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remcook
http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/9/2/10/1

QUOTE
he latest results from Mars Express reveal that the surface of the red planet is much more diverse than previously thought, with evidence for the presence of hydrated sulphates, silicates and various rock-forming minerals. Space scientists working on the European Space Agency mission have just analysed the first nine months of data from the OMEGA instrument and published six papers that give the first detailed inventory of the entire Martian surface. Last year Mars Express identified frozen water at both the north and south poles of the planet.
imran
Jon Clarke's summary of Mars Express findings from the Vienna Conference.

QUOTE
Hi all

I have just got back from an amazing European Geoscience Union conference in Vienna. There must have been 10,000 people there. The titles alone of the talks require some 440 pages. Subjects included hydrology, atmospheric sciences, geophysics, sedimentology, petrology, oceanography, and planetary science. The pressures of time precluded me from seeing all I wanted to, plus I was there for work, so could not go to as many planetary science sessions as I wanted. Those I did attend were mainly on Mars, but I got to a few on the moon, Iapetus and Titan as well. I will post a few threads on these in the next day or so, but will start with current Mars missions. Make of them what you will

Jon

There were many papers on the results of Mars Express. Some highlights.

OMEGA (first V-NIR spectrometer sent to Mars, 300 m resolution) sulphate mapping presented by Gendrin et al. Extensive hydrated sulphates identified at various location and Valles Marinaris, in the north polar dune sea, and of course Terra Meridiani. There is very strong correlation between sulphates and layered terrain, down to single pixels. However not all pale layered units are sulphates. Strong correlation exists regionally between sulphates and iron oxides, locally they occur in different but juxtaposed beds. Opportunity landed some 400 km away from the thickest sulphate deposits in terra Meridiani, which include at least 100 m of very pure epsomite. The locally high abundance of epsomite in the polar erg was unexpected, suggests that some of the dunes are cemented by sulphate, supported in a poster by Schatz et al.. At low latitudes there is a good correlation between high levels of hydrogen reported in neutron spectroscopy and sulphates. It is possible to explain all the hydrogen as being near surface hydrated sulphates, although this does not preclude the presence of ices at depth, consistent with other evidence. The presenter also reminded the audience that not all hydrated sulphates are sedimentary – they can form via weathering and hydrothermal processes.

HRSC mapping of Gusev crater were presented by Pinet et al. HRSC reveals much greater variation in surface properties than identified by MOC and THEMIS, largely because of better resolution. Overall the properties resemble those of Apollinaris Patera to the north, this is consistent with the predominantly basaltic nature of the surface seen by Spirit. At 100 m resolution imaging of the Spirit site, three types of surface were identified – basalt, dunes, and the hills, confirming what was identified by the rover and allowing extrapolation to other areas beyond the rover’s reach.

HRSC and OMEGA investigations of Cerberus Fossae were presented by Voucher et al. MOLA data shows this area as having a very low (less than 0.1 degree) eastward slope, defining a very low relief shield volcano. The most recent basalt flows in the area arise from a series of tectonic fissures but not the most recent ones, giving the region its name. Water flows are, however from these recent troughs, giving rise to Athabasca Vallis. The shield volcano is probably 2 Ga, the most recent lava flows 10 Ma, as are the fluvial features.

Preuschmann et al. compared the morphology of parts of Valles Marinaris as revealed by HRSC with terrestrial subadjacent karst, where dissolution of soluble rocks underneath insoluble cap rocks causes collapse. A number of basalt plateaus overlying limestones in the Middle East show morphologies similar to those seen on Mars.

Van Gasselt et al. presented a very interesting poster on polygons in the South Polar Trough using MOLA and MOC data. The authors noted significant changes over a three-year period, clearly pointing to active permafrost.

A summary of the status of Mars methane was even by Encrenaz et al. She reviewed previous work to date, resent observations using the M-E PFS and future prospects. She considered the Formisano detection as marginal because of the poor spectral resolution and the Kransnopolsky study as marginal because of poor detection limits. The Mumma study (unfortunately the only one not yet fully published) was the best because of good spectral and spatial resolution. However, her attempts to duplicate this using the ME PFS observations were unsuccessful, although getting indicates of 10 ppb methane. However a few runs gave 20 ppb methane, suggesting that high methane production might be not only localized but also episodic. The best hope for Mars methane work in the short term appears to be in better ground based observations because of their better spectral and spatial resolution.
ustrax
Humm...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4219858.stm

smile.gif
tty
QUOTE (imran @ May 8 2005, 07:59 PM)
Extensive hydrated sulphates identified at various location and Valles Marinaris, in the north polar dune sea, and of course Terra Meridiani. There is very strong correlation between sulphates and layered terrain, down to single pixels. However not all pale layered units are sulphates. Strong correlation exists regionally between sulphates and iron oxides, locally they occur in different but juxtaposed beds. Opportunity landed some 400 km away from the thickest sulphate deposits in terra Meridiani, which include at least 100 m of very pure epsomite. The locally high abundance of epsomite in the polar erg was unexpected, suggests that some of the dunes are cemented by sulphate, supported in a poster by Schatz et al.. At low latitudes there is a good correlation between high levels of hydrogen reported in neutron spectroscopy and sulphates. It is possible to explain all the hydrogen as being near surface hydrated sulphates, although this does not preclude the presence of ices at depth, consistent with other evidence. The presenter also reminded the audience that not all hydrated sulphates are sedimentary – they can form via weathering and hydrothermal processes.


Now that is interesting since we know that the Meridiani sulphates are waterlaid evaporites. Such a thick evaporite layer means either a very deep brine pool (very unlikely considering the lack of topographic relief), or (more likely) a long period of evaporite deposition, or (most likely) a large number of shallow water evaporation episodes.
Were there any hints what the other pale layered deposits are? They could of course be eolian, but also non-sulphatic evaporites.

Also if the total depth of evaporites is <100 m thick near Opportunity it means that Victoria crater may have punched right through the evaporite layer and the underlying deposits might occur in the ejecta and be visible in situ in the crater.

tty
antoniseb
QUOTE (tty @ Sep 7 2005, 12:49 PM)
Also if the total depth of evaporites is <100 m thick near Opportunity it means that Victoria crater may have punched right through the evaporite layer and the underlying deposits might occur in the ejecta and be visible in situ in the crater.
*

And if not, what does that say about the maximum depth of the water that deposited these evaporites? Pretty deep, I'd say. How many meters of Earth Ocean water do you have to evaporate to get a meter of salt? (about 625). I'll grant that we don't know what the salinity was, but it still gives an order of magnitude idea of the depth.
tty
QUOTE (antoniseb @ Sep 7 2005, 08:01 PM)
And if not, what does that say about the maximum depth of the water that deposited these evaporites? Pretty deep, I'd say. How many meters of Earth Ocean water do you have to evaporate to get a meter of salt? (about 625). I'll grant that we don't know what the salinity was, but it still gives an order of magnitude idea of the depth.
*


No, because we have plenty of cases here on Earth where deep evaporite deposits were definitely created in a shallow water setting, as shown by sedimentological indications. It is the amount of water evaporated that matters, not the depth at any particular time.
Commercial salines produce vast amount of salts, but they are not deep, instead they evaporite a shallow layer of water again and again.

tty
dvandorn
QUOTE (tty @ Sep 7 2005, 12:49 PM)
...if the total depth of evaporites is <100 m thick near Opportunity it means that Victoria crater may have punched right through the evaporite layer and the underlying deposits might occur in the ejecta and be visible in situ in the crater.
*

We may not need to get all the way to Victoria to find examples of rocks ejected from below the evaporite layer.

Erebus is a larger crater than Victoria, albeit much, much older. And it may well have formed before the evaporite layer was complete (and thus its ejecta may have been covered with more evaporite, as well as having been altered by the standing water that must have covered it).

But we ought to expect to see fragments of Erebus ejecta embedded in some of the evaporite around Erebus. Some of it ought to have eroded out of the evaporite by now. It would look like, I don't know, cobbles of obviously different composition from the evaporite surrounding it, and also different from the basaltic dust and hematitic dust and concretions that make up the remainder of the ground mass.

In other words, I'm proposing that the dark cobbles we've been seeing in the interdunal areas are actually samples of the material that lies below the evaporite layer, that were ejected during the Erebus impact and have since been aqueously altered and embedded in evaporite. They've now been eroded out of the evaporite and are sitting out on the ground for Oppy to examine...

-the other Doug
dvandorn
Following up on the idea I just proposed about the evaporite near Erebus incorporating Erebus ejecta, it now seems clear that the dark clasts we saw in the RAT holes Oppy made recently (someone suggested they might be incompletely-generated concretions) may actually be sand- and pebble-sized grains of Erebus ejecta that were embedded in the evaporite. I bet we see a higher percentage of such clasts in the evaporite "floor" as we approach the rim of Erebus.

That would definitely, *strongly* suggest that Erebus was formed before the evaporite deposition process was complete. Since the Erebus rim materials seem to be made, at least in part, of evaporite, I'd think that there had to have been evaporite there when the crater formed -- so the process had started. But finding Erebus ejecta incorporated into more recent layers of evaporite would almost be proof that Erebus was flooded, altered and eroded by liquid water, and partially covered by more evaporite before the waters receded for good.

The Erebus impactor may actually have impacted into water... though, at this stage of degradation, I don't know how you'd establish that.

-the other Doug
Rakhir
Burned-up meteors add to Martian atmosphere

"A previously unknown layer has been detected in the atmosphere of Mars, which scientists believe is created when meteors burn up high above the planet's surface."

http://www.newscientistspace.com/article/d...atmosphere.html

Rakhir
ljk4-1
From ESA Bulletin 119:

ESA Portal Brings Europe’s Mars Adventure to Millions

Fulvio Drigani & Jurgen Scholz

http://www.esa.int/esapub/bulletin/bulleti...ul119_chap7.pdf
AlexBlackwell
The following paper is being published in the February 17, 2006, issue of Science:

Plasma Acceleration Above Martian Magnetic Anomalies
R. Lundin, et al.
Science 311, 980-983 (2006).
Abstract

Note: As I post this, I don't think the online embargo for this issue, which permits full access to the papers, has been lifted yet. I believe this is an automated feature of the website. Access should be available in a few hours.

Second note: Many ASPERA-3 papers are also currently in press with Icarus.
Rakhir
Light and shadow on the surface of Mars
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMG35MVGJE_0.html

Images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, show the fast-moving shadow of the moon Phobos as it moved across the Martian surface.


Mars Express studies possible aurorae above Mars
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMSR5MVGJE_0.html

ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft has seen more evidence that aurorae occur over the night side of Mars, especially over areas of the surface where variations in the magnetic properties of the crust have been detected.
elakdawalla
QUOTE (Rakhir @ Feb 17 2006, 08:54 AM) *
Light and shadow on the surface of Mars
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMG35MVGJE_0.html

Images, taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft, show the fast-moving shadow of the moon Phobos as it moved across the Martian surface.


One of the images in this posting is a Flash animation of several frames of Phobos moving across the surface of Mars. Does anybody here know of a way to grab the animation in any save-able format? They don't provide a .gif, .avi, or .mov version to download.

--Emily
AlexBlackwell
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 17 2006, 06:28 PM) *
One of the images in this posting is a Flash animation of several frames of Phobos moving across the surface of Mars. Does anybody here know of a way to grab the animation in any save-able format? They don't provide a .gif, .avi, or .mov version to download.

I'm not sure if there is a freeware or shareware program available for this. However, you might try the trial version of "Flash Saver" to see if it works.

Of course, if you're willing to pony up the dollars, then there are a few programs to grab Flash animations. Sometimes, you can even manually scan through your browser cache and snag the files.
AlexBlackwell
QUOTE (Rakhir @ Feb 17 2006, 04:54 PM) *

The only thing that surprises me about this press release is that ESA doesn't claim that Mars Express is the first spacecraft to have imaged Phobos' shadow on the martian surface from orbit.

Mon dieu! Merde! Someone in the ESA press office must be asleep at the wheel! tongue.gif
lyford
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 17 2006, 10:28 AM) *
One of the images in this posting is a Flash animation of several frames of Phobos moving across the surface of Mars. Does anybody here know of a way to grab the animation in any save-able format? They don't provide a .gif, .avi, or .mov version to download.

--Emily

Here's the file, working on a conversion...

Doh -
QUOTE
Upload failed. You are not permitted to upload a file with that file extension.


Let's try quicktime thistime.... i hope this is ok?
elakdawalla
QUOTE (AlexBlackwell @ Feb 17 2006, 10:40 AM) *
I'm not sure if there is a freeware or shareware program available for this. However, you might try the trial version of "Flash Saver" to see if it works.

Thanks for the suggestion, Alex...
QUOTE (lyford @ Feb 17 2006, 08:08 PM) *
Let's try quicktime thistime.... i hope this is ok?

...but I procrastinated, hoping someone would completely solve the problem for me -- and it paid off. Thanks lyford!

--Emily
djellison
QUOTE (lyford @ Feb 18 2006, 04:08 AM) *
Doh -


Whioch file extension did you try first time around? I'll add it to the list of allowable ones anyway. (it's a security thing so people can't upload malicious stuff)

Doiug
dvandorn
Might not want to remove a block on, say. .exe files, Doug. Way too much possibility for malicious attachments that way.

In the case of a trusted person sharing a proven-safe application, the poster can always rename the file with a different file extension, and instruct those who download it to change it back to an .exe extension after downloading. It's a simple and effective way of getting the job done without exposing the forum as a whole to any further risk.

-the other Doug
lyford
'Twas a shockwave file that killed the beast. ".SWF"
I don't see many of us using that format in the future... not sure why ESA is using it and not some other like FLV or Quicktime.
I agree with dvandorn about keeping the hatches battened down as much as possible.
RNeuhaus
QUOTE (dvandorn @ Feb 18 2006, 06:24 AM) *
Might not want to remove a block on, say. .exe files, Doug. Way too much possibility for malicious attachments that way.

In the case of a trusted person sharing a proven-safe application, the poster can always rename the file with a different file extension, and instruct those who download it to change it back to an .exe extension after downloading. It's a simple and effective way of getting the job done without exposing the forum as a whole to any further risk.

-the other Doug

Alternatively, after downloading a file, it is a good practice, before executing it, is to click the program spam scan to test it about its authenticity. That way, this will avoid any further troubles with your computer.

Rodolfo
djellison
Yup - it's fairly restrictive at the moment. I added XLS a few days ago ( an admin thing cool.gif ) - but other than that, I've not added to the default 'payload' of allowable attachments much, ever warey of the implications.

Doug
lyford
QUOTE (elakdawalla @ Feb 17 2006, 10:25 PM) *
...but I procrastinated, hoping someone would completely solve the problem for me -- and it paid off. Thanks lyford!

Hey no fair you used it in the Planetary blog! laugh.gif And I was just about to join, too! tongue.gif
cndwrld
A new announcement has been added to the Mars Express Science & Technology pages here.

New views of the Martian ionosphere

15 Nov 2012
High above the main body of Mars' atmosphere is a region of weakly ionised gas, known as the ionosphere. For the last eight years this poorly understood region has been observed by instruments on board ESA's Mars Express orbiter, and new studies show that the dayside ionosphere is more variable and more complex than previously thought.
cndwrld
17 January 2013

ESA’s Mars Express imaged the striking upper part of the Reull Vallis region of Mars with its high-resolution stereo camera last year.

Reull Vallis, the river-like structure in these images, is believed to have formed when running water flowed in the distant martian past, cutting a steep-sided channel through the Promethei Terra Highlands before running on towards the floor of the vast Hellas basin.

This sinuous structure, which stretches for almost 1500 km across the martian landscape, is flanked by numerous tributaries, one of which can be clearly seen cutting in to the main valley towards the upper (north) side.

The page with the images, including a nice 3D image, is here.
cndwrld
Some new Mars Express images have been released.


14 February 2013

ESA’s Mars Express took a high-resolution stereo image on 13 January of the southeast corner of the Amenthes Planum region on Mars, near to Palos crater and the mouth of a well-known sinuous valley, Tinto Vallis.

The results can be seen here.
Fran Ontanaya
Stunning as always. smile.gif

I'm not sure why the site has an option to rate the pictures. They are all five stars stuff.
cndwrld
25 March 2013

ESA’s Mars Express has spent nearly ten years imaging the Red Planet, and there are plenty of hidden treasures buried in the mission’s rich picture archive.

HRSCview is a web interface to the archive that offers a chance to browse and explore any region of the Red Planet through the eyes of Mars Express with images that have not necessarily been highlighted by formal media releases.

See the full press release here.

The HRSCview is here.
cndwrld
Some nice MEX images and analysis of twin craters, at the ESA MEX page. Exploding ice craters. Who knew?
cndwrld
2 May 2013

Giant landslides, lava flows and tectonic forces are behind this dynamic scene captured recently by ESA’s Mars Express of a region scarred by the Solar System’s largest volcano, Olympus Mons.

A discussion with illuminating images can be found on the ESA web site.
cndwrld
New global maps of Mars released on the 10th anniversary of the launch of ESA’s Mars Express trace the history of water and volcanic activity on the Red Planet, and identify sites of special interest for the next generation of Mars explorers.

The full post is here on the MEX website.

And also presented was an overview of the MEX mission after 10 years, which can be found here on the MEX site.
cndwrld
Mars Kasei Valles

MEX has released a great mosaic image. In the Kasei Valles, one can clearly see that flood events carved the channel system on Mars covering 1.55 million square kilometres.

The mosaic is made up of 67 images taken with the spacecraft’s high-resolution stereo camera and is released during the week of the 10th anniversary of the spacecraft’s launch to the Red Planet.

The web page is here.
cndwrld
MEX put out some information on 04 Julyl, with nice images of lava flows on the sides of Olympus Mons. It is sort of old news by now, but you may not have seen it.

The web site announcement is here.

From the web page:

Hundreds of individual lava flows are seen frozen in time on the flanks of Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in the Solar System.

The images, taken on 21 January 2013 by ESA’s Mars Express, focus on the southeast segment of the giant volcano, which towers some 22 km above the surrounding plains. This is more than double the height of Mauna Kea, the tallest volcano on Earth at 10 km, when measured from its oceanic base to summit.
cndwrld
A pretty neat animation was just released.


15 July 2013

Glide through part of the largest canyon on Mars, Valles Marineris, in this stunning colour movie from ESA’s Mars Express.

Valles Marineris is not just the largest canyon on Mars, but at 4000 km long, 200 km wide and 10 km deep it is the largest in the entire Solar System.

The movie focuses on an enclosed 8 km-deep trough in the northern most part of Valles Marineris, called Hebes Chasma.

The page with the movie and the information is here.
cndwrld
More beautiful Mars images. Exceptional structures deposited and shaped by water and winds adorn interlocking craters and sculpt radiating patterns in the sands of Mars. This mosaic, which focuses on Becquerel crater in Arabia Terra, is composed of four images taken by the high-resolution stereo camera on ESA’s Mars Express. Arabia Terra is in the transition zone between the southern highlands and the northern lowlands of Mars.

You can see the images and read the description on the ESA pages, at the link
here.
cndwrld
Some really nice images. "Ripped apart by tectonic forces, Hebes Chasma and its neighbouring network of canyons bear the scars of the Red Planet’s early history." Take a look at the images on this

ESA web site.
cndwrld
The German Space Agency (DLR) released this 4 minute video, using results from the Mars Express digital model of the planet.
From the highest volcano to the deepest canyon, from impact craters to ancient river beds and lava flows, this showcase of images from ESA’s Mars Express takes you on an unforgettable journey across the Red Planet.
Mars Express was launched on 2 June 2003 and arrived at Mars six-and-a-half months later. It has since orbited the planet nearly 12 500 times, providing scientists with unprecedented images and data collected by its suite of scientific instruments.
The data have been used to create an almost global digital topographic model of the surface, providing a unique visualisation and enabling researchers to acquire new and surprising information about the evolution of the Red Planet.
The images in this movie were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera and the video was released by the DLR German Aerospace Center as part of the ten years of Mars Express celebrations in June 2013. The music has been created by Stephan Elgner of DLR’s Mars Express planetary cartography team. DLR developed and is operating the stereo camera.

The page is:
http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/2013/10/Mars_showcase
cndwrld
An image has been added to the MEX pages showing glacial and alluvial effects.

The page is http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Highlights/Deep_freeze ://http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/S...ts/Deep_freeze .
cndwrld
Some information out of the MEX team from around Christmas time, that is pretty interesting:

Image release: Mystery Mounds on Mars

Polar cap animation: Animation of polar cap
Airbag
QUOTE (cndwrld @ Jan 8 2014, 03:50 AM) *
Image release: Mystery Mounds on Mars


It seems to me that the description there could be relevant to the discussions on the origin of Mt. Sharp too.

Airbag
OWW
New press release. "The flood after the impact".

Like the commenters, I think the description is wrong. The crater came after the river, not the other way around. Even a non-geologist like me can see that the river flowed from left to right, towards the crater. And a quick look in Google-mars clearly shows where the riverbed originated; a fissure to the south, not that crater.
Also, this is Hebrus Valles, not Hephaestus Fossae.
centsworth_II
QUOTE (OWW @ Feb 11 2014, 01:57 PM) *
... Even a non-geologist like me can see that the river flowed from left to right, towards the crater....
You may well be right. However as this non-geologist sees it, if an impact melts a large area of subsurface ice, the rivers formed will flow downhill whether that is toward or away from the crater. And the water from the subsurface melt will escape to the surface via the route of least resistance which may be a preexisting fissure.
OWW
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Feb 11 2014, 10:32 PM) *
You may well be right. However as this non-geologist sees it, if an impact melts a large area of subsurface ice, the rivers formed will flow downhill whether that is toward or away from the crater. And the water from the subsurface melt will escape to the surface via the route of least resistance which may be a preexisting fissure.

If this were the case, wouldn't the river flow around the rim (or lobes) of this large fresh crater? I don't see any sign of that in the image; no erosion.
brellis
And today's trip to UMSF causes brellis to learn more about the Coriolis Effect, because I was going to ask in which direction the 'river' should be traveling. Thanks!

p.s. - I must confess I was wondering about compass-type of stuff at the time, lol
centsworth_II
QUOTE (OWW @ Feb 11 2014, 05:18 PM) *
If this were the case, wouldn't the river flow around the rim (or lobes) of this large fresh crater? I don't see any sign of that in the image; no erosion.
Not around the crater, but I've marked what looks like flow out of the crater. Was the crater like an overflowing well?
Click to view attachment
http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/20...erspective_view
cndwrld
Mars Express released an article on two distinct volcanic eruptions that have flooded an area of Mar's Daedalia Planum with lava, flowing around an elevated fragment of ancient terrain. The article is
at this link.

Ooooh, 3D picture, too.
Tom Tamlyn
I didn't see an article (or a link to an article) at the URL that you posted, but I guess you were referring to http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Sc..._plains_of_Mars

Thanks for your work in sharing the results of Mars Express with us.

TTT
cndwrld
Sorry about the bad link. Your link certainly works fine, Tom, and is the correct one.
serpens
QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Feb 12 2014, 03:21 AM) *
Not around the crater, but I've marked what looks like flow out of the crater. Was the crater like an overflowing well?

I don't think that the ESA interpretation stands up under scrutiny and I have to support OWW's contention that the crater overlays a pre-existing water flow structure. The terrain slopes from left to right which fits the flow indications across the image. It is hard to accept that an impact creating a 20 kilometre crater could melt huge volumes of ice hundreds of kilometres away so the flow indicators alone deny the crater as a source. I suspect that the apparent crater overflow features you marked reflect elements of the pre-existing flow structure that presented a weaker barrier to the crater surge. A depositional rather than erosional feature.
Ron Hobbs
This is Cool!!

Impact crater or Supervolcano?

This seems like a good place to put this. Maybe it deserves its own topic. I would love see some discussion.

Quote: "Without any doubt, more data and high-resolution coverage – and even in situ sampling – would be necessary to resolve this mystery. And since the gases released in supervolcano eruptions could have had significant effects on the martian climate, this is a topic of great interest."
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