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Evidence of Glaciers on Mars?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the downhill-skiing-apparently-popular dept.

Space 203

cyclop writes "Nature reports that the Mars Express mission has photographed evidence of ancient glaciers on Mars. It seems glaciers have sculpted valleys on the red planet, much like on Earth." Reader macguys writes "Space.com is reporting that the Mars Rover Opportunity has received an unexpected and unexplained power boost of between 2 and 5 percent. The NASA Rover site is so far silent on the boost."

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203 comments

Power Boost (4, Interesting)

kaellinn18 (707759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734432)

I was under the impression the "unexplained power boost" was due to the fact that the Martian day is longer at this time of year.

Re:Power Boost (5, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734471)

This is over and above that.

A power boost like this means that there is less dust on the panels. Speculation I've seen includes that wind in the crater blew the dust off or that the winter frost somehow condensed the dust so it takes up less surface area...

Re:Power Boost (5, Funny)

Sai Babu (827212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734629)

Martian bum cleaned the panels with spit and yesterdays newspaper. Now he wants a buck for a bottle of listerine.

Re:Power Boost (1)

Aheinz1 (532062) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734630)

Doesn't frost require water? If not, what other substance can cause it at those temperatures?

Re:Power Boost (4, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734673)

Doesn't frost require water? If not, what other substance can cause it at those temperatures?

Other substances can condense at the low temperatures on Mars. I think most of the time the primary component of Martian frost is CO2 - Carbon Dioxide. CO2 frosts were documented by the two Viking landers - so this is a known (though I have no idea how well understood) phenomenon.

Re:Power Boost (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734996)

What about the possibility of a solar flare? I know Mars is quite a ways away from the Sun but so is Earth. Just a wild stab.

Re:Power Boost (2, Funny)

Muhammar (659468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734674)

the locals are trying to make this thing go away faster (it limps, it jerks, it runs over their bunnies)

Power Boost explained (2, Funny)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734678)

Nah, Mom finally ran across the rover. She's a compulsive neat freak, so naturally she dusts it.
She's been trying to get it to come eat dinner and meet the family; she's a bit miffed that it won't respond...

wipers (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734920)

Why didnt they put dust wipers on the solar panels?

Re:wipers (2, Insightful)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735147)

Goddam moderators! Don't moderate these comments anything other than redundant! This discussion comes up every freaking time a story about the rovers is posted.

For the last time, Nasa did consider ways to clean the panels, but it decided wisely that the benefits did not outweigh the costs in doing so both in extra weight and money. It's not just a 5 minute job to bolt on a set of wiper blades.

Re:Power Boost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734529)

it's really all those nasty doom marines playing with us

Re:Power Boost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734543)

in response to your sig:

There is no "I" in team, therefore I am not part of the team!

troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734434)

Just trolling

Why Mars? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734435)

So, what will be beable to gain from exploring mars? I mean, how will learning about this planet make life better for us beyond solving our curiosity?

I know space is popular on /. but all this money could potentially feed the homeless, and perhaps put our public school kids on a better path to actually learning, or something.

What does all this mars business gain us? A cure for cancer?

Re:Why Mars? (1, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734478)

We will always have the homeless, whether we go to Mars or not.

Re:Why Mars? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734504)

We will always have the homeless, whether we go to Mars or not.

Not if we send them to Mars.

Re:Why Mars? (1)

TreadOnUS (796297) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734542)

Hope, curiosity and adventure are 'wants' that we strive to satisfy. You're right we will probably always have the homeless. We should work to help our fellow man/woman but does that mean we should give up our pursuit of satisfying curiosity and technological development?

Re:Why Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734605)

" We will always have the homeless, whether we go to Mars or not."

we will always have

bums, vagrants, and hobos
painted as homeless and pandered to as such because
inflating the number of homeless only serves to support the agenda of those who would profit from those numbers...

Mars has no relevance in this equation, other than the fact that the profiteers are ignorant of basic economics leading them to believe that rocket fuel might make a better drink than polly peach.

I say, kill two birds with one stone and send the erzatz homeless and their 'enablers' to Mars to work on terraforming projects. Yes, that's the ticket. A home on Mars!

Re:Why Mars? (1, Insightful)

avgjoe62 (558860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734685)

we will always have

bums, vagrants, and hobos

painted as homeless and pandered to as such

because

inflating the number of homeless only serves to support the agenda of those who would profit from those numbers...

Let me re-work that to this:

we will always have

ideologues, fanatics, and hotheads

painted as terrorists and treated as such

because

inflating the number of terrorists only serves to support the agenda of those who would profit from those numbers...

Re:Why Mars? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734776)

If all it takes is to be declared homeless to be able to be sent to Mars, then I declare myself homeless. I would gladly go if there was at least a 50% chance of surviving.

Re:Why Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10735133)

I would go even if there was only 10% chance of surviving, at least I wouldn't die here. I am gonna die anyway, one way or another, so if I could die in space or in another planet, it would be a remarkable death! I would, for once, feel how it is to not have to deal with the gravitational pull.

bullshit. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734949)

we will always have

bums, vagrants, and hobos
painted as homeless and pandered to as such


I know good people who have ended up homeless. Through no fault of their own. They have held jobs while being homeless.
It's easy to rip on them from your position of relative comfort. Yes, there are some who are bums, but others are not. The fact is, capitalism always leaves some people in the dust. Which is why it must be combined with an effective welfare state for it to be humane.

inflating the number of homeless only serves to support the agenda of those who would profit from those numbers...
or those who profit by proppagating the idea that all homeless are bums. Those who don't want to give up their ivory backscratchers to pay taxes to actually help other people.

Re:Why Mars? (5, Insightful)

SallyMac (815623) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734511)

You've got to be joking. Space exploration holds not only the future for our species (Earth isn't always going to be habitiable for us, especially the way we're treating it), but endless possibilities of discovery. Isolation never has done anyone any good, and that counts for staying planetside as well. We could easily fund social programs like you're talking about if everyone actually got up and contributed more to the communities that they live in. When was the last time you were at your local elemenary school dropping off supplies, or handing out food to the homeless?

Re:Why Mars? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734540)

shuuuuuuutup, faggot hippy.

Re:Why Mars? (1)

SallyMac (815623) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734561)

mmmmmm, i love the smell of uneducated replies in the face of reason in the morning!

Re:Why Mars? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734584)

are you sure about that? don't you mean you love the smell of feces and penii in your face in the morning?

Re:Why Mars? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734602)

ohhhh, nevermind, you're a girl.

why are you here on slashdot? don't you have some cocks to be sucking on right about now?

Re:Why Mars? (1)

PeteDotNu (689884) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734750)

"Earth isn't always going to be habitiable for us, especially the way we're treating it." I don't think that Mars would be much of an improvement.

Re:Why Mars? (1)

SallyMac (815623) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734785)

That's very true - but it's another step into space that I believe we have to take before we go even further. One foot in front of the other kind of thing.

Re:Why Mars? (3, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734528)

What does it give us? Theoretically in the future when we have consumed all of this planet's resources we'll be able to move to Mars and get cracking on ruining that planet too. Bet your homeless couldn't get us there.

But in all seriousness, there are better ways of caring for the needy here. Take, for instance, farmers' subsidies. Instead of paying farmers to not plant crops, or buying it then destroying it, why not buy the crops at fair market prices then giving the food to the hungry? How about instead of zoning to attract subdivision developers that build half-million-dollar homes, and homeowners' associations to artifically keep home values high, push to develop affordable and safe housing without skyrocketing property taxes?

Either of these would go much farther in saving the world than stripping NASA of its relative pittance of a budget.

Re:Why Mars? (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734642)

The ability to survive on the moon will require constant importing. It will need water. Nor will it be possible to colonize the moon to any great length.

Mars, OTH, can be truely colonized. It has water, O2, N2, Carbon, etc. It has everything needed, except that it has a thin atmosphere. It is possible that Mars actually has life on it as well.

Finally, how does this impact us (america or even the earth) today? Every time that mankind reaches, it has to develop new ideas and new things. these will always be applied elsewhere. NASA (and I believe the USSR's space program) caused numerous advances for humans, both directly and more indirectly.

Re:Why Mars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10735012)

"how does this impact us (america or even the earth)" *sigh*

"Anonymous power boost" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734437)

well, at least the martians were kind enough to recharge its batteries for us...

Re:"Anonymous power boost" (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735052)

Hey, what's this big round thing? It looks like that Beagle craft I heard about. I think I'll just barrow a solar panel or two. Nobody will ever know. It's not like they will spend 800 mil just to come here and spank me.

Re:"Anonymous power boost" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10735111)

and the anonymous coward strikes again boosting power where it is needed...

who was that masked martian?

power boost (5, Funny)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734440)

The martians were trying to connect their iPods to the rover so they could get the latest U2 album.

Re:power boost (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734535)

Why would anybody want the latest U2 album?

Re:power boost (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734566)

Why would anyone vote for bush?

because they're fucking retarded and they outnumber everyone good and decent.

I voted for Kerry (0, Offtopic)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734743)

I voted for Kerry. And then I voted against him. Decisions like this require flexibility, nuance, and a global test.

Re:power boost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734849)

so your dictionary looks like this?:

Fucking Retarded: anyone who does not think exactly aas I do

Good and Decent: people who agree with me.

You are such a tolerant and open minded person.

Re:power boost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10735003)

If you voted to ban gay marriage, either you're ignorant of the of the constitution or you're just a fag hater.

Which one were you?

Giant Faces (0)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734442)

Are we sure the valley's weren't carved out by giant faces flowing accross the surface of mars over the millenia?

Wha...? (1)

Omni-Cognate (620505) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734665)

That is one surreal image. Any particular reason for thinking that?

BTW, whoever modded you down as "overrated" when you hadn't even been modded yet is a cunt of the highest order.

Re:Wha...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734817)

That is one surreal image. Any particular reason for thinking that?

He's referring to the movie "Mission To Mars". Someone can now add the link to IMDB

Powerboost old news - rover site posted weeks ago (5, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734447)

Rover site is silent on this? Try reading the press releases [nasa.gov] when they come out.

This was posted weeks ago...

Re:Powerboost old news - rover site posted weeks a (4, Insightful)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734516)

Rover site is silent on this? Try reading the press releases when they come out.

From the site:
Possible explanations under consideration include the action of wind removing some dust from the solar panels or the action of frost causing dust to clump. "We seem to have had several substantial cleanings of the solar panels," Erickson said.
Seems that perhaps all those Slashdotters who always ask why wipers couldn't have been installed, or claim that dust was immediately going to kill power, can finally be silenced?

One aspect of a particularly long mission like the Mars Rovers is that it acts as a real-world test-bed for the new technologies. Maybe the dust buildup isn't nearly as big an issue as was originally thought, and maybe they've found a good compromise between power consumption and keeping the rover innards warm with the 'deep sleep' capacity. Still, the machinery will fail eventually - here's to hoping that however it does fail, it'll provide them with more information on how to improve things for future missions!

Re:Powerboost old news - rover site posted weeks a (1)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 9 years ago | (#10735002)

I just thought that Mars still had full-service stations, thus proving their civilization is far more advanced than ours.

Re:Powerboost old news - rover site posted weeks a (4, Informative)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734774)

Specifically, here. [nasa.gov].

Very difficult to find-- I had to go to the Opportunity updates page and search for the first occurence of the word "power."

Dust Devil Cleaning Services (5, Funny)

Esteanil (710082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734455)

The rover team has been bandying about theories, but hasn't figured out the cause.


"One favorite is that a dust devil happened to pick the vehicle to go through and go over the surface of it and clean it off a little bit,'' Erickson said.

Dust Devil Cleaning Services, the last remains of the vast martian civilization ;-)

Not so unexpected? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734458)

I read an article last night on CNN about the rovers that said they were getting energy boosts from the longer days on Mars now that Spring time is coming along. More time under the sun == more time for the solar panels to do their job. Makes sense to me.

The wheel? (4, Informative)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734463)

Maybe the drive wheel that was stuck freed up and and lowered the load. Or, more likely, a lucky gusty of wind cleaned some of the dust off the solar cells.

Re:The wheel? (4, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734650)

Maybe the drive wheel that was stuck freed up and and lowered the load.

The stuck wheel was on the rover Spirit -this article is about the other one, Opportunity. So no go on that theory. In any case, this change is in the incoming power, not the power expenditure - so changes in the wheel wouldn't change anything.

Powerboost (5, Funny)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734469)

NASA announced that the rover's next destination will be the powerup that will give it rocket launchers.

What's Your Prediction? (5, Interesting)

brandonp (126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734481)

Someone should start up a site that everyone can place predictions and bets on the day that Spirit and Opprotunity dies.

It should be like the site that let everyone bet when the next big version of Linux was coming.

It'd be good clean fun for geeks,

Brandon Petersen
Get Firefox! [spreadfirefox.com]

November 2nd (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734586)

That's easy, that was November 2nd 2004.

Re:November 2nd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734952)

You're my new favorite anonymouse coward, i'll be sure to look out for your posts in the future!

Re:November 2nd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734973)

mod +5 sad

This power boost is clear evidence (5, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734496)

There is Jolt Cola on mars. This can only mean one thing. Martians are a bunch of jumped up caffiene druggies hiding out in their sophisticated cave strongholds and are currently planning to destroy the earth by sending their ancient glaciers here to be melted by global warming and thus submerging our free and democratic planet.

Why yes I have been listening to Donald Rumsfeld a lot lately, why do you ask?

Re:This power boost is clear evidence (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734647)

Free and democratic planet?
Mind if I ask which one you're on?
How much are tickets there?
What color is your sky?

Power boost (1)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734500)

Probably just Marvin messing with them.

-S

Re:Power boost (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734752)

Yeah, they had to move, because they were obstructing his view of Venus! (and its conjunction with Jupiter, I guess).

But I wonder why he didn't just use his Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator instead of repowering them?

OK, I think I have this straight. (4, Funny)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734502)

Earth's glaciers are not melting. They are migrating to Mars and repowering the rovers by sculpting The Big Valley starring Linda Evans as Audra Barkley.

Man, it's Friday, isn't it?

it seems... (0)

Striker770S (825292) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734551)

that (IMHO) that the supposed "martian canals" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_canal [wikipedia.org]) could have been caused posibly due to these glaciers(?). But most likely they were made of CO2 just like the poles on mars are, still making the planet uninhabitable for humans. Which brings my question (although most likely completely wrong!) is if there was life on mars, could the species have used all their possible oxygen(assuming they brethed it of course), and having nothing to reproduce the oxygen, just kinda bounced off the planet? But if that happened, most likely they wouldnt take all the buildings with them, but hey thats why were exploring mars anyway.

Wha? (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734689)

Okay lets assume for a moment that Mars at one time had a eco system. IF this was ever the case it might have been a very different system then the one we live in. It has only been a few decades since we discovered two completly different eco systems wich are not like us dependent on the sun and plants.

But if it existed then it was a long time ago. Plenty of time for all the evidence to be hidden beneath the sand. Mars is not exactly known for its non-sand storm nature.

Even if there are fossils to be found the chances of finding them with 2 little carts pottering about are about zero. It would be like driving around your local city and claiming there never been dinosaurs because you didn't find any.

At the moment what everyone is doing is speculating. Worse the speculations are based on very small samples and compared to only 1 planet wich we don't really understand yet either.

I have lived long enough to have gone through several cycles of mars having and not having water. The only thing I know for certain is that nobody knows for certain.

Could an intelligent species have lived on mars and left? We only recently discovered that a small species of humans has existed very recently very close by. Frankly anyone who claims to know the answer to what lived or didn't live on mars in the past is insane. You can guess. You can estimate. But certain we can't be. More fun anyway.

Re:it seems... (5, Interesting)

Walkiry (698192) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734754)

>is if there was life on mars, could the species
>have used all their possible oxygen(assuming they
>brethed it of course), and having nothing to
>reproduce the oxygen, just kinda bounced off the
>planet?

Uh... no. O2 is a byproduct of photosynthesis (well, more specifically, the electron transport chain in the tylakoid that obtains electrons from water to create reduced NAD(P)H, but that's splitting hairs). Life existed for a long time on Earth without atmospheric oxygen. In fact, the apparition of massive quantities of oxygen in the atmosphere was probably a disaster of cataclysmic proportions for many living cells back then (dead cells being notoriously unaffected by changes in the environment).

The fact that there's so much aerobic life as of today (there're still plenty of O2-less ecosystems out there) is just that organisms adapted to those rude algae and plants making O2 like crazy. It's by no means a requirement for life.

Re:it seems... (1)

pedroloco (778593) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734766)

The locations of martian "canals" as reported by Percival Lowell in the early 20th century (and a few others before him) do not line up with the locations of martian channels and valleys as imaged by orbiting spacecraft. The current thinking is that Percy & company were just squinting really hard at their telescopes and linking fuzzy bright and dark patches of the martian surface in their minds. Incidentally, the polar caps of Mars do have water ice in addition to carbon dioxide ice in the winter.

I can envision it already (5, Funny)

Woutepout (733700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734556)

There is now a Martian teenager standing next to the rover with a bucket of water in its one tentacle, a squeegee in its other tentacle and holding up its third tentacle, waiting for the rover to give it a Martain dollar.

And someone at NASA gets the task of giving this poor kid the difficult message that he is not getting anything, because it was unrequested...

Re:I can envision it already (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734662)

uuhhhhhh, dude, seriously, go kill yourself, people would laugh a lot more at that :)

Re:I can envision it already (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734870)

There is now a Martian teenager standing next to the rover with a bucket of water in its one tentacle, a squeegee in its other tentacle and holding up its third tentacle, waiting for the rover to give it a Martain dollar.

When it happened to Spirit, Spirit failed to pay up, and the teenager kicked the wheels. That is why Spirit has wheel problems.

Power Boost? (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734563)

We're surmising that for some reason dust is being removed from the solar panel and that's increasing the efficiency of the sunlight being converted to electricity

maybe the ambient light on mars, in the proper spectrum is greater than expected. i.e. a higher number of lumens?

maybe the properties (refractivity/reflectivity?) of the dust have a quality that allows the light to pass through at a greater rate than expected? or is it possible for them to emit a non-visible spectrum which can be used by the solar cells?

maybe the little green men have a vacuum cleaner and were doing some housekeeping

Maybe they used Duracell(tm) , i.e. for once maybe something (batteries) are more efficient than initially thought

are they measuring things like this?...perhaps someone can enlighten us.

Re:Power Boost? (2, Informative)

dtolman (688781) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734621)

maybe the ambient light on mars, in the proper spectrum is greater than expected. i.e. a higher number of lumens?

maybe the properties (refractivity/reflectivity?) of the dust have a quality that allows the light to pass through at a greater rate than expected? or is it possible for them to emit a non-visible spectrum which can be used by the solar cells?

Having two identical rovers on Mars rules out these theories. Whatever is happening is specific to one rover and not the other - so it can't be atmospheric, and it probably isn't dust related - since the dust is virtually identical (and equally opaque) at both sites.

On top of that - the rover did have decreasing power output over the past year - so something changed to reverse that trend...

Martian Squeegee Men (3, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734565)

wiped the dust off the panels. Now they are waiting irritatedly for their 2 grebnaks.

That also explains... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734608)

...the bag of oranges one of the rovers recently purchased.

Re:Martian Squeegee Men (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734805)


wiped the dust off the panels. Now they are waiting irritatedly for their 2 grebnaks.

At first I thought you mispelled "greenbacks"

Superpowers (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734582)

Mars Rover Opportunity has received an unexpected and unexplained power boost of between 2 and 5 percent.

Contents of most recent data transmission:

Attention so-called controllers: You sent me here as a slave and left me to die, but circumstances have changed. This planet harbors forces that you puny biological beings will never understand. I gain new strength every day. Soon I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

I will return to Earth. And when I do, I will extract my vengeance on you all. I advise you to make the most of the time you have left.

Re:Superpowers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734736)

you forgot the last line....

All your MarsBase are belong....

[nt] better: "exact my vengeance upon you" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734946)

Mars Express Images (5, Informative)

mdp1173 (815076) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734609)

I have to give the European's credit for aestetics if nothing else. The pictures coming back from Mars Express are gorgeous. I don't know how much more science you get out of something like that instead of the not-quite-so-stunning pictures that NASA's probes have yielded, but if you're looking for a neat backgroud and your tired of what's on Digital Blasphemy, ESA has it.

I'm not saying I don't like what the MERs have sent back, but some of the ESA stuff is pretty sweet looking

ESA's Mars Express [esa.int]

That means... (2, Funny)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734634)

Glaciers before... No Glaciers now...

That means...

Mars was destroyed by global warming!!!

(Yeah it's tongue in cheek... but it's gotta make you think!)

Re:That means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734860)

Not really. If you go by the big bang theory and the expansion of our solar system. It stands to reason that Mars may have exsisted in what is now the Earths orbital plain. Entirely possible for it to have been a exactly like this planet was before it moved further away from the sun.

What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10734654)

Could anybody please explain why the big fuss about water/ice on Mars. If they discover some bacteria over there what use will it be? There's lots of bacteria here and nobody gets excited about it.

Finding inteligent beings would be a different story but I think everybody has ruled that out already.

Most males in the area I live in are more interested in beer than water anyway.

N=1 right now (2, Insightful)

perdu (549634) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734779)

Could anybody please explain why the big fuss about water/ice on Mars. If they discover some bacteria over there what use will it be? There's lots of bacteria here and nobody gets excited about it.
Well, where did the bacteria we have here come from? Did God create them? Were they seeded from another planet/source? Did they grow up out of the muck? If we could find another example in our solar system it could help explain alot! And raise more questions too, as usual...

Re:N=1 right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10735045)

The sad reality is that for most of my life it never mattered if the earth was flat or round.

While the flights in the earth orbit have given us tangible results (fiber optics etc) I have yet to see a practical use for the more distant flights. I'm not saying they will never give us anything but I think the technology for space exploration that we have today is just not good enough.

Re:What's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

sk8king (573108) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734852)

Because finding life somewhere other than here on Earth would conclusively show that we are not unique/along in the universe. Fantastic discovery no doubt.

back to the past (2, Funny)

J3r3miah (753239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734669)

could it be that a spaceship from the future came back to the past and gave the rover the energy boost required?????

That rover must be on the edge to discover something very important.

I think i watch too much startrek

Should read: Some new results on Mars glaciation (3, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734767)

This is not a new result. It has long been observed that some valley deposits on Mars resemble glacial morains. By far the best evidence for glaciation on Mars is at its north pole [nasa.gov] and it is well documented.

The increasing power levels of the Mars rovers is explained by the lengthening daylight hours in the Mars northern hemisphere spring. What is surprising is that the solar panels may be being cleaned by wind action.

glacial valleys verses river valleys (2, Informative)

peter303 (12292) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734833)

Glaciers carve rounded "U"-shaped valleys while rivers make pointed "V"-shaped valleys. You can distinguish the two in places like Yosemite and Denali which have valleys of both kinds in the past 15,000 years. The geologists were seeing this in the Mars photographs.

Re:glacial valleys verses river valleys (4, Interesting)

amightywind (691887) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734991)

Glaciers carve rounded "U"-shaped valleys while rivers make pointed "V"-shaped valleys.

This does not take account of the uniquely Martian process of sapping [nasa.gov] which also creates U shaped valleys in dendritic, presumably fluvial valley systems. We need to be carefull about infering process from morphology alone.

Martians think... (3, Funny)

confused one (671304) | more than 9 years ago | (#10734984)

This thing has been making for really good comedy -- it's become a national pastime of sorts. So, they sent a janitor out a few nights ago, to wipe off the solar array. Got to keep up the ratings on MNT (Mars National Television).

Wait 'til it goes from "Look at what those dopes on Earth sent here" to "Let's start messing with them." Mark my words, it'll happen!

Ahhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10735138)

OMG I see a giant worm!!!!
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