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Show me the Water on Mars

MARSDAILY

NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 29, 2015


Dark, narrow streaks on Martian slopes such as these at Hale Crater are inferred to be formed by seasonal flow of water on contemporary Mars. The streaks are roughly the length of a football field. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona 

New findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.

Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.

“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water – albeit briny – is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”

These downhill flows, known as recurring slope lineae (RSL), often have been described as possibly related to liquid water. The new findings of hydrated salts on the slopes point to what that relationship may be to these dark features.

The hydrated salts would lower the freezing point of a liquid brine, just as salt on roads here on Earth causes ice and snow to melt more rapidly. Scientists say it’s likely a shallow subsurface flow, with enough water wicking to the surface to explain the darkening.

“We found the hydrated salts only when the seasonal features were widest, which suggests that either the dark streaks themselves or a process that forms them is the source of the hydration. In either case, the detection of hydrated salts on these slopes means that water plays a vital role in the formation of these streaks,” said Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, lead author of a report on these findings published Sept. 28 by Nature Geoscience.

Ojha first noticed these puzzling features as a University of Arizona undergraduate student in 2010, using images from the MRO’s High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). HiRISE observations now have documented RSL at dozens of sites on Mars. The new study pairs HiRISE observations with mineral mapping by MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM).

The spectrometer observations show signatures of hydrated salts at multiple RSL locations, but only when the dark features were relatively wide. When the researchers looked at the same locations and RSL weren’t as extensive, they detected no hydrated salt.

Ojha and his co-authors interpret the spectral signatures as caused by hydrated minerals called perchlorates. The hydrated salts most consistent with the chemical signatures are likely a mixture of magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate.

Some perchlorates have been shown to keep liquids from freezing even when conditions are as cold as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 Celsius). On Earth, naturally produced perchlorates are concentrated in deserts, and some types of perchlorates can be used as rocket propellant.

Perchlorates have previously been seen on Mars. NASA’s Phoenix lander and Curiosity rover both found them in the planet’s soil, and some scientists believe that the Viking missions in the 1970s measured signatures of these salts. However, this study of RSL detected perchlorates, now in hydrated form, in different areas than those explored by the landers. This also is the first time perchlorates have been identified from orbit.

MRO has been examining Mars since 2006 with its six science instruments.
“The ability of MRO to observe for multiple Mars years with a payload able to see the fine detail of these features has enabled findings such as these: first identifying the puzzling seasonal streaks and now making a big step towards explaining what they are,” said Rich Zurek, MRO project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

For Ojha, the new findings are more proof that the mysterious lines he first saw darkening Martian slopes five years ago are, indeed, present-day water.

“When most people talk about water on Mars, they’re usually talking about ancient water or frozen water,” he said. “Now we know there’s more to the story. This is the first spectral detection that unambiguously supports our liquid water-formation hypotheses for RSL.”

The discovery is the latest of many breakthroughs by NASA’s Mars missions.
“It took multiple spacecraft over several years to solve this mystery, and now we know there is liquid water on the surface of this cold, desert planet,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “It seems that the more we study Mars, the more we learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future.”

There are eight co-authors of the Nature Geoscience paper, including Mary Beth Wilhelm at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California and Georgia Tech; CRISM Principal Investigator Scott Murchie of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland; and HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona. Others are at Georgia Tech, the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and Laboratoire de Planetologie et Geodynamique in Nantes, France.

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My iPhone is going with me to Mars

Communication with Mars and Earth

I am taking my iPhone with me to Mars.

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The students working on the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures are coming up with creative ways to simulate how we will communicate with each other on Mars. We are experimenting with custom software and the iPhone 6. Bob Barboza has written custom software taking advantage of artificial intelligence.

Our simulated Mars communication software has to include humanoid robots and students located in different countries from around the world. Microsoft is looking at letting on have some Skype telephone here on Earth. We will take full advance of the new iPad Professional. This is only the beginning. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Suprschool@aol.com

www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com and http://www.KidsTalkRadioWorld.com.

Communications with Earth is relatively straightforward during the half-sol when Earth is above the Martian horizon. NASA and ESA included communications relay equipment in several of the Mars orbiters, so Mars already has communications satellites. While these will eventually wear out, additional orbiters with communication relay capability are likely to be launched before any colonization expeditions are mounted.

The one-way communication delay due to the speed of light ranges from about 3 minutes at closest approach (approximated by perihelion of Mars minus aphelion of Earth) to 22 minutes at the largest possible superior conjunction (approximated by aphelion of Mars plus aphelion of Earth). Real-time communication, such as telephone conversations or Internet Relay Chat, between Earth and Mars would be highly impractical due to the long time lags involved. NASA has found that direct communication can be blocked for about two weeks every synodic period, around the time of superior conjunction when the Sun is directly between Mars and Earth, although the actual duration of the communications blackout varies from mission to mission depending on various factors—such as the amount of link margin designed into the communications system, and the minimum data rate that is acceptable from a mission standpoint. In reality most missions at Mars have had communications blackout periods of the order of a month.

A satellite at the L4 or L5 Earth–Sun Lagrangian point could serve as a relay during this period to solve the problem; even a constellation of communications satellites would be a minor expense in the context of a full colonization program. However, the size and power of the equipment needed for these distances make the L4 and L5 locations unrealistic for relay stations, and the inherent stability of these regions, although beneficial in terms of station-keeping, also attracts dust and asteroids, which could pose a risk. Despite that concern, the STEREO probes passed through the L4 and L5 regions without damage in late 2009.

Recent work by the University of Strathclyde‘s Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, in collaboration with the European Space Agency, has suggested an alternative relay architecture based on highly non-Keplerian orbits. These are a special kind of orbit produced when continuous low-thrust propulsion, such as that produced from an ion engine or solar sail, modifies the natural trajectory of a spacecraft. Such an orbit would enable continuous communications during solar conjunction by allowing a relay spacecraft to “hover” above Mars, out of the orbital plane of the two planets. Such a relay avoids the problems of satellites stationed at either L4 or L5 by being significantly closer to the surface of Mars while still maintaining continuous communication between the two planets.


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International Science Teachers and Studnets Are Going to a STEM STAR PARTY Online

Kids Talk Radio STEM STAR Party

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Our NASA STEM Classroom at 49,000 Feet

Bob Barboza and Kids Talk Radio Science is Hosting A NASA SOFIA STEM STAR Party

 

 

Tuesday, September 15 6:30 p.m. in the Los Altos United Methodist Church Lounge

Astronomer Jerry Larsen and space science and robotic’s educator Bob Barboza will co-host a live teleconversation with two unique astronauts riding NASA’s 747 jumbo jet to the edge of space. On board will be Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols and Traveling Space Museum’s Ivor Dawson, peering through NASA’s stratospheric observatory for infrared astronomy (SOFIA). Once we connect with them, we will be able to see into areas of the cosmos where new stars are being born. Astronauts of all ages, as well as curious onlookers are encouraged to attend. For more information visit Bob Barboza websites:

www.KidsTalkRadioLA.com

www.OccupyMars.WordPress.com

www.SuperSchoolSoftware.com

Bring your laptops and connect to our NASA 747.  We have free WiFi at the church.

http://www.Nichelle@Starpower.com

Password: SOFIAParty2015

Location:

Los Altos Methodist Church

5950 East Willow Street

Long Beach, CA 90815

Time: 6:30 PM. to 8:00 PM.

Agenda:

  • NASA SOFIA: Photo Essay
  • Space Robots and the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures
  • International Dot Day
  • Astronomy in the Community
  • Hands On Space Telescope Workshop

* STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

** STEAM++ (science, technology, engineering, visual and performing arts, mathematics, computer languages and foreign languages).


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Intel to End Sponsorship of Science Talent Search

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Who will have the resourches to take over this important sponsorship?  The future science leaders of the world could pass through this organization.  Where is the next cure for cancer come from?   Bob Barboza attended this event in Loa Angeles and he interviewed 30 of the top students in the fields of engineering and science.  He was looking for intellectual support for the Occupy Mars Learning Adventures.  I hope that they can find a new sponsor quickly.

Kids Talk Radio Science News

Press Release:

SAN FRANCISCO — Intel, the world’s largest maker of semiconductors, is dropping its longtime support of the most prestigious science and mathematics competition for American high school students.

The contest, called the Science Talent Search, brings 40 finalists to Washington for meetings with leaders in government and industry and counts among its past competitors eight Nobel Prize winners, along with chief executives, university professors and award-winning scientists.

Over the years, the award for work in so-called STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — has made national headlines and been an important indicator of America’s educational competitiveness and national priorities. When it was started as an essay competition in 1942, its first topic was “How science can help win the war.” The male winner, or “Top Boy,” went on to develop an artificial kidney. The “Top Girl” became an ophthalmologist. A single winner was first named in 1949.
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Diane M. Bryant, a senior vice president of Intel, in San Francisco. Intel has earmarked $100 million for cloud computing.Intel to Invest Heavily in Software That Enhances Cloud-Computing CapabilitiesAUG. 24, 2015
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Sputnik 1 in October 1957.Milestones in Science EducationSEPT. 2, 2013
“When I was a finalist in 1961, it was the Sputnik generation, when America was competing with Russia to get into space,” said Mary Sue Coleman, a former president of the University of Michigan and a current member of the board of the Society for Science and the Public, which administers the contest. “It was a national obsession. People in school cheered us on like we were star athletes. I got letters from the heads of corporations.”

Dropping support for the high school contest is a puzzling decision by Intel, since it costs about $6 million a year — about 0.01 percent of Intel’s $55.6 billion in revenue last year — and it generates significant good will for the sponsoring organization. Intel has also increased the size and scope of the award, giving more than $1.6 million annually to students and schools, compared with $207,000 when it began its sponsorship in 1998.

The Silicon Valley giant took over sponsorship of the award with great fanfare from Westinghouse, becoming only the second company to back the prize in its 73-year history. At the time it was seen as something of a passing of the torch in American industry, to a company then at the heart of the Information Age from one renowned for industrial work in things like nuclear power plants.

Craig Barrett, a former chief executive of Intel, is even a member of the board of the Society for Science and the Public. He said he was “surprised and a little disappointed” by Intel’s decision.

“It’s such a premier event in terms of young people and technology,” Mr. Barrett said. “But they appear to be more interested in applied things, like” Maker Faire, an all-ages event that showcases homemade engineering projects.

Mr. Barrett said he had talked with Brian M. Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive for the last two years, about the contest. Though Mr. Barrett thought it was inappropriate to aggressively lobby his old employer, he termed the annual cost “a rounding error” against Intel’s finances.

“My only comment to Brian was that we’d move forward,” said Mr. Barrett, who became Intel’s chief executive in 1998 and retired as chairman of Intel’s board in 2009. He now runs a chain of charter schools, called Basis, from Phoenix.

There is little indication that the contest has lost its prestige. Applications have held steady at around 1,800 a year for a decade. And in March, President Obama met with the Talent Search finalists at the White House.

Gail Dundas, a spokeswoman for Intel, could not say why it was ending its support, but she said the company, which has struggled with a shift to mobile computing devices but is still one of the tech industry’s most influential names, is “proud of its legacy” in supporting the award.

The Science Talent Search is open to any student in the United States or its territories in his or her last year of secondary school. Independent individual research by thousands of students is narrowed down to 300 semifinalists. Of those, 40 finalists are chosen.

Previous finalists include Ray Kurzweil, a well-known author and director of engineering at Google, and Brian Greene, a best-selling science writer. Thomas Leighton, the chief executive of the Internet company Akamai, was a finalist and is now on the society’s board.

The finalists travel to Washington, where they present their work, meet government and private sector leaders and have their projects reviewed by a panel of judges. There were nine top awards in 2015, worth $35,000 to $150,000.

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Senator Barack Obama at the 2006 Science Talent Search. Credit Society for Science and the Public
This year, Intel gave out three first prizes to highlight the variety of the research conducted. One student developed an algorithm to study adaptive mutations across the human genome. Another studied how phonons, the basic particles of sound, interact with electrons.

“They have been an excellent partner for almost 20 years, but their corporate priorities have changed,” said Maya Ajmera, president of the Society for Science and the Public.

To more recent winners, Intel may have received a benefit besides publicity — it got to teach the young stars more about Intel.

Intel has peaked with its microprocessors for PCs. Time to pass the torch to the next leader. Google?
Jim Lynn 16 minutes ago
Although I’m sure SSP will find another marquee sponsor pretty quickly, this is sad news. “Intel” has become a household name in my home…
Country Squiress 16 minutes ago
Some corporations will spend $8,000,000 for a sixty second commercial aired while 24 contemporary gladiators take a break from inflicting…
“They showed us stuff they were doing with wearable technologies and machine learning,” a type of artificial intelligence, said Noah Golowich, a freshman at Harvard. He shared this year’s prize for his work in a branch of mathematics known as the Ramsey theory, which finds structure in complex systems. “I didn’t know much about all the things Intel does before I went to Washington.”

Ms. Ajmera said her group would start looking for a new corporate sponsor on Wednesday. “We pride ourselves on recognizing thousands of leaders in science and technology and hope to keep doing so,” she said.

Other board members expressed confidence that national competition would produce another corporate sponsor.

Ms. Coleman was a finalist in 1961 for researching drug-resistant bacteria. First prize that year was awarded to a study of bowing in the courtship behavior of the male ring dove.

She said she was “very aware” that Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive of Google, is a Michigan graduate and that Google might be a candidate. “This isn’t a huge amount of money for what it represents,” she said. “I assume another corporation will step up to this.”

Intel informed the group of its decision about 18 months ago, she said, and it will continue to support the award through 2017, in keeping with an earlier contract.

Intel will continue to support a separate talent search aimed at international student competition at least through 2019, which is Intel’s contractual term, said Ms. Dundas, the Intel spokeswoman.

In addition to the Intel-sponsored prize, the society also runs a science and technology competition for middle school students, financed by the Broadcom Foundation. Although Broadcom, another semiconductor company, was bought this year, the Broadcom Foundation is independent and will continue to support the prize.

“Intel’s interests have changed,” said Ms. Coleman. “But we still think this is a very attractive prize to a number of corporations. It is still really important for the nation.”

Correction: September 9, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated the surname of the Harvard freshman who shared this year’s prize for his work in mathematics. He is Noah Golowich, not Gulwich. The article also misspelled the surname of a spokeswoman for Intel. She is Gail Dundas, not Dudas.


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Wanted Science Fiction Writiers from Around the World: The Kids Talk Radio Science Show

Wanted Science Fiction Writers

Science Fiction Writiner Wanted

The Kids Talk Radio show in the USA is looking to hire science fiction writers from around the world.   We are working on ten original stories centered around ten aliens that we have created for our new visual jazz opera called, “The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures.” This opportunity is open to students and adults. Students in grades 5 though 12 are welcome.  This project is open to other with a creative mind for science fiction story writing.

http://www.OccupyMars.Wordpress.com

Send your biography and a one page-writing sample to Suprschool@aol.com. We are happy to answer your e-mail questions.