Friday, June 20, 2008

Phoenix Finds Ice Water

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?"

Strawberry Moon June 18, 2008

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.


Sherer said...

Here is my question Bob, do you think if it truly is ice water and they find no tracable signs of life in it, will they cancel or at least be very hesitant to moons such as Europa? Interesting and informative post as always

gt281 said...

Now that they have found ice on Mars,, I can’t wait
until Virgin Spacelines builds a hotel there and we can
all do some low gravity skiing…
Lets hope they don’t try to bring any of that stuff back
to Earth,, cuz I’m sure its loaded with frozen Marvin viruses,, then we’d all turn into little
Marvins,, that would be bad…….

Swubird said...


First of all - super moon video.

Second. ARE THEY KIDDING? It's going to take a lot more than a few disappearing white spots to convince me that there's actually water on Mars. I thought they took along an instrument that could absolutely confirm water, or not. What gives?

Happy stargazing.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Only you could use microbial and squashness in the same post, LOL. Love it.

I never noticed the squashed look of the June moon, but you're right. I've never heard it called Strawberry Moon, I like that.

Very cool video.

Will said...

Of course there is water on Mars. I knew it all along. They could have just asked me and saved a few dollars!

And Bob - thanks for the explanation on the last post. It makes perfect sense and I knew that about the sun and the tilt and the seasons, just never put it together with the moon.

Interestingly in the neat video moon rise on this post you can really see the moon taking off on its low trajectory across the sky.

Anna said...

Hey Bob, great post as usual, wow you got some nice editing going on. The strawberry moon looks great, too bad I have missed, oh may be next year, lol. Your images are great. So green aliens, I wonder why green lol. The bottom line is, if there is water there must be life. It is amazing such a simple think H2O that we all depend on. Got to run, btw nice to be here, and I will be back to do some more reading one day to see what good stuff I have missed. Anna :)

Bob Johnson said...

Good question Jesse, if they don't find any forms of life on Mars, (which by the way Phoenix hasn't the insturments to detect life, will have to be a different mission in the future) it will be a harder sell to get funding but ultimately I see them continuing with the search for life on other planets and bodies, especially Europa, with Europa there are what they think to be cracks or vents that lead directly to water, comets and meteors which carry with them the ingredients of life hit the moon, the ingrediants now have a direct path to water or so one of the theories goes, chances are very high life of some type will form.:D :-D \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol gt281, low gravity skiing down Olympus Mons, that would be too fun.\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, I'm hoping they can finally get some of that white stuff into the oven for further study, it looks good for water and everybody is on the ban wagon that it is, just don't want to believe it and find out later it wasn't, but I am still very excited, at least the mission is only 3 months, things and finds will go along pretty quickly.:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks drowsey, people say I have a great command of the english language..........not, I say my blog my rules, if it is fun to speak and fits, why not use it,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks Will, to bad they didn't just ask you , they could have bypassed the Phoenix and sent a life data gathering probe instead.

I knew you probably knew about a lot of the stuff, just had to put it in, it always makes more sense when you have all the known data as well as the unknown, kind of like an equation.:greenalien:

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, thanks and good to see you Anna, why green? duh, they are aliens, lol. Good summation Anna, water=life. Hope everything is well with you.:greenalien:

Susanne49 said...

Interesting post again, Bob. I was following that story also in the news about ice on Mars.

I love your strawberry moon!!!!

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Susanne, love that name as well.:greenalien:

kml said...

Your video is great, Bob! Amazing that it moves that much in 7 minutes. Been following the "water" discovery on the news - not so sure what to think - just glad the lander isn't coming back to Earth - who knows what may be attached to it for life forms!!

Max-e said...

Hi Bob, interesting post. How long will it be before the speculation about the water will be become fact or fiction?

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Kathy thanks, the Moon does travel pretty fast, but I also had it on high mag at 300 mm, amplifying it's movement.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi max-e, NASA made it official yesterday through a news conference, which is really great news, still have yet to get the ice into an oven for further study.\m/\m/:greenalien:

Anonymous said...

The strawberry moon...beautiful beautiful shot Bob.

As for the ice on Mars....will that be shaken and not stirred? ... (terrible pun I know). Who knows...maybe now they send that manned mission to Mars knowing they have a water supply.

Another great post my friend. BTW I tried the link to Facebook but it didn't work.

Ruth said...

I enjoyed the moonrise, that's cool technology right here in blogworld.

I'm glad you keep up with this Mars stuff, because I can come here and not read scientific journals. :)

Roger said...

I take a rum and coke with some ice from mars please! ;D

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JD, lol, it does change a lot of how they see future missions to the planet, and the type of tools they send.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks and your welcome Ruth, glad you like the Moon Rise clip.\m/ \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Roger. \m/\m/\m/:greenalien:

Max said...

Hey Bob!

Terrific post! When I heard last week that they had found (what it seems to be) ice I was so excited myself; I began to be eager to read your article about it!

Indeed this finding may raise a lot of questions being the principal: what sort of life forms are there in Mars?
Another question is: does that life form clash with our DNA or not? Are its bacteriae dangerous to human form or not?
This would be interesting to know and I shall stay tuned to "Blackholes and astrostuff"!

Have a great week ahead, my friend!


Bob Johnson said...

Thanks max, a very real concern about the danger of Martian microbial life forms somehow releasing a deadly virus we humans have no way of protecting ourselves from , ever watch Andromeda Strain,lol.

Hopefully when they do collect microbial samples in the future they will have proper measures and systems in place to protect us from them. \m/

Max said...

Hey Bob,

I understand the fear!
lol no, I never watched Andromeda Strain (this may come as an insult, but...*Max taking a huge risk*...I am not a Sci-fi kind of girl...)!

I hear you, my friend!


Peter said...

Hi Bob. Today I was reading how well the martian soil could support the growing of asparagus. Apparently its alkaline nature is good for it. I know this sounds laughable and a odd thing to say, but it does give some hope that mars may be able to support mankind, if ever they get there.

So perhaps someday, not in our near distant future, they will be drinking asparagus on the rocks with a twist on mars!

Take Care,

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, what? I thought everybody loved sci-fi,lol. \m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Peter, that's right, it will support life, which is a very good find for the lander, exciting news.\m/

Max said...

LOL LOL everybody...except me, apparently lol...

Livingsword said...

Hi Bob,

Well here I am still trying to catch up, and loving it!

This is rather synergistic as I posted an article just today on some of the potential implications of intelligent extraterrestrial life! LOL

Actually I just realized my article has a Phoenix in it also! Unbelievable! I wonder if there was some intentionality in that by NASA!

The possibility of water on Mars spreads out a plethora of exciting prospective paths to move forward in space. Of course if it is water; and if life of some kind is currently living there I think we should not bring anything back to Earth as the potential for biological disaster is possible.

I suppose it depends on how we take the question “are we alone”? LOL

Cool strawberry Moon! I love the way it is nestled in there!!!

The bottom photo of the Moon almost looks alabaster! No need to clean up any grey dust bunnies there!

It was very scary watching the Moon bully the poor defenseless and sedentary Earth object!

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