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Phoenix science results, Beginning with December 2008 AGU meeting
imipak
post Feb 27 2009, 08:52 PM
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Getting irked at mass media representation of a specialist area where one is better informed than the hacks churning the stuff out is a short-cut to a broken liver!


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nprev
post Mar 9 2009, 12:45 PM
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Today's lead story on Spaceflight Now; major paper re liquid water forthcoming? Presented a bit sensationally though, I'm afraid.


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imipak
post Mar 9 2009, 08:25 PM
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It's that man again (Craig Covault), and that image looks strangely familiar too...

Edit: nprev - the major paper is "PHYSICAL AND THERMODYNAMICAL EVIDENCE FOR LIQUID WATER ON MARS?" - abstract (which is a paper in itself) is here (and was linked above ;p ) coming at LPSC 2009.


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Greg Watson
post Mar 19 2009, 10:50 PM
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Salty Tears

So it was water on the landing legs................

Greg
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ConyHigh
post Mar 19 2009, 11:44 PM
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QUOTE (Greg Watson @ Mar 19 2009, 02:50 PM) *
Salty Tears

So it was water on the landing legs................

Greg


Nilton Renno is likely in the minority, despite the fact that a number of the Phoenix Science Team, including the PI, signed on to the paper. Next week's discussion should be interesting.
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nprev
post Mar 20 2009, 12:12 AM
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Thanks for the link!

The article reminded me of the atomic force microscope as well. Have there been any summaries published yet concerning the AFM's findings & performance? What little I've seen to date has been fascinating, but haven't seen any definitive science results from it yet. (Been assuming that the AFM was primarily intended as a tech demo, anyhow.)


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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Mar 20 2009, 12:58 PM
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Dear friends,

I'm sorry if my question comes off-topic, but I don't know about a better place to ask. My question is - are there any copyright issues if I decide to use graphics and charts publishes on the website of NASA in my own scientific articles in a peer-reviewed journal?

Thank you in advance...
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Deimos
post Mar 20 2009, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Mar 20 2009, 01:58 PM) *
My question is - are there any copyright issues if I decide to use graphics and charts publishes on the website of NASA in my own scientific articles in a peer-reviewed journal?

Usually, the materials presented on the NASA and phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu public sites are copyright-free. Other sites, maybe, maybe not. They usually have a credit associated with them that must be passed on (essentially, part of the proper citation). You cannot transfer copyright to any journal--which may be a stumbling block--since you do not have copyright. Look for any license info at the sites; the best option is to get things through planetary photojournal, so you know they are "released" products.

That said, it's risky. You generally don't know what was done to make the chart, what simplifications were done for public accessibility or to make a specific point that was important at the time but is now irrelevant. Things that were not the emphasized result may be less accurately portrayed. You don't know where PIO simplified or changed something to make it "better" if less accurate. Even with images, significant processing may have been done (or conversely, may be appropriate but not done) and you may not know what that was. Depending on the point being made, that may or may not be important. [I recently tried using the released uncalibrated RAC images of the struts to look at the so-called "droplets"--they are useless and misleading compared to the PDS images.]

It is especially risky using this info for a major point. Obviously publishing your discovery of perchlorate based on the charts would be bad. But even where you are firmer moral ground (ie, showing charts as evidence of the NASA discovery) you are on shaky scientific ground. Little or nothing on those sites has been peer-reviewed. Peer-review is happening. Some results may be reversed (note--this is not deliberate foreshadowing, just a general statement of the process). Most editors and many reviewers will be aware of these risks. Frankly, you should be sure they are if you do such a thing, so that they go into it with their eyes open.

There is a further reputation risk--people who prepared a chart will justly feel a certain sense of entitlement to publish the information in it, and to draw any conclusions that may be drawn from it. Once they have published, you may find their analysis incomplete and build upon it. But, for instance, to discuss implications of the pH measurement, or the TECP measurements, or many other things, you would be directly competing with the papers now being written by those who made the measurements, who may have the same ideas--or better ones--even if they didn't say them in a press release.

The best path is to wait for publications. 4 papers have been submitted to Science and several are about to start the long journey through JGR. Sorry if this seems overly pedantic or over-the-top compared to your intended use. But many of us recall that the first peer-reviewed publication of hematite concretions on Mars was not by a MER team member, it was based on press conferences. This caused some reluctance to release certain details of Phoenix discoveries; further incidents could restrict the information flow from this kind of mission.
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Guest_Zvezdichko_*
post Mar 20 2009, 05:04 PM
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Thank you for your long answer!

I won't publish an article if there are problems of this type. I don't like taking risks. Anyway, I never intended to claim that I made a discovery they actually made (for example, perchlorates)... I intended to make my own conclusions that are unique. I will wait, as you suggested.

I am aware that some agencies allow using their data for scientific research. For example:

http://wms.selene.jaxa.jp/selene_viewer/terms_of_use_e.html

... but obviously you have to contact the agency and claim the following: "This research made use of the lunar orbiter SELENE (KAGUYA) data of JAXA/SELENE.”

So you have my promise - I won't publish any data for the moment.
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Paolo
post Jul 2 2009, 07:43 PM
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The traditional Science issue presenting preliminary results from Phoenix will be out tomorrow Friday 3 July.
Watch this space!


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Deimos
post Jul 3 2009, 05:16 AM
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http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol325/issue5936/cover.dtl
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/...90702140841.htm
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/phoenix/.../phx-17067.html
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Phil Stooke
post Jul 3 2009, 06:18 PM
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Some nice new images from these papers on the Phoenix image gallery site, especially panoramas of the trench area.

Phil


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HughFromAlice
post Jul 6 2009, 07:42 AM
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Has anyone read the Phoenix papers published by Peter Smith et al. - in this current issue of Science?

The Abstract: "H2O at the Phoenix Landing Site - The Phoenix mission investigated patterned ground and weather in the northern arctic region of Mars for 5 months starting 25 May 2008 (solar longitude between 76.5 and 148). A shallow ice table was uncovered by the robotic arm in the center and edge of a nearby polygon at depths of 5 to 18 centimeters. In late summer, snowfall and frost blanketed the surface at night; H2O ice and vapor constantly interacted with the soil. The soil was alkaline (pH = 7.7) and contained CaCO3, aqueous minerals, and salts up to several weight percent in the indurated surface soil. Their formation likely required the presence of water".

Snowfall blanketed the surface at night!!!?

There's a nonsensational well written article in The Arizona Republic that's worth a quick read on where the Phoenix team are up to - http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/n...3.html#comments "One lingering question Smith hopes to solve with more study of the data is whether carbon-based organic molecules, the chemical building blocks of life, are present in the soil". But the mission is out of money and they will have to get grants to do this. Very worth keeping an eye on.
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HughFromAlice
post Jul 6 2009, 08:05 AM
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I've just seen that NASA have published a good summary at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2009-106

It opens with "Favorable chemistry and episodes with thin films of liquid water during ongoing, long-term climate cycles may sometimes make the area where NASA's Phoenix Mars mission landed last year a favorable environment for microbes".

I thought the following was particularly interesting "snow (was detected) falling from clouds...............(they reported that) further into winter than Phoenix operated, this precipitation would result in a seasonal buildup of water ice on and in the ground". Not just virga!
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HughFromAlice
post Jul 7 2009, 10:25 PM
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I reckon that Phoenix was a second hand mission that produced first class results!

I haven't got to the Science articles but this was an informative popular media article from CBC (Candian Broadcasting Corporation) http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009/07...way-clouds.html

'A few times, around 5 a.m., streaks indicating precipitation appeared in the signals. In one case, the snow fell to the lowest level detectable by the instrument about 50 metres above the surface.......would have continued to descend through the saturated air to reach the surface.........."It would look like frost," he* said.' *Jim Whiteway from York Uni, team leader.

To me, this is an amazing discovery. I start thinking about when the obliquity of Mars was different....thinking and thinking!!!!!!!!
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