Well scientists are convinced they have found water on Mars, I remain cautiously optimistic, now if they were to come back with a picture of a green alien I'd be saying "I knew it, in your face all you mockers of me", why am I cautiously optimistic? I don't know, I kind of would like to get some of that white substance into one of the lander's ovens to confirm it more scientifically before I jump for joy, I mean that's what the ovens are for, right?
If you remember my last post I had mentioned that the Phoenix People over at NASA were keeping an eye on the white substance in one of their previous digs. If the substance either developed frost or evaporated through sublimation, which is just a fancy term for changing from a solid to a vapour without going through the water stage, it would be ice water. Well as you can see from the above animation, some of it has, the only other thing the white could have been was salt, and salt doesn't work like that.
If this is indeed ice water it has profound implications, besides a water source for future colonists, you now have the ability to manufacture oxygen and fuel. When you are talking space travel, weight is key, the lighter the payload the less the cost, if you have the ability to manufacture the return trip fuel on Mars, the weight along with the cost of the mission goes down and the doability factor up. On a deeper level, with the finding of water on Mars, the possibilities of finding life increases dramatically, think about it, to find even a microbial alien life form on Mars, in our own backyard so to speak, opens up the imagination and possibilities to other life forms in the billions and billions of galaxies in our known universe, to say the least , exciting times and a step towards answering the age old question, "are we alone?"
In case you missed the June Full Moon I took some images. Called the Strawberry Moon by the Algonquin tribe because they harvested Strawberries during the month of June. I love horizon Full Moons, they always look squashed. The squashness is caused by the Earth's atmosphere acting like a lens and refracting the bottom of the Moon upwards.
As the Moon rose higher in the sky I took some images of it through my telescope, notice on both these images you can see light mist and clouds , the top image notice the dark shadow on the top right of the Moon, the bottom Moon most of the right side is covered with a light shadow, also notice the gold color of the image below, it was lower on the horizon and it's moonlight had to travel through more of our atmosphere which scatters the blues and allows the reds through to be seen by us.
I'll leave you with a clip I put together of the Moon Rise consisting of 54 images over a 7 minute time frame.