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Possible Active Glacier Found On Mars

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the dr-neukum-forever dept.

Space 143

FireFury03 writes "The European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft has spotted an icy feature which appears to be a young active glacier. Dr Gerhard Neukum, chief scientist on the spacecraft's High Resolution Stereo Camera said 'We have not yet been able to see the spectral signature of water. But we will fly over it in the coming months and take measurements. On the glacial ridges we can see white tips, which can only be freshly exposed ice'. Estimates place the glacier at 10,000 — 100,000 years old."

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In your Face !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757442)

In your Face !! Slashdot !!

Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (4, Interesting)

Dr_Banzai (111657) | about 7 years ago | (#21757450)

This might be a good place to land a Mars mission because you could use the ice to create oxygen, water, fuel etc.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | about 7 years ago | (#21757460)

It would also make for some swell low-G lugeing

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (5, Funny)

CrackPipePls (1205568) | about 7 years ago | (#21757506)

and more importantly, to cool beer :-)

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (3, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 7 years ago | (#21760610)

No, to MAKE beer, then cool it. Dried malt extract and hops pellets are far more compact than bringing lots of extra beer. Mars homebrew!

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

sirmonkey (1056544) | about 7 years ago | (#21762104)

mars microbrew FOR THE WIN!!!
*drools*

Skiing. (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 7 years ago | (#21762432)

Don't forget skiing. Forget Aspen, Mars is the new place to be.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 years ago | (#21757552)

I don't know, from the pictures that ice looks really dirty. Who'd want to drink any of that?

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (3, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | about 7 years ago | (#21757680)

When it's a choice between that and your own urine, which has been reprocessed through the spaceship urine reprocessing system 700 times, the dirty ice will start to look mighty appealing.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 7 years ago | (#21758262)

Statistically speaking every glass of water you drink contains water molecules which once passed through the bladder of Attila the Hun. Or something like that.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | about 7 years ago | (#21759124)

Yeah, but its not the water molecules that are the problem. It's the other molecules mixed in with the water...

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (2, Funny)

Urkki (668283) | about 7 years ago | (#21762158)

When it's a choice between that and your own urine, which has been reprocessed through the spaceship urine reprocessing system 700 times, the dirty ice will start to look mighty appealing.
Yes, because, you know, repeated artificial reprosessing of waste will wear out the water molecules. The electrons get all fractured, H-atoms may te twisted to wrong angles, little feces and urine particles may get stuck between the two H-atoms, and so on. Natural prosesses are much better because then the power of the Gaia (in this case the Martian Gaia) will be able to heal the damage in water molecules. And healthy water molecules will have the energy and will to keep themselves clean too, just like cats do.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | about 7 years ago | (#21762372)

When it's a choice between that and your own urine, which has been reprocessed through the spaceship urine reprocessing system 700 times, the dirty ice will start to look mighty appealing.

The water that pours out of your sink has been urine so many times, it's impossible to count. There's clean water, and there's dirty water. Various processes clean water, (such as evaporation & condensation) and various processes dirty water (such as drinking it) but that's all there is.

I remember reading a thesis which asserted that nobody alive today can drink a glass of water that doesn't contain at least 1 molecule of water which was in one of the infamous baths of England's King Louis. It's a cycle. Just because modern technology shortens the cycle, doesn't mean the cycle isn't there in the first place.

Get over it.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

Mikachu (972457) | about 7 years ago | (#21757902)

That's a silly thing to say. Ever seen some of the water you drink before it's been processed? That ice looks downright clean to me.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 years ago | (#21758124)

That was a joke.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | about 7 years ago | (#21757874)

This might be a good place to land a Mars mission because you could use the ice to create oxygen, water, fuel etc....and keep the beer cold.

Don't Forget the Vitamin C (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21759722)

Seriously.

Human bodies don't make it ... one of two mammals. The Guinea Pig is the other. Seriously.

Without the vitamin C, you humans are totally screwed. Pretty lame, really.

Re:Possible landing zone for a Mars Mission? (1)

just_forget_it (947275) | about 7 years ago | (#21760404)

Unless the ice is just frozen CO2.

*GASP* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757464)

Kuato was right all along!!

Re:*GASP* (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21760258)

Well ... they say he's psychic.

pictures (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757466)

here are some more pictures of the glacier... [tinyurl.com]

Mod parent down as SPAM (0, Offtopic)

Kasis (918962) | about 7 years ago | (#21757556)

bloody immature way to measure your e-penis if you ask me.

Sweet! (5, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | about 7 years ago | (#21757472)

The doctor in the article is named Dr. Neukem. If his first name is Duke, I would not want to be the one to contest his theory.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Velcroman98 (542642) | about 7 years ago | (#21757498)

Sorry, his full name is; Dr Gerhard Neukum

Re:Sweet! (2, Informative)

UncleTogie (1004853) | about 7 years ago | (#21757778)

Sorry, his full name is; Dr Gerhard Neukum

Actually, his name is Gerhard Neukum. His title is Dr...

I'm a little mistrustful of someone who INSISTS that "white tips ... can only be freshly exposed ice"... There could be a number of other explanations, and I'd hope the team would consider those as well.

Re:Sweet! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757828)

I'm a little mistrustful of someone who INSISTS that "white tips ... can only be freshly exposed ice"...

Agreed 100%. Perhaps now my "Mars is made of meringue" hypothesis will finally be taken seriously!

Re:Sweet! (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#21758478)

I'm a little mistrustful of someone who INSISTS that "white tips ... can only be freshly exposed ice"... There could be a number of other explanations, and I'd hope the team would consider those as well.

Given the amount of dut that moves around in the martian atmosphere, it seems reasonable to assume that white tips means new.

However, after flying over America for the first time a couple of years ago (only my second time in an airplane in forty years), I was amazed at how the ground looked either red or brown. I am assuming this isn't how those area's look on the surface, since no-ones ever said to me that America is mostly red, so I'm guessing that it takes a pretty dense covering of other material to hide a dominant subsurface coloration. These white tips on mars might be the same thing, not white at all when viewed close up. Extrapolating from glaciers on earth might not be a good plan, if that's what's occuring.

I mmay of course be being an inexperienced idiot.

Re:Sweet! (1)

goingforaslash (1195043) | about 7 years ago | (#21758774)

Agree, could also be particles in the atmosphere between the 2 objects, the list is endless.

Re:Sweet! (1)

funaho (42567) | about 7 years ago | (#21759404)

True it could just be that that spot on Mars is where the aliens keep all their cocaine. :)

Re:Sweet! (3, Funny)

Fx.Dr (915071) | about 7 years ago | (#21757516)

Why is that? It's not like he'd ever find you. Worst case scenario is that every six years he'd pop his head up to remind you that he's still around.

Re:Sweet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21758350)

How did the parent get modded as a troll? It just looks like a harmless joke.

Re:Sweet! (4, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | about 7 years ago | (#21758582)

You misunderstand (or somebody did).

It's not Duke Neukem, it's Doc Neukem.

Re:Sweet! (1)

Scooter (8281) | about 7 years ago | (#21759344)

"This is unique, and there are probably more," said Dr Neukum.

If this was a line in a movie, no audience would ever buy it unless it was untitled "Ride My Red Rocket" and starred Mike Meyers as the mission leader, and the evil Dr Neukum.

Re:Sweet! (1)

master_p (608214) | about 7 years ago | (#21762916)

Hey, the first thing that came to mind when reading this article is exactly what you side. Isn't life funny?

Here comes the Martian penguin movie... (2, Interesting)

gumbo (88087) | about 7 years ago | (#21757520)

If you thought Hollywood was out of penguin movie fuel (after March, Happy Feet, and the other animated one that I can't remember the name of), this is just the thing they've been waiting for. Cute green Martian penguins dancing around on an iceberg. Fun for everybody!

Re:Here comes the Martian penguin movie... (1)

KingPunk (800195) | about 7 years ago | (#21758172)

... surfs up. that's the other.

Not a surprise. (2, Insightful)

AJWM (19027) | about 7 years ago | (#21757524)

We've known there was ice on Mars for a century or more. It is visible from Earth through any reasonably good telescope. You know, those white things at the poles?

Sure, in winter they get bigger from frozen out CO2, but there's a year-round permanent cap of water ice. Glaciers, permafrost, pingoes and other signs of ice should not be a surprise. Okay, a glacier on the Martian equator might be a surprise, except perhaps on one of the Tharsis Bulge volcanoes or Nix Olympica (er, Olympus Mons to you young whippersnappers; now get off my lawn).

Yet people seem to be surprised every time there's the merest hint, or act like it's of some cosmic significance. Sheesh.

Re:Not a surprise. (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#21757570)

I think the pleasure out of this finding is yet more evidence that Mars is an *active* planet. We've known for over a century about Martian seasons, for quite some time about the vast dust storms, and recently there have been some tanatalizing hints of ongoing vulcanism, and now an active glacier. For a glacier to be active, it means there has to be some sort of hydrological cycle to replenish the ice.

Re:Not a surprise. (2, Funny)

bondjamesbond (99019) | about 7 years ago | (#21758546)

Vulcanism?? As in... Spock?

Re:Not a surprise. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21759432)

I once agreed with someone on these issues but i have to say that just isn't right [ripway.com]

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

MR.Mic (937158) | about 7 years ago | (#21762232)

That would be the most logical conclusion.

Re:Not a surprise. (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 7 years ago | (#21757690)

Okay, a glacier on the Martian equator might be a surprise, except perhaps on one of the Tharsis Bulge volcanoes or Nix Olympica (er, Olympus Mons to you young whippersnappers; now get off my lawn).
its location is at 47.5N, 28.4E so yes, very odd indeed.

Yet people seem to be surprised every time there's the merest hint, or act like it's of some cosmic significance. Sheesh.
yeah, a large percentage of the solar system's material consists of frozen water, no surprise by that account that water exists on Mars, what seems to be interesting here is how young it is and I presume the position as well. although if we were to find say liquid water anywhere nearby *that* would be far more interesting but no luck on the surface [confirmed that is] yet.

Re:Not a surprise. (2, Interesting)

AJWM (19027) | about 7 years ago | (#21758512)

Well, 47.5 N is hardly equatorial, but it is further south (by about 8 degrees) than the typical maximum winter extent of the north polar cap, so I'll grant you "odd" but perhaps not "very odd". (We have equatorial glaciers here on Earth at sufficient altitude, although they're disappearing rapidly.)

I wouldn't be surprised if significant traces of water (ice) are found all over Vastitas Borealis; if it was once a sea bottom (and it bears characteristics of such) there could be a lot left just under the surface (which would help preserve it).

The real question is whether they find sodium ;-)

Re:Not a surprise. (0, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | about 7 years ago | (#21757706)

I'll probably get modded as troll for this, but there is a great desire on much of this planet to ignore anything that is not written down in one of the 'good books'. Unfortunately, Mars was left out of that garden of eden scene... probably still somewhere on the cutting room floor of the FSM's dark room.

Needless to say, in North America, it is always surprising to find something that is not explained explicitly in one of the good books, even though god supposedly made everything. The possibility that there might be signs of life on Mars, outside the realms of this singular haven of life god created on Earth, is something that people want to forget very quickly. Besides that, what does ice on Mars have do with paying the rising interest rates of your ARM?

I for one welcome our solar system neighbors and their CO2 eating ways. Perhaps then we can all stop with the fighting about who has the one and true understanding of god on this planet.

Besides that, I simply cannot wait for the ID explanation of life on Mars. I can see that wing in the Creation Museum.

Re:Not a surprise. (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about 7 years ago | (#21757794)

Besides that, I simply cannot wait for the ID explanation of life on Mars.

Leaving aside the (in my opinion) intellectual dishonesty of ID, a cool (and admittedly fictional) creationist take on the idea of life on Mars: Out of the Silent Planet [slashdot.org] by C. S. Lewis.

Nothing I'm aware of in creationist canon explicitly excludes the idea of life elsewhere in this universe. It's just not mentioned. Only the most closed-minded would insist "only the things described in $HOLYBOOK happened, nothing else!".

Re:Not a surprise. (3, Insightful)

Shadowplay00 (1042912) | about 7 years ago | (#21757928)

Only the most closed-minded would insist "only the things described in $HOLYBOOK happened, nothing else!".
Unfortunately that describes far too many these days. Even if you were to argue that's a small proportion of active Christians in the US, it's enough to affect attempts to teach science. Look at all the controversies over teaching ID in public schools: do you really think these schoolboard members are terribly open-minded?

Re:Not a surprise. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21758130)

Unfortunately that describes far too many these days.

Again, please provide even a single instance of anyone who claims that, for example, penguins don't exist because they aren't (TTBOMK) mentioned in the Bible.

Honestly, don't you at some level see anything inappropriate in abusing people for offenses you simply made up?

Re:Not a surprise. (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#21759086)

Your completely off the mark here. The problem isn't people thinking that "if it isn't in the good book it doesn't exist". It isn't even close to that.

The problem with teaching science isn't anything to do with the bible. It is with how the science is being taught. It is being done in a way that excludes anything else. It is in effect calling religions wrong and to some extent, it (the people teaching it) specifically mentioned it being wrong. While that may be a true statement in your take on things, there is still this thing called freedom of religion and the separation of state.

This freedom of a religion and separation of church and state is a concept that say the government cannot push a religion on people, can't favor on over another and they cannot prevent one from being practiced. You cannot argue that going to a publicly funded school and being compelled by law to attend isn't the government sanctioning what is happening there. So when the science is presented in a way that little johnny or little susy comes home and say god is a liar or doesn't exist, this didn't happen because we learned about it in school, then we have a problem along this freedom of religion and church and state thing.

I personally feel that if the material is presented as a theory in the tradition sense with something saying simply that this is how science relates to things and so far it has been as accurate as we can test, things would be fine. I'm not impressed with these intelligent design ideas of teaching creationism as a philosophy course. Just don't make any definite statements and present it as it relates to science and there shouldn't be a problem.

I understand that people think it is absurd to downplay something like evolution and the big bang theory because they incorrectly think it is a fact that has been proven. The fact is, while it has become close to being shown as fact and it is generally accepted as true, it hasn't been proven to the extent some think it has. But your interpretation of something being the right way or the real way has just as much to do with this as some bible thumper's interpretation. You have as much freedom from religion as they have freedom of religion. You cannot claim their religion is anything as much as they cannot make you subscribe to their religion.

That is what this boils down to, and that is why the problem is in America and not other free countries (the constitution). It isn't for the most part and outright rejection of science but a rejection of the way science is being taught and how that teaching is attempting to deny other people's freedom of religion. And just like in anything else, when the government endorses the view, it kicks in constitutional problems.

I'm not saying that you won't find a few creationist who strictly think the bible is the only way, but you will find that the majority of people supporting ID or statements in science classes are the people who doesn't want the government going around claiming their religion is a fairytale or wrong and whatever else. If it wasn't for the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion, this wouldn't be a problem. But it is a problem and people are attempting to introduce ID as an fix.

Ask me about science as a religion, it goes a little more into explaining the "incorrectly think it is a fact that has been proven" I mentioned earlier. Of course people want to strongly deny religions convictions of scientific theories because then it would be obvious on the freedom of religion and seperation of church and state thing.

Re:Not a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21759774)

This is so stupid one hardly knows where to begin.

The Constitutions says that Congress shall make no law with respect to the establishment of religion. Science is not a religion. The founders knew that. Religious people know that. Everyone but who isn't either a) dishonest or b) a moron knows that.

It is not religion to believe that the sky is blue. Scientific beliefs are no different than believing the sky is blue. We believe it because we have empirical evidence that it is true. Religion is very specifically not like that.

Calling science a religion is like calling sitting still a sport.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21760538)

On the other hand, blurring the distinction between science and religion is one of the basic tools of the anti-science crowd. Of course, that only works on minds that are already blurry. People that have a handle on what science is tend to automatically reject such attempts on grounds of utter ridiculousness. What's interesting about that is there's no great intelligence required: the fundamental principles of science and scientific method are open and easily understandable by anyone. Yet many people can't be bothered. It's the great tragedy of our times (well, one of them anyway.)

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#21760836)

You don't have to blur the distinction. Just don't attempt to disprove the religion. You see, saying something like Evolution is the theory that science used to X Y and Z is not the same as saying Science says your bible is wrong, this happened, end of story.

There are ways to get the same amount of information out without missing anything and without being condescending or rude. You can even do it without telling little sally that her bible is wrong when she asks "but the bible says X". All you have to do is say that is your bible, this is science and this is how science does things. It isn't important for someone to know that science as presented in a text book in school is some absolute truth beyond any reproach. What is important is that science says X and X is the foundations for Y. So when ever Little Susy decides to do something in science she knows X and Y, and that she is able to comprehend it.

There would be no problem if this was the approach. Other countries don't have to tip toe about it because they don't have a guaranteed freedom of religion in their constitution.

Re:Not a surprise. (1, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#21761044)

The Constitutions says that Congress shall make no law with respect to the establishment of religion. Science is not a religion. The founders knew that. Religious people know that. Everyone but who isn't either a) dishonest or b) a moron knows that.
Actually, it says

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Do you see the part that says or prohibiting the free exercise thereof? Of course every moron knows that, right? You also have the seperation of church and state which isn't in the constitution but people claim it is. It is actually a letter Jefferson, Or was if Franklin? Well, it could have be any number of those people, but he wrote it to some church claiming that some law being passed couldn't be used against the church because the first amendment puts up wall that separates the church from the state.

Of course that is paraphrasing it. but the sentiment remains and is the basis of removing prayer from schools, it takes the nativity scenes away from public lands, it takes the ten commandments away from public buildings and it is a legal precedent that has a long history in US law. So, if prayer can't be in school because it is a government entity that people are compelled to attend, then the same rules for the or prohibiting the free exercise thereof with respect to religion apply. You cannot have one without the other. And if science wasn't taught in a way that say one if right and the other is wrong, there wouldn't be a problem like we see today.

It is not religion to believe that the sky is blue. Scientific beliefs are no different than believing the sky is blue. We believe it because we have empirical evidence that it is true. Religion is very specifically not like that.
It doesn't matter that it is true. What matters is that you don't say religion is not true in a state funded school setting where the students are compelled by law to attend. You can say it anywhere else in the world that isn't under the separation clause and it won't matter a bit. But in the places that the courts say need separated, then you cannot kick the religion out and then proceed to say it is wrong or not true or anything. We have the freedom or religion and the freedom from religion with the free exorcise thereof clause.

This was an issue that had all but disappeared until relatively recently. It isn't because of a resurgent of religious fanatics, it is because of a change in how science is being taught and the instructors or the science books are specifically telling students that religion is not true, science is the only answer and so on. The approach has been to relax that by putting warning statements in text books or ID statements that state it is only a theory. It isn't that they want science to disappear. It is that they want science to quite interfering with their religion from a government position.

Now, as for science being religion, Yes, for some it has replaced religion and became religion. I'm not saying your one of these people. But you cannot deny it and still maintain scientific credibility. It goes against the grain of science to make a flat out denial of the possibility of something because you never observed it. These religious freeks tend to claim Evolution as the mechanism for life as we know it and a common ancestor is a proven fact. They seem to think that we have empirical evidence showing life mutating from start to finish. They seem to think evolution in this manor stopped because this is the most perfect time for life. They seem to strongly deny other possible theories for the diversity of life like the bubble theory of evolution where the major difference is the common ancestor part.

And yes, even according to the UN's international charter on human rights, atheism is a protected religion as a human right. It has been that way since the 70s or so that I know of.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 7 years ago | (#21762308)

it is because of a change in how science is being taught and the instructors or the science books are specifically telling students that religion is not true
Citation please?

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 7 years ago | (#21762602)

These religious freeks tend to claim Evolution as the mechanism for life as we know it and a common ancestor is a proven fact. They seem to think that we have empirical evidence showing life mutating from start to finish.

Whilst we don't have the whole start-to-finish set of evidence, we do have quite a lot of data points. I'm not going to claim that long-term evolution has been proved, but I would say that there is a _lot_ of evidence pointing to the theory being, for the most part, correct.

We have, however, proved short-term evolution to the extent that it is seen in the lab on a regular basis when dealing with bacteria and virii.

They seem to think evolution in this manor stopped because this is the most perfect time for life.

I'm not a geneticist, but logically I would have to conclude that evolution (to the improvement of the gene pool) has probably slowed due to the advancement of medicine. We are now saving the lives of people who have serious diseases and allowing them to breed, so a lot of the natural selection forces have been removed.

I would guess that this is leading to greater genetic diversity by the very fact that these diseases are not being bred out of the gene pool. This is not necessarily a Bad Thing - genetic diversity is often good for the survival of the species as a whole since it allows the species to cope better with rapid environmental changes, but it does mean that our medical facilities may become more and more stretched as diseases, which would otherwise prevent procreation, propagate to further generations.

Re:Not a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21761084)

He's not calling science a religion, dipshit. He's saying that there's a constitutional problem with mandating that children be specifically taught that their religion is wrong. You're the retard.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 7 years ago | (#21761586)

So if my religion declares that the atomic makeup of water is H4O, and in science class they teach that it is H2O, then they are violating the constitution?

Bullshit. And the basics of chemistry are no less questionable than the basics of biology.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 7 years ago | (#21762144)

Aren't you paying attention? It would be against the constitution if the instruction for science in schools said that H2O was the only composition and all other renditions outside of science was incorrect. If they said that H2O was the way science used it and when you stated "well my religion says water is H4O", the answer was when science used the H2O version because it fits with their science where you religion used H4O because it works with it, then thing would be alright.

It isn't a matter of who is right and who is wrong. It is a matter or one not allowing the other, either way. What is needed is simply a more crass approach of instruction. When the schools don't allow the religion to exist, it is a violation, when schools don't allow the science to exist and chooses religion over it, it is a violation. When one, withing the respect of each field exists, not only are people happy, but we don't tread on anyones rights that are protected by the constitution.

Of course outside of school and outside of government branches, anyone is free to say anything. It is only when you make a law for religion or prohibiting the free exorcise of it, you run into problems. And by the separation of church and state, this includes policies of schools and any government offices that normal people have a need to goto. Some examples would be court houses and municipal buildings, Schools, the DMV, and so on.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

biraneto (886262) | about 7 years ago | (#21759836)

Actually the universe according to ID is men centered. Men was created as the image of God. They may even find some excuses for some small simple life forms, but they wouldn't be able to explain why there is more advanced life forms in the universe than us. Good for then we still won't be effectively leaving this galaxy for the next centuries. :)

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 7 years ago | (#21760326)

I would think the ID explanation of life on Mars would most likely be the same as most scientists: "There isn't any."
Even if there was, nothing in the Bible says there is no life anywhere else. Jesus once said something to the affect of "I have other sheep which are not of this fold." As Jesus was a carpenter, I think we are not meant to take that literally. Most would say that refers to the Gentiles. But who knows for sure?

Re:Not a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757836)

Needless to say, in North America, it is always surprising to find something that is not explained explicitly in one of the good books, even though god supposedly made everything.

Please provide even a single example of such "surprise". With new species discovered every day, surely there must be limitless "surprise" to point to.

Re:Not a surprise. (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 7 years ago | (#21757806)

Yet people seem to be surprised every time there's the merest hint, or act like it's of some cosmic significance. Sheesh.

Well maybe this is just me, but I tend to be surprised or excited whenever the actual scientists involved are surprised or excited. Seems like they are the ones who would be best equipped to know what the significance is.

I'm pretty sure they are already aware of the Martian ice caps, so maybe there's something more significant to this then? Naw, you're right, it's better to use hindsight to say "that was obvious!" and brush it off.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 7 years ago | (#21758216)

Scientists act surprised and excited at almost any discovery, partly because it either supports or disagrees with current theory, which in a relatively new field like planetology is interesting either way. But - and forgive me for being cynical - they also do it to encourage those who fund them to keep on funding them. If they'd said "ho hum, we expected that", how do you think the purse-string holders would react the next time the scientists went asking for money?

Yeah, it's an interesting find in the way any data about Mars is interesting. It's not - or shouldn't be - something that will shake the very foundations of planetology. Didn't anyone predict glaciers? If not, I hereby predict pingos, braided streams, and moraines -- although I think they've all already been observed.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 7 years ago | (#21758898)

Be cynical all you want. I doubt you know enough about planetary climatology to have said whether or not young, active glaciers were probable based solely on the existence of ancient, permanent ice caps. But now that it has been discovered, it's easy for the cynical to say "Oh of course you would expect to find that, we already knew there was ice, duh". When there's simply more to the issue than that.

Nobody said that this should shake the very foundations of planetology, or anything even close to that. You're inflating their claims to enhance your cynical criticism in the same way you're inflating the obviousness of the discovery despite not having any scientific foundation for saying it is obvious to enhance your cynical criticism. Well the scientists don't think it's obvious -- they're not even completely convinced that they're seeing what they think they are -- and frankly scientific knowledge is a better basis for saying something is non-obvious than cynicism is a basis for saying that it is.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

AJWM (19027) | about 7 years ago | (#21760064)

The "young" is yet to be demonstrated. (For that matter, so is whether or not this is really ice, but that seems a reasonable bet.) As for "active" -- if it's a glacier, it flows under the force of gravity, and either advances or (depending on temperature) the leading edge retreats; of course it's active.

TFA makes a big deal out of the exposed white areas, claiming that ice sublimates quickly on Mars. Well, some places it does, some places it doesn't. If it's exposed on the ridge peaks, that could be because a covering layer of dust was recently blown off -- or it could be that it was recently snowed (or frosted) upon. I'm not inflating their claims, perhaps the BBC is.

Re:Not a surprise. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 7 years ago | (#21762178)

The "young" is yet to be demonstrated. (For that matter, so is whether or not this is really ice, but that seems a reasonable bet.) As for "active" -- if it's a glacier, it flows under the force of gravity, and either advances or (depending on temperature) the leading edge retreats; of course it's active.

Yes, as the article noted the results are not certain, so good call there. A retreating glacier is not an active glacier, and an ancient glacier can only stay active if it has its ice renewed as fast or faster than it evaporates, which is why this would seem to be significant if it pans out.

TFA makes a big deal out of the exposed white areas, claiming that ice sublimates quickly on Mars. Well, some places it does, some places it doesn't.

Ah yes of course, and I'm sure you're well versed in which areas those would be and have correlated that with the location of the possible glacier. No, wait, that would be what the people actively researching Mars would do. Stop pretending you're one of them, or that you can elevate yourself to the status of one of them simply through skepticism.

I'm not inflating their claims, perhaps the BBC is.

Oh so it was the BBC that said that this was going to shake the foundation of planetology? Oh, no, that was you, so you could then claim that straw man as being the hyperbole of those darn scientists that you are seeing through with your insightful cynicism.

Honestly, cynicism for cynicism's sake, especially acting alone in lieu of understanding, is completely pointless and never a substitute for actual knowledge. It wasn't presented as anything other than a possible discovery on Mars of something we haven't found before. Stop pretending that they over-stated the claims, and that you used your layman's knowledge to predict those same claims in advance.

I sense a connection here... (1)

Odin The Ravager (980765) | about 7 years ago | (#21757544)

Dr Gerhard Neukum
Duke Nukem
Really, ask yourself, what are the chances?

Re:I sense a connection here... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 years ago | (#21758866)

The same odds the a man actually named "McCool" would die in a spaceship accident.

If I tried to use that name in a game, I would have been laughed at.

So, the European Space Agency is dreaming... (0, Offtopic)

niceone (992278) | about 7 years ago | (#21757550)

... of a white Christmas?

Re:So, the European Space Agency is dreaming... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757854)

... of a white Mistress?
There, fixed that for ya!

Glacier (1)

Velcroman98 (542642) | about 7 years ago | (#21757584)

With Mar's distance from the Sun I wonder if any of it it dry ice, or any other elements that would normally be a gas on Earth.

If it melts will it be blamed on Bush?

Re:Glacier (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 7 years ago | (#21759286)

>With Mar's distance

This is taking the apostrophe-s-itis a little too far.

Why hot ga's and melt's too?

Re:Glacier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21761194)

You should have seen the Wiki page I was reading yesterday. Can't remember the page (a TV series about a vampire detective, that wasn't picked up), but here are some highlights:

"Mick meet's a photographer..."
"After he discover's it's really her..."
"When Beth get's jealous..."
"She find's out..."
"...his daughter, Sarah, 50 year's ago."

Damned painful.

3d realms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21757596)

Still no on when Duke Neukum Forever is coming out, eh?

Missing (3, Funny)

Etrias (1121031) | about 7 years ago | (#21757666)

Oh good! Glaciers on Mars. Nice for them to turn up because we're starting to miss a few down here.

A place to find life (1)

readin (838620) | about 7 years ago | (#21757932)

This is cool. If any Martians ever stuck their tongue on it they should still be there!

Re:A place to find life (1)

Elusive_Cure (645428) | about 7 years ago | (#21759158)

This is cool. If any Martians ever stuck their tongue on it they should still be there!
By definition a glacier is cool...

Re:A place to find life (1)

snickkers (1023847) | about 7 years ago | (#21759880)

This is cool.
I get it.

Mars Ice "Premium" Bottled Water? (4, Funny)

Zymergy (803632) | about 7 years ago | (#21758022)

Executive: "How can we get ahold of some of that Mars glacial ice? We could make a killing selling it to the bottled water crowd!"

R&D: "We could make it a dilute 'blend' with filtered municipal tap water and disclose (in small print) that it is 'filtered for your purity'."

Marketing: "The bottle cost should be just under $0.05 each (with printing) and we could put on its side in BOLD TYPE: 'Contains REAL Mars Water' and actual unit cost could be $1000 each. Then we could spread a rumor that it has aphrodisiac properties, it worked for the rhinoceros horn market!"...

NASA Administration Plebe to NASA Director: "Sir, I think I have found a new way to raise REAL corporate money for our manned Mars missions..."

Re:Mars Ice "Premium" Bottled Water? (1)

quantaman (517394) | about 7 years ago | (#21758702)

Executive: "How can we get ahold of some of that Mars glacial ice? We could make a killing selling it to the bottled water crowd!"

R&D: "We could make it a dilute 'blend' with filtered municipal tap water and disclose (in small print) that it is 'filtered for your purity'."
In small print?! You clearly know nothing of consumers, it's not "filtered" or "diluted", it's homoeopathy!!

Re:Mars Ice "Premium" Bottled Water? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 years ago | (#21758792)

Three words:
Dehydrated Martian Ice

Tagline:
Just add water, then freeze

Get it while it's cold! (1)

overshoot (39700) | about 7 years ago | (#21758044)

After all, no telling what global warming will do to this thing.

we must go to mars (1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#21758072)

so we can melt it

i am not happy with just denuding mt kilimanjaro of glaciers and melting greenland

we must do better than this

global warming? this is the mark of an inferior life form

solar system warming or darest i dream galactic warming, that should be the goal of mankind!

Re:we must go to mars (3, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#21758360)

Actually, perverse though it sounds, global warming is exactly what we have to do on Mars if its ever to be habitable without assisted environments (posh way of saying biodome..) in a thousand yars or so. All that subsurface ice needs to be melted to bring the oceans back and build a decent atmosphere, one better at deflecting solar radiation.

Without it we'd have to wait tens of thousands of years, or more, while specially engineered plant life (very basic plant life) and such worked its slow magic on the atmosphere. With a bit of global warming technology (TM) we can shorten the time considerably. If oceans were brought back the process would be much faster.

The question is how can it be acheived in a way that can be managed, so it doesn't spin out of control. Personally, since I won't be alive in either case, a thing I have in common with everyone reading this, I'd go for the slower option, or even go for the option of spending a few hundred years seeing if there were any remnant native organisms that could be helped back into activity and do the job for us.

That there are active glaciers is fascinating though. What a shame that almost all of the current environment of mars would need to be destroyed or irreversibly altered in order to host our species. It doesn't bode well for our entry into the interstellar club. How ironic if the destructive aliens we worry about so much in fiction turn out to be us.

Re:we must go to mars (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 7 years ago | (#21758690)

Actually, perverse though it sounds, global warming is exactly what we have to do on Mars if its ever to be habitable without assisted environments (posh way of saying biodome..) in a thousand yars or so. All that subsurface ice needs to be melted to bring the oceans back and build a decent atmosphere, one better at deflecting solar radiation.


It's going to take more than that. Even if you managed, somehow, to get a dense atmosphere on Mars (which is a must if you don't want the water to simply boil on the surface), you're going to have to figure out how to keep that atmosphere from simply leaking into space.

In short, Mars is not a massive enough planet to hold a dense atmosphere over the long term.

Re:we must go to mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21760460)

Correct, however "the long term" is a geologically long period, hence losses could be compensated for by crashing comets into the surface (which would probably be necessary to get things going initially too.)

I have a plan. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 years ago | (#21758804)

Create a giant yellow 'umbrella' between the sun and mars.
It would be concave on the mars side and larger then mars. So it would focus more light and heat onto mars. Thus warming it.
It could also deflect much of the suns bombardment of radiation onto the planet.

Re:I have a plan. (1)

Tsuki_no_Hikari (1004963) | about 7 years ago | (#21761460)

Mars lacks a molten core. Mars therefore lacks a magnetosphere to filter solar radiation to the poles like earth does. Aside from the problem of the atmosphere thinning back out if we did manage to thicken it, humans could never live unassisted due to the higher radiation.

Re:I have a plan. (1)

ianare (1132971) | about 7 years ago | (#21761878)

That would be put to better use on Venus [wikipedia.org] .

Re:we must go to mars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21761934)

Actually, perverse though it sounds, global warming is exactly what we have to do on Mars


So I'm seeing some new career opportunities for Bush, since all of the global warming is his fault apparently.

More Martian Glacier Info (2, Informative)

L3WKW4RM (228924) | about 7 years ago | (#21758372)

More info and photos on the Martian rock-ice glaciers of Deuteronilus Mensae [asu.edu] .

Now that we've got glaciers and lava tubes [nasa.gov] , I'm packing up my crampons and caving gear for a Martian vacation!

Estimate? (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21758790)

Estimates place the glacier at 10,000 -- 100,000 years old.

They really meant "wild-assed guess", but it sounds more scientific to call it an estimate.

Re:Estimate? (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 7 years ago | (#21760344)

Estimates place the glacier at 10,000 -- 100,000 years old.
What's an order of magnitude among friends?

Don't do the same mistake again (1)

felipekk (1007591) | about 7 years ago | (#21758996)

I think this is a hint that we should not go there. We already screwed with our glaciers...

Meanwhile, in other news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 years ago | (#21759738)

Martian scientists believe that their neighboring planet, known as 'Irth' may have had glaciers and polar ice caps in its recent past. These ara believed to have disappeared during the recent geological era known as SUV.

Re:Meanwhile, in other news ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21760422)

Martian scientists believe that their neighboring planet, known as 'Irth' may have had glaciers and polar ice caps in its recent past. These ara believed to have disappeared during the recent geological era known as SUV.

Some Martian scientists disagree. They believe the proper interpretation of the inhabitants own description of their final days to be the symbols "GW". There are two camps, one of which considers this "GW" to represent the phrase "Global Warming", which would tend to agree with the physical evidence. The other group has some indication that these symbols refer to a mythical figure known colloquially as "GW Bush".

Whether this "GW Bush" bears any relationship to "Global Warming" is not yet clear.

Wait, what happened to the martian cities? (1)

theyip1218 (1205666) | about 7 years ago | (#21760198)

"On the glacial ridges we can see white tips, which can only be freshly exposed ice." So martian cities aren't an option?

The bigger questions still remain. (1)

ArtfulDodger75 (943980) | about 7 years ago | (#21760202)

Now that we know there's lots of ice, are we any closer to finding out if Mars has a Santa?

white tips, which can only be freshly exposed ice (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about 7 years ago | (#21760384)

Or something else.

But they are probably right, it was probably ice from the beverage the giant face dropped when he heard the dismaying news that NASA "proved" he was just a natural rock formation.

Not News. (2, Funny)

notnAP (846325) | about 7 years ago | (#21760784)

Possible Active Interplanetary Missile Complex Found On Mars


Now that's news.

inconsistency (1)

Fuji Kitakyusho (847520) | about 7 years ago | (#21762194)

FTA: "This is unique, and there are probably more," said Dr Neukum." Methinks Dr. Neukum needs to brush up on the definition of "unique".
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