You know the saying, when a wise man points at the moon, the fool judges the finger.

This lady here apparently got offended by Elon Musk’s vision to colonize Mars, you know, because colonies are bad and white people and bad things from the past..just scribble down a vague “Europeans are evil”-narrative of the past from the top of your mind and you’ll have her argument. Because apparently, the prospect of the colonization of another planet and the giant step forward for humanity this would be is problematic because the language reminded her of past events. .

We’re here discussing humanity’s way into space, yet these people would rather keep us down here on earth and obsess over the semantics of proposals like this. The only thing more infinite than space are the hurt feelings of the perpetually offended.

What can we say to that?

Hell yea, it’s colonialism and hell yea, we’ll manifest humanity’s destiny in space. 

And on Mars, no one can hear you whine. Unless we don’t even get off the earth because someone complained that white astronaut suits are racist.

Full article here: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/urban-scientist/2015/03/26/when-discussing-humanitys-next-move-to-space-the-language-we-use-matters/


Is There Liquid Water on Mars?

Mars might be full of salty liquid water! Plus, a guide to the upcoming Lyrids meteor shower.

Sub-Polar glacier belts on Mars could cover the whole surface in ice.

A group of researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute have predicted there could be as much as 150 billion meters of cubic water ice (150Km^3 or 36 Miles^3) underneath dust of the rocky red planet; Lake Tahoe in the USA or Vänern in Sweden have similar volumes of liquid. The ice is located in two belts around the planet, and would be enough to cover the surface in a 1.1 meter (3.6 feet) thick layer of ice. These glacier belts are found on the latitudes of 30°-50° in both hemispheres, comparable to how far from the equator Denmark or the Canadian/USA border is on Earth.

Nanna Karlsson and the other researchers used radar sounding data of glacier formations and models of Earth-based glaciers to predict flow and thickness of the ice on Mars. These deposits would evaporate due to the very low atmospheric pressure (Mars having 0.6% that of Earth’s sea level pressure) if not for the layers of soil and dust over them, the team predicts. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provided a more extensive look at the underground ice allowing for estimates of its extent and confirming that the composition was water ice rather than frozen CO2. Researchers show that this mid latitude ice is a small but significant amount of the near 5 million cubic kilometers of Ice on the planet.

Our local solar system seems to be quite drenched as we collect more data. MRO has also observed seasonal flows called Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) on the planet during warm seasons. These flows have been reported to occur in the late southern spring and summer from 48°S to 32°S. Could the prediction of such extensive sub-surface ice in the same latitudes have some clue as what these flows are?


More info on the RSL
More on the Ice belts
Image Credit: Mars Digital Image Model, NASA/Nanna Karlsson


source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwabqGIt4Ao    

Ancient Ocean on Mars - Animation 

Bones, balls, people, and more – what’s with all the anomalous objects spotted on the surface of Mars?

As quickly as NASA publishes unbelievably detailed photographs of the Martian surface, people back home find odd and unusual objects within those photos. Of course NASA always discounts the newfound anomalous objects as “natural rock formations”. Matters were clouded in early 2014 when observant researchers found “before and after” photos proving that NASA occasionally “cleans up” some of their photos (and videos). NASA calmly explained that in some instances, camera imperfections must be corrected using software – like Photoshop. Still, despite NASA’s proven manipulation of the Mars photographs, eagle-eyed researchers continue finding unusual anomalies in the photographs of the Martian surface and ask “Have you *ever* in your life seen a natural rock formation on Earth that looks like that?”

Here are a collection of some of the unusual sights found on Mars to date.

The Thigh Bone

Resembling a fossilized femur bone, this odd object was explained by NASA as a “shiny-looking rock” that had been sculpted by erosion (either wind or water). Others however pointed out the impossibility of wind and erosion shaping a rock in such a bizarre manner. The Thigh Bone was found on the Red Planet in August 2014.

The Rodent or Mars Rat

Looking like a mouse or squirrel laying on its stomach, the Mars Rat was captured (on film) by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity in September 2012 and generated a lot of Internet interest after viewers noted the features – eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, legs – of the cute little creature were easily discernible.

The lizard

This one’s a bit tougher to explain as a rock as the features are very clear and include a long, thin tail which seemingly would be an impossible shape to be formed by natural erosion. The object was reportedly discovered by a Japanese researcher in March 2013 and appears to show a tail, four legs, and other obvious characteristics of a lizard.

The frozen woman

Photographed by the NASA rover Spirit, this frozen woman perched on a rock had many wondering if the rain of fire over Sodom and Gomorrah took place on Mars instead. The photo looks remarkably like a female figure with an outstretched arm. The image was sent back to Earth by the Mars Spirit rover in 2008.

The Iguana

The Iguana was discovered by an eagle-eyed enthusiast on November 6, 2013 in photos taken by the Mars Curiosity rover. NASA was informed of the finding but refused to turn the rover back to investigate further. At the time, some began to wonder if NASA were purposefully planting life on the Red Planet.

The Ball

Shaped like a perfect sphere, the Ball was discovered late in 2014 by the Curiosity rover on sol 746 atop a rocky outcrop. The perfectly round object sits atop a flat rock and looks like a dirty cannonball. NASA explained it as “concretion”.

The Martian Totem pole

Maybe not a totem pole (or traffic stoplight) but what is this bizarre structure and is there any natural formation comparable to it on Earth?

The Jelly Donut

The Jelly Donut wasn’t known as much for its unusual appearance as the fact that it appeared on Mars during a 12-day period when Opportunity wasn’t looking. The unusual object simply materialized out of thin air right in front of Opportunity.

Skulls on Mars

Several instances of skulls, both human and animal, have reportedly been found on the Martian surface. Below are a few notable instances.

The Golden Disc

The Golden Disc was discovered in December 2014 in NASA’s photojournal (PIA17083) and featured a disc-shaped object nestled between a pair of rocks.  It stood out not only because of its unusual shape, but its shiny, golden hue which clearly indicated it was some sort of alien metallic object sitting on the surface of Mars.

The face on Mars

And who could forget the 1976 image of the Face on Mars which was later explored by NASA and explained as a natural rock formation.

In conclusion: whether you believe it to be the human mind’s tendency to find patterns in randomness, or ruins of an ancient civilization, you can’t deny, there’s some weird shit on Mars.


A Martian Sunrise - Daybreak at Gale Crater

Gale Crater can be seen in the center of this image with its central mountain of Strata. This is the Crater where NASA landed the Curiosity Mars Rover and made history in 2012. Curiosity discovered that this crater was once at the bottom of a large freshwater lake. The water in this lake would have been drinkable by humans and hospitable to microbial life. After exploring the Crater, Curiosity proceeded to explore the nearby plains of Aeolis Palus in search of life. Curiosity continues its search today, 140,000,000 miles away from home on a planet inhabited entirely by robots. (Though this image is computer generated, all of the geological features are correct and realistic.) 

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Science Magazine

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