Tuesday, January 13, 2009

NASA Announcement of Mars Life Coming Soon?

A new article on one of my least favorite web sites, SpaceRef.com, indicates that a new NASA announcement concerning the search for life on Mars will be made in the next couple of days. Speculation centers around the possibility that previous methane findings are most likely caused by biological, rather than abiotic sources. We of course told you this years ago.

NASA has known there is life on Mars since 1976. They have even suppressed proof of past life on Mars. We wish they would just get on with it.

As always with NASA, we remain skeptical. This would seem to be the long rumored news that the two presidential campaigns were briefed on in August, but who knows?

Here is the official press release.

23 comments:

T'Zairis said...

It would seem obvious that they ought to be coming clean about life on Mars, but with NASA, who can tell??? They seem to follow a pattern of building up to what might be a big announcement only to spin-doctor it away at the last possible moment. This has always struck me as an attempt to have their cake (secrecy about Mars data) and eat it too (keep public interest up so they can get funding).

At the very least they owe both you and RCH a bouquet of crinoids each...

Peace,

T'Zairis

marsandro said...

I'd like to see how they
propose to explain away
the RODABEARS!

Imagine the on-site pictures taken by the
first landing party...with a Rodabear right
there in the picture, begging for food!

:-)

Hathor -- Running the Martian petting zoo

;-)

JimO said...

Definitely a must-hear presser...

...but quoting the Sun as a source for anything? Golly....

Sun: "Britain’s top space expert Nick Pope last night hailed the new evidence of life as “the most important discovery of all time”.

Uh, Pope is that former military bureaucracy UFO clerk, right? "Space expert"?

Sun: "Nasa have controversially hit the headlines before for claiming evidence for Martians. In 1996, they said they had discovered fossilised organisms in a meteorite from the planet.
But other scientists were sceptical."

Uh, no. Ther scientists involved reported evidence that they felt was consistent with biological origin and asked other scientists to offer non-biological explanations. Many did. The issue remains open. NASA never claimed the evidence proved there had been life -- never (yeah, I know the Internet is full of stories that they did, but...).
Personally, I think the evidence DOES indicate biological origin -- half a billion years ago.

Now, the Mars methane these days -- biology has to be considered the leading hypothesis, but the universe is turning out not only to be just stranger than we imagine, it's probably stranger than we CAN imagine (per Haldane).

Mike Bara said...

LRE + lichens on Viking site rocks + meteor microbes + water + crinoid fossil + methane = life.

It's pretty much a slam dunk for me at this point, although it could still turn out to be wrong. Life seems to have emerged\survived in places even less hospitable than Mars.

Plus there's that whole Face on Mars thingy...

Mike Bara said...

And as far as The Sun goes, don't rip it until you've cheked out Page 3, pal. It beats the heck out of page 3 of Aviation Week...

marsandro said...

How's Pathfinder for a source?

It's photographed enough
Rodabears for a whole DEN.

Including one RIGHT BESIDE IT.

I mean, what does it take?

:-)

Hathor -- With a Rodabear in her lap

;-)

JimO said...

NASA Press Release:
DISCOVERY OF METHANE REVEALS MARS IS NOT A DEAD PLANET

WASHINGTON -- A team of NASA and university scientists has achieved
the first definitive detection of methane in the atmosphere of Mars.
This discovery indicates the planet is either biologically or
geologically active.

The team found methane in the Martian atmosphere by carefully
observing the planet throughout several Mars years with NASA's
Infrared Telescope Facility and the W.M. Keck telescope, both at
Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The team used spectrometers on the telescopes to
spread the light into its component colors, as a prism separates
white light into a rainbow. The team detected three spectral features
called absorption lines that together are a definitive signature of
methane.

"Methane is quickly destroyed in the Martian atmosphere in a variety
of ways, so our discovery of substantial plumes of methane in the
northern hemisphere of Mars in 2003 indicates some ongoing process is
releasing the gas," said Michael Mumma of NASA's Goddard Space Flight
Center in Greenbelt, Md. "At northern mid-summer, methane is released
at a rate comparable to that of the massive hydrocarbon seep at Coal
Oil Point in Santa Barbara, Calif." Mumma is lead author of a paper
describing this research that will appear in Science Express on
Thursday.

Methane, four atoms of hydrogen bound to a carbon atom, is the main
component of natural gas on Earth. Astrobiologists are interested in
these data because organisms release much of Earth's methane as they
digest nutrients. However, other purely geological processes, like
oxidation of iron, also release methane.

"Right now, we do not have enough information to tell whether biology
or geology -- or both -- is producing the methane on Mars," Mumma
said. "But it does tell us the planet is still alive, at least in a
geologic sense. It is as if Mars is challenging us, saying, 'hey,
find out what this means.' "

If microscopic Martian life is producing the methane, it likely
resides far below the surface where it is warm enough for liquid
water to exist. Liquid water is necessary for all known forms of
life, as are energy sources and a supply of carbon.

"On Earth, microorganisms thrive about 1.2 to 1.9 miles beneath the
Witwatersrand basin of South Africa, where natural radioactivity
splits water molecules into molecular hydrogen and oxygen," Mumma
said. "The organisms use the hydrogen for energy. It might be
possible for similar organisms to survive for billions of years below
the permafrost layer on Mars, where water is liquid, radiation
supplies energy, and carbon dioxide provides carbon. Gases, like
methane, accumulated in such underground zones might be released into
the atmosphere if pores or fissures open during the warm seasons,
connecting the deep zones to the atmosphere at crater walls or
canyons."

It is possible a geologic process produced the Martian methane, either
now or eons ago. On Earth, the conversion of iron oxide into the
serpentine group of minerals creates methane, and on Mars this
process could proceed using water, carbon dioxide and the planet's
internal heat. Although there is no evidence of active volcanism on
Mars today, ancient methane trapped in ice cages called clathrates
might be released now.

"We observed and mapped multiple plumes of methane on Mars, one of
which released about 19,000 metric tons of methane," said co-author
Geronimo Villanueva of the Catholic University of America in
Washington. "The plumes were emitted during the warmer seasons,
spring and summer, perhaps because ice blocking cracks and fissures
vaporized, allowing methane to seep into the Martian air."

According to the team, the plumes were seen over areas that show
evidence of ancient ground ice or flowing water. Plumes appeared over
the Martian northern hemisphere regions such as east of Arabia Terra,
the Nili Fossae region, and the south-east quadrant of Syrtis Major,
an ancient volcano about 745 miles across.

One method to test whether life produced this methane is by measuring
isotope ratios. Isotopes of an element have slightly different
chemical properties, and life prefers to use the lighter isotopes. A
chemical called deuterium is a heavier version of hydrogen. Methane
and water released on Mars should show distinctive ratios for
isotopes of hydrogen and carbon if life was responsible for methane
production. It will take future missions, like NASA's Mars Science
Laboratory, to discover the origin of the Martian methane.

The research was funded by the Planetary Astronomy Program at NASA
Headquarters in Washington and the Astrobiology Institute at NASA's
Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The University of
Hawaii manages NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility.

For images related to this finding, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mars

My notes:
Based on Keck Observatory scans – NASA orbiters have been doing mineralogy,
Not spectrometry for the most part.
mars atmosphere is active
Methane plumes are seen in certain regions (Terra Sabaea, Nili Fossae, Syrtis)
Methane then breaks down over months – faster than expected (H2O2 in atmosphere?)
It appears to be seasonal (lowest levels at equinoxes)
It could be geologic (simplest) – but other expected byproducts of this aren’t seen
It could be biologic (ties into seasons?)
Nobody knows yet.
Either way, it offers a potential area of life search for methane-eating organisms, no matter how the methane is originally produced.


The science coordinator, Michael Meyer, Mars program lead scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington, did make a comment at 00:57 into the 60-minute event, that will come back to haunt him on the internet forums: “We’re not at liberty to discuss the measurements made at other seasons, there may be more opportunities for that later….” For a science professional, that clearly refers to team embargo policies that require all scientists on the project to release their joint results simo, once each is satisfied with the analysis. For other watchers, it’s an admission of a massive gummint coverup. Take your choice.

Mike Bara said...

The seasonal aspect of it, along with the wave of darkening and the color changes in the Viking site rocks pushes me further towards life as the source.

NASA is cautious as always.

david nineteenpointfive said...

I said it before: NASA has got to cough up the truth about Mars in order for it to get a broke U.S. to cough up funding anymore.

rhoosh said...

BEFORE WE UNDERSTAND MARS, WE HAVE UNDERSTAND WHO IS GOD ! OR CREATION OF GOD ! WHY THE BIBLE AND QURAN SACRED BOOKS AROUND THE WORLD SPEAKS ON COMMING OF GOD

At the cutting-edge of "this world’s" scientific knowledge, we will find the divine truths in the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad :

How this process began which took place in the darkness itself—in the dark womb of space where God was in the process of his Own Self-Creation. He was atom itself, spinning and evolving in this darkness of space and orbs of consciousness. He alone defined what and who we are from the explosion of the first atom of thought. Therefore, his make corresponds to the “dark matter” or material of darkness out of which he produced himself to become mathematically the number one.

The reality of the above statement is constantly being revealed by recent discoveries in the fields of Astronomy, Archeology, Genetics and Biology; and nowhere has this reality been more evident than in the scientific data that have come from NASA’s Mars space probes in recent yearsMars and its life; "It’s our Mars and our people (meaning original) so God taught me." He goes on to say, "Our Fathers made it (Mars) with some type of intelligent beings like ourselves. They are not animals. They are intelligent people. ...They show signs of civilization and they look something similar to us. Not exactly, but they look similar. They walk on two feet and they are not White folks.It can be said that the Holy Qur’an makes a general assertion about the existence of life in the cosmos, but nowhere, and at no time, has there ever been a specific, precise description of life on another world predicted before the development of the science to confirm it!

The disclosure of this reality is not only beyond the scope of human knowledge and foresight, but could only have come from God himself

I RESPECT RICHARD HOAGLAND, AND ZACHARIA STITCHIN, DAVID CHILDRESS,
VAN SARTIMA ETC.. HONOR FOR THEY HARD WORK, IS NOT EASY !

david nineteenpointfive said...

I personally prefer a healthy belief in a divine being, but with no man-altered dogmas or interpretations attached. I'm a meat & potatoes guy. Just give me the hard, cold evidence and NASA's agreement that Dark Mission was right, before 2012 gets here.

marsandro said...

I HAVE IT!!!!!

I now know...
the true significance...
of the Year 2012:

It will be my Fiftieth Anniversary
of eating at Griff's.

"Serving The World's Best Hamburger"
since 1962.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griff's_Hamburgers

www.agilitynut.com/eateries/aframegriffs.html

:-)

Hathor -- In for a penny...

;-)

david nineteenpointfive said...

http://www.examiner.com/x-2024-Denver-UFO-Examiner~y2009m1d15-Whistleblowers-evidence-of-NASA-UFO-fraud-might-kill-UK-hacker-case

You have GOT to read this. Especially Mike.

david nineteenpointfive said...

http://www.examiner.com/x-2024-Denver-UFO-Examiner~y2009m1d15-Whistleblowers-evidence-of-NASA-UFO-fraud-might-kill-UK-hacker-case

A MUST read.

T'Zairis said...

Another interesting tidbit from the Denver UFO Examiner and quoted in a little news blurb on Whitley Strieber's website:

____________________

NASA cover up may mean he goes free! -

Besides the fact that Gary McKinnon has agreed to plead guilty to a minor charge so that he can be tried in the UK, there is ANOTHER reason why he may not be extradited to the US: NASA has erased all the evidence!

In the Denver UFO Examiner, Jeff Peckman writes, "Credible witnesses have claimed that NASA has altered or destroyed its photos containing images of UFOs. This could become a legal and public relations nightmare for NASA [if they try to bring McKinnon to trial]."

Revealing this could also mean a major cut in their budget since, as Peckman says, "…Part of NASA's mission is to look for signs of intelligent life in outer space. So asking for more money to 'look,' after they've already destroyed evidence that they 'found', is not going to be easy."

(For those who want to read the article on Strieber's site, here's the url:
http://www.unknowncountry.com/news
/?id=7342)
____________________

Regardless of the opinion one has of Mr. Strieber, it is just very interesting that the propensity of NASA to doctor/suppress certain kinds of information has been raised with regard to McKinnon's case. I am sure this very 'public relations nightmare' was behind the initial push to 1) attempt to extradite McKinnon in a big hurry, and 2) try him before a military tribunal (where the proceedings and records would not be made public).

In short, I think there has been a re-think of what would come out if McKinnon were to be tried openly in the U.S., which is why the powers that be are now allowing him to sign off on a fabricated guilty plea and remain in Great Britain for trial. My guess is they hope to 'make McKinnon go away' in the U.S. by not covering and/or killing news stories of British legal proceedings regarding his case.

The McKinnon 'dither-fest' is just more proof that NASA (and certain other government agencies) really do not want to come clean about what they have discovered 'out there'. Their embarrassment over lousy network security is as nothing compared to the furor that would erupt should NASA censorship (and outright destruction of the historical record) become a legally documented fact...

Peace,

T'Zairis

marsandro said...

You tell 'em T'Zairis!

With NASA's perpetual
insistence on the position
that "all we see is rocks,"
it seems that now they are

caught between a rock and a hard place.

:-)

Hathor -- Laughing hysterically...

;-)

T'Zairis said...

And you know that the longer they carry on and insist that there's 'nothing there but rocks', the more idiotic they will look when the weight of the evidence for Mars life is so huge that it can no longer be fudged out of existence.

Now that we've had the Stephenville and Phoenix Lights (not to mention yearly crop circles and glowing balls of light colliding with wind turbines which people snap pix of with their cell phones), Brookings is gone as a 'justification-crutch' for keeping a lid on things. People just don't riot in the streets, even when mile-wide UFOs fly over them, and to assert that telling people about microbes on Mars is going to cause widespread panic and chaos is utterly fatuous.

One would think that as it becomes more and more obvious that there is life elsewhere right in our very own solar system, that these self-appointed censors would be repositioning themselves to minimize the ferocious damage to their professional reputations/credibility that is about to occur. But, no-o-o...

Frankly, I don't understand the mindset.

Peace,

T'Zairis

marsandro said...

Hmmm...

Perhaps they have some "other"
reason for this foolishness
that they keep under wraps?

But what could it possibly be?

My lion-like mentality is completely befuddled.

I'm a puzzled little pussycat!

:-)

Hathor -- Musing the possibilities

;-)

T'Zairis said...

Well, the only other thing I can think of is that they are perhaps going for a reverse 100th-monkey-effect-- you know, if they keep saying 'no life, no life, no life' they can somehow keep the people who do know that there is life (and they themselves would be included in the 'those who know' column) from overly influencing the planetary morphogenic field and tipping the collective mindset into 'disclosure mode'.

Of course, this tactic is doomed to failure as human beings are not the only influence on the planetary Consciousness-field...

I know this musing may seem a little 'out there', but given the occult/mind manipulation (of astronauts) strands in the whole NASA story, I have to think that certain NASA subsets understand the idea of a Consciousness-field quite well, and also have some basic understanding of how to go about manipulating/massaging said C-field.

This is the only thing that even makes semi-sense to me, as I really can't see these guys committing professional suicide en masse, especially when the evidence for life on Mars is mounting up the way that it is. Their intransigence-- a virtually dogmatic 'no life' stance-- in the face of other nations' space missions, etc., is completely nonsensical from a purely professional (and ultra-rational) viewpoint, but it does have a strange sort of logic to it from a consciousness-manipulation angle.

Peace,

T'Zairis

marsandro said...

Interesting view...

One is then given to wondering
why they should vest themselves
so heavily in such a position
so difficult to maintain, and
with so certain an outcome.

I remain as puzzled as ever....

100th monkey and all.... :-

:-)

Hathor -- Probing the darkness...

;-)

P.S.: Could Brookings possibly carry such
weight? Even yet?

And over lichens, crinoids, and rodabears?

:-)

T'Zairis said...

Oh, I was just thinking aloud... and not censoring myself.

Actually, I suspect it is a complex of reasons-- some people like living in 'certainty boxes', some are elitist info-hoarders, some are power-hungry, some are greedy, some are fearful-- I think there are probably at least a dozen basic motivations for what is going on.

What I really wish is that some of the more benighted folks invested in all the weird game-playing would just get over their petty-concerns-fixations and look at the bigger picture. Hopefully then they would begin to understand the long-term harm that long-term secrecy has produced. I'm not holding my breath, though...

Peace,

T'Zairis

SactoMan01 said...

I'd put my money that we'll hear with a few months more information about the what is generating the methane on the planet. My guess is that there are still at least some sort of microbial life living about 1,000 mm or deeper in the soil, living off the water still trapped in the soil that deep into the ground. Alas, don't expect life right on the surface due to the atmospheric pressure being only 1% of Earth's atmospheric pressure and the thin Martian atmosphere allowing deadly radiation from the Sun reaching the surface.

marsandro said...

Then again...

That's assuming that "data" is
anywhere near the truth.

The ORIGINAL data indicated something more
like 0.67 Tor, approximately.

But, that was promptly quashed, and replaced
with a claim of "0.1 Tor" or some such.

I doubt the "error" was anywhere near so
large as subsequently claimed.

More like, it slipped out, and somebody got
their wrists slapped---HARD.

:-)

Hathor -- Testing the air at Cydonia

;-)

P.S.: Parachutes appear to work awfully well
in the Martian "vacuum," as we have seen in
NASA's own photos from orbit.

And before anyone makes an analogy to the
"sun shield" on the Skylab "blowing in the
suborbital breeze," I would point out that
the latter's relative wind velocity was on
the order of five miles per second.

Bit of a difference....

:-)