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Large Caves Found on the Surface of Mars

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the oh-crap-i'd-better-move-my-stuff dept.

NASA 191

David DelMonte writes "Space.com is reporting on the discovery of seven dark spots near the Equator on Mars. The thinking is that these are cave openings. The openings are the size of football fields, and one of them is thought to extend approximately 400 feet below the surface.'The researchers hope the discovery will lead to more focused spelunking on Mars. "Caves on Mars could become habitats for future explorers or could be the only structures that preserve evidence of past or present microbial life ," said Glenn Cushing of Northern Arizona University, who first spotted the black areas in the photographs.'"

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We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589585)

The fact planets orbit other stars, the fact there's water elsewhere in the solar system, the fact there are caves on other planets...Why do we as humans believe we are unique in a universe as big as what we live in? This should be common sense by now.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (2, Insightful)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589647)

The point of the story is more about the fact this discovery might lead to much easier access to sub-martian exploration. Caves are a natural occurance everywhere, that's not debated. The fact we found some on Mars that have the potential to open up new discoveries for us mere "humans" is why this story is relevant.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (0, Troll)

CowboyJezus (1078993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590527)

"Don't feed the bears!" Same thing goes for ACs. Don't reply to their crappy posts and they'll eventually be less of an issue. Speaking of issues, could you imagine living in some Martian cave? Creepy!

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (1, Flamebait)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589721)

Why do we as humans believe we are unique in a universe as big as what we live in?
The same reason we thought that Earth was the center of the universe, that the sun revolved around Earth, that the earth was flat, etc. A person is smart. People are ignorant. Religion is also somewhat to blame.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590391)

There was an interesting article in SciAm awhile back about parallel universes - it was postulated that if the universe was truly infinite then an exact replica of you existed somewhere in the neighborhood of 10^100 light years away, because that's how much volume of space would be required to store all possible combinations/arrangements of matter that exist in the known/visible universe - at about 10^100 light years you'd have a duplicate arrangement.

Of course, this also implies that if you consider the set of all possible arrangements of matter that we live in the one where humanity exists alone in the visible universe. So, since:

a) mathematically it's possible humanity is alone in this universe, and
b) we have seen no evidence of extraterrestrial life,

does it surprise ANYONE why most people think we're alone in the universe?

And I didn't even feel the need to pick on religion to explain it.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (2, Insightful)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590515)

I think the scale of it all is lost on us. We're very very limited in our perceptions of reality, as we are confined to our 5 senses, and making appropriations and rough abstractions so that we can understand this reality as it relates to us. Just because we haven't seen evidence of extra-terrestrials, is not proof that they aren't there. Also, just because something is mathematically possible is a very far stretch from being a mathematical improbability (which this most certainly isn't.) You make valid points as to the psychology behind why people believe we are alone. I'm just saying that logically, if you look past the hubris and near-sightedness of our race we are most likely not alone.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (3, Interesting)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590505)

we thought that Earth was the center of the universe, that the sun revolved around Earth

I really wish people would stop telling these lies. The Earth *is* the center of the universe, and the sun *does* revolve around the Earth. If you're talking about other planets or galaxies it's not necessary a handy reference point, but there's no technical reason that you can't define Earth as the origin in any coordinate system. Similarly it's just as accurate to say that the sun revolves around Earth as it is to say that Earth revolves around the sun; the sun and Earth revolve around each other, and anything more specific only expresses a frame a reference, not a technical truth.

The only part people ever got wrong was the the movement of other planets; there were models that showed other planets in revolution around Earth, and those were inaccurate (and quickly discovered to be so as soon as the technology existed to measure the inaccuracies in the predicted orbits of the planets). But in a time before access to high-quality optics it's not entirely unreasonable to suppose that distant non-star objects you observe behave in the same way as the sun and the moon -- that they also revolve around the Earth.

I won't argue the "earth was flat" point (much) for the moment, as there were at least some people at some point in history who believed that. Not many people who actually studied the subject, at least not since some year that ended with "BC", but there were some people in the Early Middle Ages who argued for a flat-earth model, and their belief was wrong, so it's a better point than the first two, even if it's based on a misunderstanding of history.

And while religion does may bad (fight about stupid things) and good things (organize society in the absence of stable political powers), they can't be blamed for your misunderstanding of astronomy or history, so maybe you should lay off.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (2, Funny)

jabberw0k (62554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591169)

I define myself as the Origin of the Universe.

You may think you exist, but actually you only flicker into reality during the brief periods that I perceive you.

Not that I'm an egotist or anything.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590245)

Oblig Futurama quote
Brannigan: "The great stone face of mars, the only enterance to the martian underground"
Bender: "What about the great stone ass of mars"
Brannigan: "Yea, but thats all the way on the other side of the planet"

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (3, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590287)

Don't confuse a propaganda campaign by NASA with what scientists actually think. Nobody working in the field is the least surprised by caves on Mars. But NASA need to make press releases and hype them up a bit. And anyway, caves on Mars are cool.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590341)

You try running something on a $1.75 a year...err $1.50 now and then get back to me on trying to muster up hype to be able to afford another slice of pizza.

Re:We're not as unique as everyone thinks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590665)

> The fact planets orbit other stars, the fact there's water elsewhere in the solar system, the fact there are caves on other planets...Why do we as humans believe we are unique in a universe as big as what we live in? This should be common sense by now.

Yes! The sheer gall and hubris of the article writer! Instead of the original headline, it should read: Earth has caves just like Mars does.

Wait, what? (3, Insightful)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589635)

Why does the article keep switching back and forth between "we think they might be caves" and "we're certain they really are caves"? Let me know when they've made up their minds about whether or not they've made up their minds, and I'll start caring about these (possible) caves.

Re:Wait, what? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590009)

Sign me up to travel 2 weeks on a spaceship to Mars so that I can live in a cave!

Re:Wait, what? (2, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590511)

2 weeks? To Mars? I think you've got your scales a bit wrong.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18591221)

Are you trying to find something special in mines?

Re:Wait, what? (2, Funny)

bhsurfer (539137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590323)

My company's crack Marketing team probably got subcontracted out to them. You want a non-binding non-decision about something we aren't qualified to discuss? You got it!

Re:Wait, what? (4, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590369)

Arne Saknussemm; where are you now that we need you?

Surprise? (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589639)

We know Venus has mountains and valleys. We know Mars has mountains and valleys.

Should be at all surprised to find caves on Mars?

I thought we already believed that all solid planets had plate activity like Earth, that formed the mountains and valleys. Aren't caves a natural extension of that thought process?

I thought this was a given.

Re:Surprise? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589873)

I don't see the word "surprising" anywhere in the article. You do realize there's a difference between predicting something and confirming it, right?

Re:Surprise? (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589895)

You need liquid water (or possibley some other liquid) to have plate activity like earth.
Some of the solid planets (venus?) don't have signs of plate techtonics but have surfaces that are even all over.

Re:Surprise? (0)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590003)

You need liquid water (or possibley some other liquid) to have plate activity like earth

Wow...totally wrong. It's due to the immense pressure our mantle is under, and the fact that the materials it contains turn to a plastic-like substance, with very low viscosity. This allows for things to flow over it much like ice or a liquid, but does in no way require water.

Re:Surprise? (1)

Shatrat (855151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590263)

Well, not totally wrong.
While I see no reason why water is 100% required for plate activity, I am pretty sure water and other fluids play a big role in the heat transfer and melting at subduction zones.
So, while the plates don't float around on water like styrofoam boxes in a swimming pool, there is water involved in the mechanics of our plate tectonics.

Re:Surprise? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591267)

In any case, caves are mostly formed by erosion and not tectonic activity. Water isn't necessary, but some sort of fluid is (notice I said fluid and not liquid -- air is a fluid).

The types of caves we normally think about on Earth are almost all formed by the flow of liquid water, dissolution of rock in water, and/or widening of cracks in rock by ice. If we find the types of caves on Mars that we have on Earth, there's a good chance they were formed by the presence of lots of liquid water at one time or another.

Re:Surprise? (3, Interesting)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589907)

Mars does not have plate activity like earth.

This is why Mars has larger mountains and deeper valleys than earth, because the one plate does not move, and that mountain on the top of the hotspot never moved away from the source of its growth.

Re:Surprise? (2, Insightful)

Normal Dan (1053064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589915)

We have hypothesised about caves on other planets but have not seen any until this point. The fantastic thing is not that there are caves on Mars, but the fact that we may have found them. This new find could drastically change our future missions to Mars.

Re:Surprise? (4, Interesting)

thelexx (237096) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589925)

Speculation, no matter how informed and certain, is never as good as proof.

Re:Surprise? (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590325)

I thought we already believed that all solid planets had plate activity like Earth, that formed the mountains and valleys. Aren't caves a natural extension of that thought process?
Not necessarily. Most caves on earth are not caused by pyroclastic flow, but rather by (acidic) flowing water dissolving calcite in limestone.

Re:Surprise? (1)

theguyfromsaturn (802938) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590601)

Actually, geology of different worlds can be quite different. As far as I know, there are not many (if any) bodies outside of earth that has plate tectonics in the solar system (although I think I remember hearing that there might be evidence that similar processes might be taking place on Titan).

Not quite (2, Informative)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590739)

Actually Mars and Venus don't have any major plate activity [lukew.com] and haven't for Millions of years(see wikipedia). It's also why they have weak magnetic fields as the internal dynamo is what sustains a magnetic field. Internal dynamo drives plate tectonics which are sustained [about.com] by the cooling action of surface and core exchanges.
Mars is dead geologically, meaning that it has no volcanic activity and we think that the core has (probably) hardened [anl.gov] .
Incidentally, Venus is a much better candidate for colonization, but currently it's a little too hot due to the runaway greenhouse effect (it's surface is 450C). Probes sent there melt and get crushed do to surface pressure soon after they land. It's also a good example for those people who say there is no global warming. Look no further than our bastard twin planet.

Re:Surprise? (2, Informative)

mykdavies (1369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590883)

"I thought we already believed that all solid planets had plate activity like Earth"

Quite the opposite actually: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics#Plate _tectonics_on_other_planets [wikipedia.org] ...it has been proposed that the mechanisms of plate tectonics may *once*[4BY ago] have been active on [Mars]...

Venus shows no evidence of active plate tectonics. There is debatable evidence of active tectonics in the planet's distant past.

Some of the satellites of Jupiter have features that may be related to plate-tectonic style deformation, although the materials and specific mechanisms may be different from plate-tectonic activity on Earth.

Re:Surprise? Drains! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590973)

Come on...They are not caves but are, in effect, drains. Where do you think all the Martian water went? The canals lead to the drains of course.

Re:Surprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590979)

>I thought we already believed that all solid planets had plate activity like Earth,
>that formed the mountains and valleys. Aren't caves a natural extension of that thought process?

No. Plate activity doesn't create caves. What gave you that silly idea?

By your logic, why not expect trees?

spelunking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589661)

spelunking
spe-lunk-ing
noun
the hobby or practice of exploring caves

+1 for obscurity

While we're at it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589879)

Tag: littlegreencavemen

Re:spelunking (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589897)

the hobby or practice of exploring caves

+1 for obscurity
In what universe, exactly, is the definition of common words considered "obscure" please?

Re:spelunking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590579)

In what universe is the word spelunking considered common?

Re:spelunking (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590701)

This one.

I'm proud you passed your ESL course, though. Keep manning those call centers, HP owners need support!

Re:spelunking (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589941)

Not all that obscure if you happen to pay attention to the English language. I mean, there's even a piece of slashvertisement-supported software that derives it's name from the word...

Re:spelunking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18591203)

Obscure? Hardly.

In any case, it's no longer the accepted term for the hobby..."caving" is.

Ack Ack Ack! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589687)

We come in peace!

Ack Ack Ack! Ack Ack ACKACK!

Do not run! We are your friends!

Re:Ack Ack Ack! (0, Redundant)

bhsurfer (539137) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590363)

They came in peace!

[cue disintegration in 5...4...3...]

Looks like just a shadow (1)

BigGar' (411008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589703)

The same kind of thing as the "face". I think they're jumping way ahead by calling these cave entrances.

"Qua-a-a-a-id...." (2, Funny)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589705)

"Start the generator, Quaid."

Get your ass to Mars (1)

AssCork (769414) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589877)

Get your ass to Mars

Re:"Qua-a-a-a-id...." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590305)

It's "Start the reactor, Quaid."

Turn in your geek card now please.

The U.S. Army will want to know about this... (-1, Troll)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589711)

... As I don't think they've checked those caves or Bin Laden.

need a cave crawler (1)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589717)

It sounds like the next rover needs to be powered with an RTG and have a spool of fiber to link with a base antenna.

Re:Let's fork it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589723)

once i went to school with this big black guy he wore glasses and had a fro like all bluckguys had in the 80's he was very tall and big but not fat we called him cheesecakes brown and we assumed he had a phenomenal penis

kthxbye

They're not caves... (3, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589753)

... they're where the Martians store all their canal-boats till next thaw.

No matter how much changes... (4, Insightful)

goofyheadedpunk (807517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589763)

> Caves on Mars could become habitats for future explorers...

Does anyone else find it slightly amusing that as humans move out into space we may yet again end up living in caves?

Don't forget the "or" clause (1)

Dareth (47614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590077)

"or could be the only structures that preserve evidence of past or present microbial life

And the best way to find out if they are there and like to eat people is to have some move in.

Re:No matter how much changes... (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590113)

It's not without precedent. I'm buying my own house soon and plan on mostly living in the finished basement.

Re:No matter how much changes... (1)

masdog (794316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590137)

If you live in the basement, where are your kids going to live when they get older?

Re:No matter how much changes... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590559)

The attic.... A very underestimated nerd dwelling place. I spent most of my University years in one ;-)

Re:No matter how much changes... (3, Informative)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590373)

> Does anyone else find it slightly amusing that as humans move out into space we may yet again end up living in caves?

It's no more interesting than the fact that people on Mars will probably wear shoes, just like upper paleolithic humans. In fact, less interesting because caves have never played a significant role in human habitation. Humans have lived all over the world, but how many of those places do you think have caves?

Re:No matter how much changes... (1)

ACE209 (1067276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590451)

That was my first thought too. :)

And perhaps if the first martian colonists will truly live there, they may sometimes think: "Damn should have stayed in the good ol' caves on earth!"

Here some imaginary mod points.

Is Bin Laden in those caves? (-1, Offtopic)

EggMan2000 (308859) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589765)

We should call the Army and have them take a look.

I have a Bad Feeling about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589791)

...it's not a cave, at all...

caves a good spot to land (4, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589811)

Mars has no global magnetic field to deflect solar radiation which means that when humans go there they will be exposed to alot of deadly radiation- if we want to stay on mars we need a place that is safe- caves are one such place. they shield agaisnt radiation and make it easier to build habitats. this discovery could allow humans to colonize mars.

Re:caves a good spot to land (2, Funny)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590493)

caves a good spot to land

We have enough problem landing on flat ground on Mars...now you want to land in a cave? Good luck with that!

Re:caves a good spot to land (1)

barakn (641218) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590631)

this discovery could allow humans to colonize mars
Yes, because it would be impossible to create an artificial cave.

Re:caves a good spot to land (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591005)

We live in a mobile home. It's like a cave, with wheels. You can go places. Except we never went anywhere.

Old news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589819)

The BBC [bbc.co.uk] has already covered this. I'd be very surprised if /. hasn't already mentioned this and that this is a dupe.

Great habitats... (1)

posterlogo (943853) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589825)

They would also offer a modest amount of protection to future human explorers. The thin atmosphere of Mars offers no protection against solar radiation, so lots of solid rock would be our best bet (though it will be pretty cold in there).

Re:Great habitats... (1)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589949)

Not to mention a nice place to hide from the Martians...

Re:Great habitats... (1)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591211)

Not to mention a nice place to hide from the Martians...

That's assuming the Martians are currently occupying those very same caves...

Black Areas (4, Funny)

AeroIllini (726211) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589827)

...said Glenn Cushing of Northern Arizona University, who first spotted the black areas in the photographs.
"Uh oh, looks like someone smudged the photo."

*rubs finger on photo*

"Hmm. Guess they're caves, then."

But are they (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18589889)

inhabited by anthropomorphic billionaire bats?

Radio signals? (1)

kinocho (978177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589959)

Am I the only one who thought about this? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078748/ [imdb.com]

Re:Radio signals? (1)

AtlasAxe (977318) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590395)

Yes you are. I think most were probably thinking of this: http://imdb.com/title/tt0116996/ [imdb.com] .

Don't run, we are your friends.

Old news (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589973)

People have known about, and even explored, these caverns of Mars [webshots.com] for over two decades.

2001 A space odyssey (5, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18589979)

Part of the symbolism of the space baby at the end of the movie is that people are masters of the Earth, but we're infants in space. We're vulnerable, and have to learn and practice even simple things like moving from one end of the spacecraft to the other in a spacesuit. We wear diapers up there.

If we're going to be on Mars, it is therefore fitting that we should be cavemen. That's where we started, and that's where we will start again.

Re:2001 A space odyssey (5, Funny)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590123)

It's hard to believe that such an insightful statement could come from a "Profane MuthaFucka".

Re:2001 A space odyssey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18590571)

No fucking shit.

Re:2001 A space odyssey (0, Troll)

ACE209 (1067276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590605)

Ok - lets try to cry for mommy then

but to be serious - do you really believe we're grown ups here on earth?

You know i just dont get it (1)

cchance (1083649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590011)

How can people think that the universe is empty, I mean realistically we're still descovering new species on our own planet, we only recently discovered the ice on mars and now caves on mars, and thats in our solar system on a close planet, not even the further planets, or god forbid other solar systems it just doesn't make sense to not atleast have a little belief that theirs life somewhere out their in some form or another.

Chris | NexTechNews [nextechnews.com] | St. Maarten Live [sintmaartenlive.com]

Re:You know i just dont get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18591217)

Run-on sentence (should be about 5 separate sentences). Spelling errors ("descover", "thats", "out their"). I give it an "F".

- General writing Nazi

WHAT? (5, Funny)

corifornia (995298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590029)

Holes? In the ground?

The next news articles we'll see related to this.. (-1, Troll)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590031)

are:

- Certain leaders claiming that is where Iraq hid there nuclear weapons, and Iran is now stockpiling theirs there... The existance of the caves is all the proof we need of this, and we are planning to invade Mars now, and have been doing so for quite some time (what, a manned trip to mars by 2020, you don't think that wasn't specifically for this do you?)

- Certain organizations claiming this as further evidence of global warming, spreading to the point of not only altering earths weather patterns, but altering other planets as well, changing precipitation patterns, and causing more erosion leading to the formation of these caves...

Re:The next news articles we'll see related to thi (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590785)

Sorry, forgot to enclose that in tags.

Send up the Mobile Infantry! (1)

rez_rat (1618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590213)

We've found the Arachnids!

No one else is saying it so I will (1)

DarrenR114 (6724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590239)

I for one welcome news of our new Martian overlords.

Obligatory /. Cliche with New Word (0, Redundant)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590275)

I for one welcome our new Subarean Overlords....

Surface caves? (1)

grouchobear (831312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590283)

Umm, the last time I checked a cave was underground. How is it that there are caves on the surface? Wow, Mars has some very interesting physical properties.

Caves = water? (1)

Kaeles (971982) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590331)

I'm pretty sure that most of the caves on our planet were formed by underground rivers, and rivers that had dried up long time ago after the iceage / flooding / dinosaurs or whatnot....

So does this mean that there is water on mars for sure?
Maybe all of the water activity is just below the surface, because all the rest evaporated off, and the rivers continue to flow, forming new caves!

Re:Caves = water? (1)

lahvak (69490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590757)

Forget water! Think about all the limestone!

Cue scene from The Empire Strikes Back (1)

why-is-it (318134) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590381)

Princess Leia: The cave is collapsing!
Han Solo: This is no cave...
Princess Leia: What?!

Mind you, things could be a lot worse. It's not like NASA has told us that contrary to all expectations, the thing orbiting the Earth is not a moon, it's a space station...

They found Osama! (1)

chillmost (648301) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590399)

Look here! [graffiti.net]

It Still Amazes Me... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590411)

...that we haven't yet planned on sending any kind of excavation equipment to do archaeological digs on Mars. I suspect that if we do, we'll be very surprised to find evidence of previous intelligent life and whole civilizations that existed quadrillions of years ago. At the least we could do an entire deep sonar survey of the planet to find potential digging sites. I should run NASA. I always come up with the good ideas.

Re:It Still Amazes Me... (2, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591191)

> I suspect that if we do, we'll be very surprised... If you suspect that you're going to be surprised, then it can't be a surprise after all. This is a consequence of a theorem from probability theory: your expectation of what you think your future expectation of something should be must match your current expectation of it.

coming soon to a theme park near you (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590507)

gigantic red murderous Martian cave bears....

Why assume caves? (1)

BrentRJones (68067) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590775)

Couldn't they be drains or chimneys or even potholes? Or the Navals of Mars? Wouldn't that make a good Science Fiction novel?

Original science presentation (1)

jespley (1006115) | more than 7 years ago | (#18590925)

FYI, here's the original science presentation that the news reports are based on. It's an abstract from the recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. This means that the work hasn't yet been peer reviewed but it's still interesting. http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2007/pdf/1371 .pdf [usra.edu]

Or they could be... (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#18591043)

...just very deep, unremarkable holes.
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