Dec 5 2006, 05:53 PM
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A few points:

1) Remember that a TES "pixel" or footprint is 3 x 8 km, so any interesting region with a new spectral feature would have to be at least this big. Typically we like to see the same feature in a few pixels to believe that its really there. In addition, TES hasn't been mapping mineralogy for quite some time due to a "glitch" that has degraded the spectral data. Recently TES has been used for thermal inertia and atmospheric studies.

2) I don't know, because I haven't talked to him about it, but listening to the interview, I would guess that the gullies to which Phil was referring were those he discussed in a Nature (I think) paper a few years ago which also show a "pasted-on" terrain near the gullies which he hypothesized to be dust-covered snow. If there's a new major announcement regarding these gullies and MGS, its probably some new interesting MOC imagery.

but then again, I've been wrong before, so who knows?
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 5 2006, 06:08 PM
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QUOTE (tglotch @ Dec 5 2006, 07:53 AM) *
2) I don't know, because I haven't talked to him about it, but listening to the interview, I would guess that the gullies to which Phil was referring were those he discussed in a Nature (I think) paper a few years ago which also show a "pasted-on" terrain near the gullies which he hypothesized to be dust-covered snow.

Hmmm... tongue.gif

I'm wondering if we should bone up Malin and Edgett's 2000 paper in Science, as well as Christensen's Nature paper.

Also, a 2003 PSRD release might be good reading.

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Dec 5 2006, 06:30 PM
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ugordan
post Dec 5 2006, 06:29 PM
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This definitely sounds like it belongs to a separate thread. It's urelated to the MGS mishap. And Alex, why do I get the distinct feeling you know something we don't? biggrin.gif


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 5 2006, 08:00 PM
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Per Gordan's suggestion, I'll start a new thread on this topic and merge the other posts into it.

EDIT:

QUOTE (ugordan @ Dec 5 2006, 08:29 AM) *
And Alex, why do I get the distinct feeling you know something we don't? biggrin.gif

Like most people here, I'm just guessing. That said, I wonder if Christensen will mention his "THOR" mission concept tomorrow? cool.gif

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Dec 5 2006, 08:15 PM
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 5 2006, 08:24 PM
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Leonard David has a brief blurb in his blog.

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Dec 5 2006, 08:42 PM
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volcanopele
post Dec 5 2006, 08:31 PM
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Maybe a gully seen recently but not seen in older MOC images? Phil Christensen could be there to present spectroscopy results of said "new" gully from TES or THEMIS.


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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Dec 6 2006, 01:03 AM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Dec 5 2006, 10:31 AM) *
Maybe a gully seen recently but not seen in older MOC images? Phil Christensen could be there to present spectroscopy results of said "new" gully from TES or THEMIS.

You could be right. However, since we're just speculating, I'm wondering if, as tglotch alluded to above, Christensen might be there to discuss and expand on his gully formation model, as published in the Nature paper. And note that Christensen's results in 2003 were based not on THEMIS IR (let alone lower res TES) but rather on THEMIS VIS imagery, which gave a more synpotic view of the gully sites than MOC NA.

Again, just speculating, but maybe Malin and Edgett have detected noticeable changes in already-mapped gully sites and/or have added more gully sites to the existing database increasing the coverage over the mid-latitudes?

Whatever the results turn out to be, tomorrow should be interesting.

EDIT: One should note the fundamental difference between the Malin/Edgett model and Christensen's. In the former, a subsurface origin for the seeps, which implies near-surface reservoirs and/or aquifers, is posited; in the latter, basal melting from overlying snowpacks (due to Mars' obliquity excursions) is invoked. So if tomorrow's press conference is about gullies, and if Malin/Edgett and Christensen have come to some common view on the formation mechanism(s), that, in and of itself, is interesting.

This post has been edited by AlexBlackwell: Dec 6 2006, 01:23 AM
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JonClarke
post Dec 6 2006, 06:47 AM
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QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Dec 6 2006, 01:03 AM) *
One should note the fundamental difference between the Malin/Edgett model and Christensen's. In the former, a subsurface origin for the seeps, which implies near-surface reservoirs and/or aquifers, is posited; in the latter, basal melting from overlying snowpacks (due to Mars' obliquity excursions) is invoked. So if tomorrow's press conference is about gullies, and if Malin/Edgett and Christensen have come to some common view on the formation mechanism(s), that, in and of itself, is interesting.


Why should they not both be right in different places?
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