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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 2 - NASA: Claims of Life on Mars 'Positively False'

Dear Friends,

Imagine my (complete lack of utter) surprise...

http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mars-life-reports-untrue-100429.html

NASA = Never A Straight Answer. Especially given this site;

http://www.curiousnotions.com/mars/

Martian Curiosities
Water CAN easily remain liquid under Martian condtions. We’ve been able to see it in that form down there since at least 2001.

Water heavily salted with, say, calcium chloride, could remain liquid down past -50 C (-60 F). Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) and calcium sulfate (gypsum), both suspected now known to be abundant in Martian soil, can depress water's freezing point to -35 C and -55 C respectively; but a mixture of the two can bring this all the way down to -63 C (-81.4 F). Maximum summer temperatures in the south polar area reach -5 C (+23 F) and so, strangely enough, briny water could indeed survive as a liquid during part of the year there. In order for water to boil under Martian pressure it needs to reach 10 C (50 F).



NASA: Claims of Life on Mars 'Positively False'
By Clara Moskowitz
SPACE.com Senior Writer
posted: 29 April 2010
05:18 pm ET

This story was updated at 5:56 p.m. ET.

Despite recent media reports that NASA found evidence for life on Mars, the U.S. space agency says proof that we are not alone is still a ways off.

A Wednesday article in the U.K.'s "The Sun" newspaper entitled, "NASA: Evidence of Life on Mars," reported that they agency had unveiled "compelling evidence" for Martian organisms. But NASA officials and veteran Mars mission scientists say "no."

"This headline is extremely misleading," said Dwayne Brown, a spokesman for NASA based at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "This makes it sound like we announced that we found life on Mars, and that is absolutely, positively false."

The piece claimed that the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which have been wheeling around the surface of the red planet since January 2004, found pond scum, which the paper calls "the building blocks of life as we know it."

"This headline is extremely misleading," said Dwayne Brown, a spokesman for NASA based at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. "This makes it sound like we announced that we found life on Mars, and that is absolutely, positively false."

The piece claimed that the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which have been wheeling around the surface of the red planet since January 2004, found pond scum, which the paper calls "the building blocks of life as we know it."

"I think they have taken this stuff out of context," Brown said.

Such a discovery would truly have been groundbreaking, since pond scum, scientifically known as cyanobacteria, are actually a form of life themselves, not just building blocks for it.

"I can only assume that the Sun reporter misunderstood," said Cornell University planetary scientist Steve Squyres, principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover project, who was quoted in the story. "What Spirit and Opportunity have found is sulfate minerals... not organic materials, not pond scum, and not the building blocks of life as we know it.

Water = life?

The article, which has been widely quoted across the Web, appeared after NASA scientists spoke to reporters from an astrobiology conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of research aimed toward searching for life beyond Earth.

The piece claims, "The recent missions have gathered evidence of sulphates on Mars, a strong indication there is water on the planet and therefore life."

But just because there might be water does not mean that life follows.

"Evidence of water does NOT mean that there was life," Squyres wrote in an e-mail. "We believe that water is necessary for life, but not that it is sufficient to assure life. The "...and therefore life" part of the statement therefore is simply wrong."

While scientists have not yet discovered proof of living things anywhere in the universe beyond Earth, they are getting closer to knowing where to look and how to recognize the signs of life if they are present.

And Brown said that NASA's various Mars missions, including the rovers and spacecraft such as the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the 2001 Mars Odyssey – both currently in orbit around the red planet – are revealing a wealth of clues about the possibility of life there. It's just too soon to know for certain.

Past life controversies

Claims of finding life on Mars are not new.

In August 1996 NASA researchers presented a Martian rock that they said showed clear signs of being affected by life. The rock, which had landed in Antarctica, contained holes and markings that appeared to have been formed by bacterial colonies living on it.

The announcement made a huge splash, but in the decade that followed, most researchers have dismissed the claims of life, and found non-living explanations for the rock's markings.

There has likewise been controversy over pronouncements that Mars could not possibly harbor life. In 1976, NASA's Viking 1 and 2 landers touched down on the Martian surface and performed three separate experiments to search for signs of life. Despite having sensitivities to detect organic molecules of a few parts per billion, no organic compounds were ever detected by either lander. Many scientists declared that Mars therefore must not have microbial organisms on its surface.

Yet a more recent study found that perhaps the Viking experiments were not so sensitive after all, and cast doubt on the conclusion that microbes aren't there.

Besides Mars, some particularly promising spots in the solar system include the Saturnian moons Titan – with its lakes of methane and ethane – and Enceladus, with its plumes of water vapor, and Jupiter's moon Europa, which is thought to harbor an underground ocean.

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SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH, ESPAÑOL, PORTUGUÊS

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MUFON

How to Digitally Record/Video a UFO sighting:


Como registar digitalmente ou gravar um vídeo de um avistamento de um UFO:




Stabilize the camera on a tripod. If there is no tripod, then set it on top of a stable, flat surface. If that is not possible lean against a wall to stabilize your body and prevent the camera from filming in a shaky, unsteady manner.

Estabilize a camera com um tripé. Se não tiver um tripé, então coloque-a em cima de uma superfície estável. Se não for possível, então encoste-se a uma parede para estabilizar o corpo e evitar que a camera registe de maneira tremida e instável.

Provide visual reference points for comparison. This includes the horizon, treetops, lampposts, houses, and geographical landmarks (i.e., Horsetooth Reservoir, Mt. Adams, etc.) Provide this in the video whenever is appropriate and doesn’t detract from what your focus is, the UFO.

Forneça pontos visuais de referência para comparação. Isso inclui o horizonte, cimo das árvores, postes de iluminação, pontos de referência geográficos (como o Reservatório de Horsetooth, Mone Adams, etc) Forneça esses pontos no vídeo sempre que for apropriado e não se distraia do que é o seu foco, o UFO/a Nave.

Narrate your videotape. Provide details of the date, time, location, and direction (N,S,E,W) you are looking in. Provide your observations on the weather, including approximate temperature, windspeed, any visible cloud cover or noticeable weather anomalies or events. Narrate on the shape, size, color, movements, approximate altitude of the UFO, etc and what it appears to be doing. Also include any unusual physical, psychological or emotional sensations you might have. Narrate any visual reference points on camera so they correlate with what the viewer will see, and thereby will be better able to understand.

Faça a narração do vídeo. Forneça pormenores sobre a data, hora, local e direcção (Norte, Sul, Este, Oeste) que está a observar. Faça observações sobre as condições atmosféricas, incluindo a temperatura aproximada, velocidade do vento, quantidade de nuvens, anomalias ou acontecimentos meteorológicos evidentes. Descreva a forma, o tamanho, a cor, os movimentos, a altitude aproximada onde se encontra o UFO/nave, etc e o que aparenta estar a fazer. Inclua também quaisquer aspectos pouco habituais de sensações físicas, psicológicas ou emocionais que possa ter. Faça a narração de todos os pontos de referência visual que o espectador irá ver e que, deste modo, será capaz de compreender melhor.

Be persistent and consistent. Return to the scene to videotape and record at this same location. If you have been successful once, the UFO sightings may be occurring in this region regularly, perhaps for specific reasons unknown, and you may be successful again. You may also wish to return to the same location at a different time of day (daylight hours) for better orientation and reference. Film just a minute or two under “normal” circumstances for comparison. Write down what you remember immediately after. As soon as you are done recording the experience/event, immediately write down your impressions, memories, thoughts, emotions, etc. so it is on the record in writing. If there were other witnesses, have them independently record their own impressions, thoughts, etc. Include in this exercise any drawings, sketches, or diagrams. Make sure you date and sign your documentation.

Seja persistente e não contraditório. Volte ao local da cena e registe o mesmo local. Se foi bem sucedido uma vez, pode ser que nessa região ocorram avistamentos de UFOs/naves com regularidade, talvez por razões específicas desconhecidas, e talvez possa ser novamente bem sucedido. Pode também desejar voltar ao mesmo lugar a horas diferentes do dia (durante as horas de luz)para ter uma orientação e referência melhor. Filme apenas um ,inuto ou dois em circunstâncias “normais” para ter um termo de comparação. Escreva tudo o que viu imediatamente após o acontecimento. Logo após ter feito o registo da experiência/acontecimento, escreva imediatamente as impressões, memórias, pensamentos, emoções, etc para que fiquem registadas por escrito. Se houver outras testemunhas, peça-lhes para registar independentemente as suas próprias impressões, pensamentos, etc. Inclua quaisquer desenhos, esbolos, diagramas. Certifique-se que data e assina o seu documento/testemunho.

Always be prepared. Have a digital camera or better yet a video camera with you, charged and ready to go, at all times. Make sure you know how to use your camera (and your cell phone video/photo camera) quickly and properly. These events can occur suddenly, unexpectedly, and often quite randomly, so you will need to be prepared.

Esteja sempre preparado, Tenha sempre uma camera digital, melhor ainda, uma camera vídeo consigo, carregada e pronta a usar sempre que necessário. Certifique-se que sabe como lidar com a sua camera (ou com o seu celular/camera fotográfica) rápida e adequadamente. Esses acontecimentos podem acontecer súbita e inesperadamente e, por vezes, acidentalmente, por isso, necessita estar preparado.

Look up. Be prepared. Report. Share.

Olhe para cima, Esteja preparado, Relate, Partilhe.

MUFON.COM

ESOTERIC



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