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Showing posts from January, 2008

Water on Mars

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Mars is a cold desert planet with no liquid water on its surface, but discoveries announced in 2000 by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS) using cameras aboard Mars Global Surveyor and discoveries by Mars Odyssey Orbiter researchers in 2002 showed the presence of water ice just below ground level. In 2005, while re-imaging certain areas MSSS discovered this recent flow:



This 2005 reconstructed image from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft shows vertical cliffs nearly 2 kilometers high bordering a volcanic caldera near the north pole of Mars. Also visible are reddish areas of rock and sand, white areas of ice, and dark areas that are probably volcanic ash. No, the greenish tinge isn't shrubbery.


The MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) radar on the Mars Express spacecraft studied the structure of the layered deposits of this region to a depth of 3.7 km. In March of this year JPL reported in Science magazine that the data ind…

New Year's Irresolution

New Year's Day is the one when, briefly, millions of people delude themselves into thinking that firm resolutions will bring happiness.

The secular priests of self-improvement chant that you should set up some distant destination — weight loss or career progression — and trudge doggedly towards it.

But every lifestyle guru makes one basic mistake. They confuse integrity, which matters, with inflexibility, which doesn’t.

So why not abandon the narrow path to disappointment and opt instead for some new year’s irresolution?

Make 2008 the year you choose to change your mind. Evaluate you closely held beliefs and prejudices and see if they really are based on reality.

Edge.com asked the the intellectual elite, the brains the rest of us rely on to make sense of the universe and answer the big questions of our day if they changed their mind, and why

Tackling subjects as diverse as human evolution, the laws of physics and sexual politics, scientists and philosophers, including Steven Pinker, Da…