Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News item - ice on Mars

  1. Jun 20, 2008 #1

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2008 #2
  4. Jun 20, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    A bunch of white stuff that was seen at the bottom of a pit had disappeared 4 days later? How much more clear evidence do we need? What else can explain this but the existence of Martians?
  5. Jun 20, 2008 #4
    I wasn't suggesting that the ice was evidence for life. We have know mars to have water ice for ages. This is nothing new. But it is still exciting that we can now actually examine the ice.
  6. Jun 20, 2008 #5

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    One reporter suggested that the camera just wasn't working when the big green hand reached into the field of view. That seems to be the most likely explanation.
  7. Jun 20, 2008 #6
    I still don't understand all the hoopla about finding ice on Mars. I wouldn't be one bit suprised if we discovered ice... in fact i've been expecting it with 100% assurance.

    What would be a good find, is if we discovered water ice.
  8. Jun 20, 2008 #7
    Big deal. Scotch on the rocks, now THAT would be reason to colonize.
  9. Jun 20, 2008 #8
    I got a feeling it will turn out to be dry ice (frozen co2) and the earth (since the dirt on Earth is called 'earth', would the 'dirt' on Mars be called 'mars'?) acted as an insulator, and it just sublimated away.
  10. Jun 20, 2008 #9
    Phoenix lander is equipped with a mass spectrometer, and all sorts of instruments. It seems sort of premature to call that white stuff "ice" solely on relying on photographs as evidence, rather than other scientific instruments.
  11. Jun 20, 2008 #10

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What else would sublimate?

    Isn't the real point that they will be able to study the ice - that they found some where they landed?
  12. Jun 20, 2008 #11
    Have they given a surface termperature range?? Does the sun shine on the area and for how long ect.??
  13. Jun 20, 2008 #12
    The sun shines constantly, but since it's in the process of dipping down past the horizon permanently during the winter season, the sunlight intensity is low. The temperature has been varying from about -30C to -80C. I haven't paid attention to pressure readings though. I also haven't heard of any speculation of what the ice may be, given the current data at hand.
  14. Jun 20, 2008 #13
    Ummm, yes? I haven't been around for that long, but I've been around for a while, and I haven't yet once heard of the sun going out. :biggrin: (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
  15. Jun 20, 2008 #14
    I still think it's dry ice.

    I'm thinking that "On Earth, as it is in the.... (ooops) on Mars"---

    Even in the summer, there's ice frozen a little ways under the ground near the Earth's poles (tundra)--on Mars it would be a 'dry ice' tundra----it's 'summer' where they are near the Mars 'pole'---so, I think it's 'dry ice tundra'.
  16. Jun 20, 2008 #15
    Thanks for the information. Previous to the press release researchers at the U of A had noted the disappearance of the lumps in the lower left hand side of the pictures.

    Someone there must have a sense of humor they have been giving things some pretty weird names. They referred to the lumps as "Dodo-Goldilocks" :smile:

  17. Jun 20, 2008 #16

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is believed that the Martian summers are too warm for it to be CO2.
  18. Jun 20, 2008 #17
    Isn't the line of thinking that the solid ice CO2 that's present at the poles during the winter months just evaporates and is redistributed into the atmosphere as gaseous CO2 during the warmer season(s)? I remember reading somewhere that approximately 25% of the detected CO2 is annually involved in this cycle.

    Looking for the article now.
  19. Jun 20, 2008 #18
    on the surface, that may be true, but it may be different, --my guess, colder (like the tundra) a few inches down--cold enough to keep the dry ice as dry ice, and maybe even exposed, as it was, for a few days and longer than it would be expected (before it did sublimate, in the pit out of direct sunlight with colder ground below it).


    I think the 'reason' why they 'think' its water is that they 'want' to see water so badly that they have thought of as many reasons WHY it should be water, instead looking at what's there already and thinking about what could be the reasons why it (co2) could be found below the surface (when it's not visible ON the surface).
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  20. Jun 20, 2008 #19
    Roaring Jets of Carbon Dioxide Solve Mars Mystery

    This EGU article estimates as much as 1/2 of the surface CO2 is involved in the cycle...
  21. Jun 20, 2008 #20
    Well, well, looks as though it can be H20...

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: News item - ice on Mars
  1. This is news? (Replies: 23)

  2. Sad News (Replies: 63)

  3. Local news ? (Replies: 8)