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Old 10-05-2017, 09:33 PM   #1
tshiggins
 
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Default Large deposits of water near Mars equator?

I just read this article. Apparently, investigators have found evidence of large deposits of subsurface water near the equator, at two locations in the Medusae Fossae region.

If this turns out to be accurate, this is a big deal for human exploration and possible colonization. The equatorial regions are the easiest places on any planet to land on or take off from, and a possible ready supply of water means a source of air and rocket fuel in the best possible location for the first footprints.

https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscienc...artian-equator
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Large deposits of water near Mars equator?

Or not. Possibly.

https://www.space.com/38354-giant-ma...ot-be-icy.html

Is it just me, or are space scientists getting a bit over-easily excited these days?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Large deposits of water near Mars equator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Or not. Possibly.

https://www.space.com/38354-giant-ma...ot-be-icy.html

Is it just me, or are space scientists getting a bit over-easily excited these days?
I judge it to be overly aggressive pursuit of their professional interest i.e. talking up your latest find to help secure maximum funding.

It's no accident that the most vociferous critic of Pluto's demotion that I know of is the head of a major Pluto project. He's basically acknowledged that he's worried that making Pluto not a full-sized planet will make it less important in the public's eyes.
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Old 10-06-2017, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Large deposits of water near Mars equator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Masters View Post
Or not. Possibly.

https://www.space.com/38354-giant-ma...ot-be-icy.html

Is it just me, or are space scientists getting a bit over-easily excited these days?
I don't think the space scientists have changed, it's just this stuff used to be confined to conference posters, or even the grad student lounge. It didn't get any public coverage until you released a paper, which waited until you had something more certain, and probably less interesting - the wild speculation almost always has at least some more exciting options in it that mundane reality delivers. Now of course even if the reporters looking to fill the 24 hour news cycle miss the conference, somebody posts it to the net.
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Old 10-06-2017, 07:50 PM   #5
tshiggins
 
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Default Re: Large deposits of water near Mars equator?

Well, darn.

I have to say that the alternative explanation, of porous regolith, is probably more likely.
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