Tzunamii wrote:"This could be the tip of the iceberg," Arvidson said."
Of course if it were, then they would have found water
Perhaps just a posative attitude.
Hope they find Something worth the $$ invested.
Lander cameras confirmed that white chunks exposed during trench digging were frozen water ice because they sublimated, or vaporized, over a few days.
At this point, we can say that the soil has clearly interacted with water in the past.
"This soil appears to be a close analog to surface soils found in the upper dry valleys in Antarctica," Kouvanes said. "The alkalinity of the soil at this location is definitely striking. At this specific location, one-inch into the surface layer, the soil is very basic, with a pH of between eight and nine. We also found a variety of components of salts that we haven't had time to analyze and identify yet, but that include magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride."
"This is more evidence for water because salts are there. We also found a reasonable number of nutrients, or chemicals needed by life as we know it," Kounaves said. "Over time, I've come to the conclusion that the amazing thing about Mars is not that it's an alien world, but that in many aspects, like mineralogy, it's very much like Earth...
"At this point, we can say that the soil has clearly interacted with water in the past. We don't know whether that interaction occurred in this particular area in the northern polar region, or whether it might have happened elsewhere and blown up to this area as dust."
Can someone explain why anything tested using water *wouldn't* appear to have been influenced by the water used for the testing?
So a lot of people have been asking me really good questions like "How can you be sure it's water ice and not dry ice?" or "Why didn't TEGA find water?" I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain how the process has gone and answer a few of the questions I've gotten...
The first indication of water ice was when the robotic arm camera (RAC) looked under me and saw a huge patch of something. The only thing we could tell is that it was white and really bright in sunlight. Some of the team immediately jumped to the conclusion it was ice, most wanted more evidence.
The second major discovery was when I started digging with my robotic arm (RA) and in the trench, a white streak was evident. Some more team members immediately jumped to the conclusion it was ice, more still wanted more evidence. I dug another trench next to the one I had just dug, and more of the white stuff showed up. I dug again and even more showed up! The team commanded me to do was to expose more of the white stuff, so I combined all 3 trenches and dug a bit deeper. More of the white stuff was exposed. By this time, half the team said it was ice, half said it was some sort of salt. A lot were skeptical because they couldn't believe my entire mission was going right...
The next thing I did was take what's called a multispectral spot...
When we took the spot on the white stuff, it was very similar to the spectrum of water. It was off the charts in the blue part of the spectrum. This was even better evidence of the white stuff being water ice...
The final nail in the coffin on the salt theory was when we looked in the trench after a few days and some of the chunks were gone. They must have sublimated, or gone from a solid to gaseous state without becoming liquid, to have disappeared. Salts do not do that....
Some ask "Why isn't it dry ice?" First off, dry ice can't exist in this region quite yet because it simply isn't cold enough. Dry ice needs to be below -78.5 degrees Celcius (-109 degrees Fahrenheit) on Earth to be a solid. This is even much lower for on Mars because of the lack of atmospheric pressure. I simply haven't seen the sorts of temperatures necessary for dry ice so far.
Some ask "Why can't it be some chemical we've never seen before that acts like that?" While it very well could be some chemical we've never seen before, the evidence is strongly against this hypothesis. If it looks and acts like water ice, then it probably is water ice. - Behind the Water Ice Decision
by Keri Bean
Joe Keenan wrote:Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm in the middle of a WWE story line? The "we might have a short circuit when we run the next test" line seems like a attempt to immunize the test from failure. If it is ice, they'll rightly crow, if it's not ice they have a pre-established thread to immunize the failure. Is anyone other than me put off by the shameless PR campaign coming out from NASA? Pictures from a Mars rover (you have them here on this sight) showed the white stuff under the soil, they knew it was there before they dug, then they then act surprised and squeal like a bunch of adolescent girls at a Bay City Rollers concert when they see more white stuff. W need some staid Germans to start running the place again.
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