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Extraterrestrial Archaeological Expeditions?

  1. Nov 6, 2015 #1
    Hello all,

    As a lot of you may know, there have recently been new studies showing that the early atmosphere of Mars was stripped away by solar winds, traveling millions of miles per hour. It can even give a clear indication that life on Mars, 4 billion years ago, could be similar to Earth as it is right now. There have been a lot of rumours about objects on Mars that have been caught, such as a traffic light or sphere. Most of them seem pretty cheesy rumors, as it would be brought up in the scientific community, but since our recent discovery, should things like that be taken more seriously? Now that we know that 4 billions years ago, Mars could be like Earth, couldn't we expect it? Also, do you think NASA should fund a trip to Mars, not only to step foot on it, but lead an extreterrestrial archaeological expedition to find objects that could have been from the past?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 7, 2015 #2


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    We have known for decades that Mars had large bodies of water billions of years ago. Nothing recently discovered has changed that.

    They are not rumours, they are pareidolia - the tendency to read meaning into non-meaningful patterns.

    New discoveries have done nothing to make them less fanciful.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  4. Nov 7, 2015 #3
    The surface of Mars has been mapped in considerable detail at this stage by numerous orbiters.
    Had there ever been a technological civilization on Mars I am sure these orbiters would have seen something more telling than a traffic light.
    (such as the ruins of one or two large cities, and you can't really have a technological civilization without large population centers.)
    There is no part of the surface which suggests anything other than natural geological processes at work.

    (This doesn't rule out the possibility of more primitive life though)
  5. Nov 7, 2015 #4


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    Advanced intelligence native to Mars billions of years ago is wildly improbable, unless you are suggesting aliens once had a martian outpost. If so, I would expect something more baffling than petroglyphs. Apophenia is the more likely explanation
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  6. Dec 17, 2015 #5


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    The only reason to send a manned expedition is to set foot on it (perhaps on the way to do more ambitious things, of course). If we just want to know what's there or not there, the unmanned missions are more effective.
  7. Dec 17, 2015 #6
    I would think that if we were to discover alien artifacts, they would most likely be floating in space, not on a planet's surface. Mars wasn't wet long enough for advanced beings like us to evolve. If there is non-human technology in our solar system, it did not originate in our neighborhood.
  8. Dec 19, 2015 #7
    "objects on Mars such as a traffic light or sphere"

    Another justification for the manned space program!
  9. Dec 19, 2015 #8


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    Pretty sure that was tongue-in-cheek, but for the sake of other readers:

    Robot probes are quite capable of distinguishing a Martian rock from a traffic light. If some rock proved to be mysterious enough to warrant further investigation, there's nothing stopping the rover from doing all the investigation necessary to determine the rock's natural origins. The spotty, rare images we get aren't because the rovers can't investigate; it's because there's no compelling need to.

    If a rover rolled around to the other side of the 'traffic light rock' and saw a #24 machine bolt sticking out of it, that would be cause for a manned mission.
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