Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

OT - NASA Discovery: Why is Mars Getting all the Attention?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • OT - NASA Discovery: Why is Mars Getting all the Attention?

    In light of the several threads that popped up here in the past couple of weeks, I thought I'd share this article about Mercury. Snipped from the NASA article:

    New observations by the MESSENGER spacecraft provide compelling support for the long-held hypothesis that Mercury harbors abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its permanently shadowed polar craters.

    ...

    According to Paige, the dark material is likely a mix of complex organic compounds delivered to Mercury by the impacts of comets and volatile-rich asteroids, the same objects that likely delivered water to the innermost planet.
    Full story: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/me...f20121129.html

    (I expect the reason Mars generates so much more interest is because of its proximity to Earth)

  • #2
    Tom, I read that (around Thanksgiving), but the data seems a bit sketchy:

    "The neutron data indicate that Mercury's radar-bright polar deposits contain, on average, a hydrogen-rich layer more than tens of centimeters thick beneath a superficial layer 10 to 20 centimeters thick that is less rich in hydrogen"
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by lazlo View Post
      Tom, I read that (around Thanksgiving), but the data seems a bit sketchy:

      "The neutron data indicate that Mercury's radar-bright polar deposits contain, on average, a hydrogen-rich layer more than tens of centimeters thick beneath a superficial layer 10 to 20 centimeters thick that is less rich in hydrogen"
      What is troublesome to you about that statement? Frankly, I think all astrophysical and cosmology data is a bit sketchy ...

      Comment


      • #4
        Mars Rover III "The Search for more Funding"

        With the atmosphere containing 42% Oxygen,22%Hydrogen and constantly being blasted by the Solar wind I don't know how they can say exactly what they found.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Fasttrack View Post
          What is troublesome to you about that statement? Frankly, I think all astrophysical and cosmology data is a bit sketchy ...
          Difference between engineers and scientists
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

          Comment


          • #6
            It isn't exactly a surprise. If Mercury has water on it somewhere that would make Venus the only planet with a surface without water on it. Same goes for nearly all the moons we have investigated closely enough (including our own) and some are nearly all water. Comets all seem to have water. Dihydrogen oxide is extremely common in space.

            Mercury is tidally locked to the sun so its rotation and orbital periods are the same. That means it has a dark side that is never baked by the sun. It also has a very weak magnetic field, only .6% that of Earth. That means it isn't likely to warp hot mass ejections down on the poles. Water has been suspected on Mercury for a long time.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Evan View Post
              Mercury is tidally locked to the sun so its rotation and orbital periods are the same. That means it has a dark side that is never baked by the sun. It also has a very weak magnetic field, only .6% that of Earth. That means it isn't likely to warp hot mass ejections down on the poles. Water has been suspected on Mercury for a long time.
              Actually it's not locked,it makes one rotation every 59 days

              http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/Mercury.html
              I just need one more tool,just one!

              Comment


              • #8
                So if you were to sit near the edge of the sun shadow, would you see a curtain of fire like in that awful Chronicles of Riddick movie?
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lazlo View Post
                  So if you were to sit near the edge of the sun shadow, would you see a curtain of fire like in that awful Chronicles of Riddick movie?
                  Better question,is there a Galactic prison inside?

                  "You keep what you kill"
                  I just need one more tool,just one!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Actually, Mercury is tidally locked but not at a 1 to 1 ratio. It is a 3:2 ratio. Because the orbit is highly elliptical it spends about a third of its time with almost no apparent rotation in respect of the sun as it passes through perihelion. The rotation of Mercury is locked to the orbit at perihelion. You are right in that it does rotate in respect to the sun but not in an apparent smooth rotation. The rate at which Mercury rotates does not vary but because the orbital velocity does vary a lot, the rotation seems to vary as well.

                    I misremembered about the period as that was what I was taught in school.
                    Last edited by Evan; 12-02-2012, 10:32 PM.
                    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Evan View Post

                      Mercury is tidally locked to the sun so its rotation and orbital periods are the same. That means it has a dark side that is never baked by the sun.

                      It does make you wonder what type of life forms exist on certain planets like that, maybe ones with a more welcoming atmosphere and temp.
                      Here you have this "fringe" area where they all can kinda hang out and regulate there temperature levels by either going more to the hot side or the dark cold side, crazy competition on this thin area of existence so much so that some species branch out with a means of dealing with the extremes instead of having to compete for space, I guess when you start looking at it that way it would be interesting to see the results of what kinds of life exists out there, make no mistake - there's some freaky things crawling around out there, the end products of some pretty freaky environments...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I believe that Mars is getting the attention, because it may have an environment that is amenable to human exploration, unlike Mercury (extreme radiation levels due to proximity to sun), or Venus (high temperature Hydrochloric acid atmosphere).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There will be a "fringe area" near the poles inside the various polar craters. As for extreme radiation, there are life forms here on Earth that have adapted to that. One bacterium called Radiodurans is so resistant that it isn't even killed by Cobalt 60 gamma rays used to sterilize food. It can withstand thousands of times more radiation than ordinary bacteria. It most likely evolved in and around natural nuclear reactors such as the ones found at Oklo, Gabon in Africa.

                          Venus is definitely out of the question as the surface temp is around the melting point of lead. It isn't due to it being closer to the sun as it isn't nearly close enough. Venus suffered from a thermal runaway greenhouse effect. The atmosphere is carbon dioxide at a pressure of 90 bar. It is so thick that the two Venera landers didn't use parachutes, just a drag ring around the body of the craft. The upper atmosphere is sulphuric acid clouds.
                          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Evan View Post
                            there are life forms here on Earth that have adapted to that. .
                            Maybe but it ain't us.
                            The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                            Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They found water and some carbon,but no complex chains of carbon so in other words they found exactly nothing.

                              On the subject of life,while extremophiles certainly do exist here on Earth the question must be asked did they evolve in the environment they exist in today,or did they evolve in an environment that was more hospitable?I tend to believe that life takes the path of least resistance.The chances of life taking hold on a planet with a stable atmosphere and liquid water are far greater than on a desolate rock with no liquid water and a scant atmosphere IMO.
                              I just need one more tool,just one!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X