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AuthorTopic: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...  (Read 1665 times)

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Offline blobrana

Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« on: February 18, 2004, 01:06:07 AM »
Opportunity has dug a trench in the Red Planet's soil to investigate beneath the Martian surface.

 The soil on the upper walls of the trench seems to be "cloddy" ...
But check whats at the bottom of the trench.!

Click here for 109kb image:
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/opportunity/20040217a/10-rb-2-spin-B024R1_br2.jpg

Scientists were at a loss to explain the brightness of the soil at the bottom of the trench.

Salts? evaporating?
LIfe?


Offline Speelgoedmannetje

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2004, 01:15:03 AM »
I haven't the slightest idea.
I'm no scientist :-( however I really like your posts about this subject I unfortunately cannot discuss it.

But please keep on posting this stuff :-)
And the canary said: \'chirp\'
 

Offline KennyR

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2004, 01:25:36 AM »
I've seen plenty of things on the rover pics that have never really been explained. There were bits of pieces of something lying on the dust in the 360 pan view, one of which looked like a skull with antlers. I know it's not, and most likely it's part of the lander, but I wish NASA would say something about these things! Same with ESA and its green patches and the dark blue deposit in some deep gully. None of this was even mentioned.

As for the bright stuff in the track, I'm at a loss. If I didn't know better I'd say it was chalk in that pic - but earlier landers have tested the dust and there is no chemical evidence for it. Its not life because that dust is obviously very dry. It may be some kind of powdery mineral deposit such as silica. But why is it only a few cm down? Why is none on the surface??
 

Offline iamaboringperson

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2004, 01:37:13 AM »
Powdered silver? :-D
 

Offline blobrana

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2004, 01:41:20 AM »
@KennyR
Hum,
Yea, i caught that object myself...

A bit of the soil kicked up by the air-bags i would logically assume,
But it could be weathering of differing density rock, poking up through the surface...

I don't think it`s silica, as there is no `sand` or conventional silica. it seems as if all the dust come from Basaltic weathering, and haematite ores...



Strange to have two prongs  on it though. like a seed or skull  :-)



Anyone got a link to the picture?

[quake bot]

Offline sir_inferno

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2004, 03:29:51 PM »
nope



[tac ops bot]
 

Offline KennyR

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2004, 03:36:19 PM »
It's not silica - just realised that silica deposits come from monatoms, the remains of microscopic creatures. Well, it's not likely to be silica, anyway.
 

Offline FluffyMcDeath

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2004, 04:27:57 PM »
@blob

The pic you linked is a render based on the picture from the rover.

If you back up the tree a couple of levels you get to here where you can look at the pictures.

As to the lightness at the bottom of the trench, the site says that "[t]he brightness of the newly-exposed soil is thought to be either intrinsic to the soil itself, or a reflection of the Sun." Or? Or? Any other ideas or does that about cover the options?

Anyway, if you look about the landing site, there are plenty of outcrops of material lighter than the surface of the dust. Unfortunately the pic is only B&W and there is no good reference in it to figure out the actual brightness. How light or dark should shadows be on Mars, and what colour are the rover's wheels when they're at home?

I suspect the light material is some sort of material that reflects more light than the darker material. Can I write NASA press releases now?
 

Offline blobrana

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2004, 05:42:16 PM »
Hum, tnx...

I came across this though while trawling...
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/m/019/1M129869847EFF0338P2953M2M1.JPG
Hum, strange filaments structure like a hair near the spheroid on the top right...


And this link
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/n/033/2N129300816EFF0327P1730L0M1.HTML
Check the `dot` in the sky...


And this...





Offline FluffyMcDeath

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2004, 12:23:49 AM »
Quote

blobrana wrote:

I came across this though while trawling...
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/1/m/019/1M129869847EFF0338P2953M2M1.JPG
Hum, strange filaments structure like a hair near the spheroid on the top right...



Probably a cat hair. That stuff gets everywhere.
 

Offline FluffyMcDeath

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2004, 12:34:16 AM »
Quote

blobrana wrote:

And this link
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/all/2/n/033/2N129300816EFF0327P1730L0M1.HTML
Check the `dot` in the sky...



Could be an artifact but seems to cover quite a few pixels.
More likely a superior mirage where the top of a tall feature below the horizon appears to float in the air a bit similar to this.
http://www.polarimage.fi/mirages/sp01424b.jpg
 

Offline blobrana

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2004, 12:45:03 AM »
@FluffyMcDeath
Hum,
Be serious!
The spheroids are only a 2-3 millimetres across... that would make the cat hair theory implausible (as they are too thick)
The filaments are only fractions of the width of a (human) hair...

As for the mirage, hum, a plausible explanation, given the weird atmospheric conditions there (several degree temp changes in a few seconds...)





[sry, splitting hairs]

Offline blobrana

Re: Opportunity digs a hole for itself...
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2004, 08:28:46 PM »
Hum,
i posed this `cat-hair hypothesis` question to NASA,
They seem to think that it is a fabric thread from the landing balloons, (er, after all, it couldn't have come from anywhere else...).
However they don`t know what it is...

And it looks like the trenches seem to have turned up salty brine...

At the very cold temperatures it seems that a small amount of salty water can exist...and if there is water then there is a possibility of life.

It seems to me we can`t dismiss it as a possible life form ,or product...


[just a thought]