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 Wonders of the Universe

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Wonders of the Universe   Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:07 pm

The second part of the BBC series Wonders of the Universe was shown this evening on BBC2. It's an hour long programme but absolutely riveting. You can watch a replay here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zdhtg

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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:17 pm

I clicked on the link, but it said that the video was not available in my area.
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dmondeo
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:36 am

Because of BBC world distribution agreements it is not available for viewing in your area yet Abe. Perhaps it will be when it is available on TV in your area.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:26 pm

Not available to me either.
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:02 pm

In the book, Physics of the Earth, Frank D. Stacey suggests that the earth and the moon formed together as a co-planet. He quoted other scientists who had similar ideas. But conventional wisdom has not included this idea


It would be something like this and would account for the earth and the moon being round
//

\
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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:53 am

Humanity's first glimpses of the surface of Mars back in the 1970s showed a stunning Earth-like environment. This image was snapped by one of the twin Viking landers, from Utopia Planitia in the northern temperate regions of the Red Planet:

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dmondeo
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:58 am

I told them nasa boys to stop taking photos of my back yard!
Shows you what industrial strength weed killer can do to the lawn though!
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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:09 pm

dmondeo wrote:
I told them nasa boys to stop taking photos of my back yard!
Shows you what industrial strength weed killer can do to the lawn though!


Laughing


This one shows frost, believe it or not, much like on a winter's morning here in England:



Only the "frost" here is actually not pure water-ice. It has frozen CO2 mixed in for good measure, since the thin Martian atmosphere is chiefly made up of carbon dioxide.

A constant stream of robotic missions has visited Mars ever since Mariner 9 first achieved a closed orbit around the Red Planet going back to November 13th, 1971. Mariner 9 was the first spacecraft to orbit another world beyond the Moon and it has its place in the NASA hall of fame:

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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:25 pm

OOps... sorry to hi-jack the thread, Shelagh!

I missed the episodes on BBC 2, but having watched it on your link provided above yes the programme is a real treat!
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dmondeo
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:07 am

I will certainly be getting the DVD boxset when it comes out. Like a Star @ heaven
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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:24 am

To date, $$$ millions $$$ have been spent on Mars exploration by NASA and, to a lesser extent, by the European Space Agency. The core objective of much of these efforts have been to look for possible microbial life which may possibly thrive in the Martian soil.

None of these missions have yet been successful, because I belive they have not been looking quite in the right places.

Going as far back as 2005 - and even 2003 - based upon everything I had learned up to that point I gradually formed the opinion that:-

"I'd really like to see future robots going deep into the floor of the Valles Marineris canyon system, which is about 5 or 6 km below the Martian 'mean sea level'. At such locations, the atmospheric pressure would be significantly greater and it is possible that liquid water could readily seep out of the water table...

Then also, those regions would get far less direct UV and harmful radiation exposure, being spots sheltered by the surrounding terrain, and it may just be possible for some primitive forms of life, such as algae or microbes to thrive under the conditions. Since the Valles Marineris canyon runs along the Martian equator, midday temperatures in such deep locations would probably average a comfy 20 degrees C or better all year round!

And if the seeping water there did vaporise into a localised 'cloud' that hung above the rocks, it could trap more heat from the daytime sun, to keep the place from plunging too far into the minus temperatures at night... keeping the locale comfortable for microscopic entities to possibly thrive...
I hope to see some future robotic missions that target the deep equatorial canyons of Mars, as that's where the greatest chances of locating any water or simple life would be, IMHO. "

From a Physics thread:

http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/index.php/t-87349.html


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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:13 am

Ahad,
I like your thinking. You may have good material for another book where Ahad takes a trip to Mars (or another planet) and discovers stuff. Shocked Space reporter. The trick is to get your reports back to earth.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:34 am

Emmelisa and Dell Planemaker go to Mars.

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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:02 am

Shelagh wrote:
Emmelisa and Dell Planemaker go to Mars.

Lucky them, Shelagh!

Martian sunsets are far, far more spectacular than any seen by any human eye:

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:34 am

Fabulous photograph!

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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:09 am

When I went to Death Valley, Nevada, back in 1996, I found it to be a complete salt pan... a dried out depression -282 feet below the mean sea level of the Earth. These places (as with the Dead Sea, which has a surface elevation of -1,388 feet according to wikipedia) and other depressions have higher atmospheric pressure than that which we experience at mean sea level. This means they can trap more heat from the Sun, and are consequently more hot. They are in fact the hottest places on our planet with the highest recorded temperatures.

This table shows the relationship between temperature and pressure at various elevations in our atmosphere: http://www.scss.tcd.ie/Stephen.Farrell/ipn/background/Braeunig/atmos.htm


So the same will be true on Mars. Hence, the best places to look for life in my humble opinion would be in the warmest and deepest depressions at or near the Martian equator.


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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:51 am

The place is actually called bad water and it borders into California going from Nevada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badwater_Basin

On the hot desert drive through Death Valley, we stopped over to briefly visit Furnace Creek, the world's hottest lodging place!


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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:29 am

Dear Abdul,
Thanks for posting that link.

I found the article very interesting. I remember 20 Mule Team Borax. What determination and ingenuity was put into getting the borax out. Wagons, mules, horses and all measuring 180 feet! What fortitude people were endowed with in the 19th century!

Love,
Betty
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:08 am

Betty, your mention of the Dead Sea brought back some memories. I swam in the Dead Sea, if you can call it swimming. It was more like floating. The salt was so dense that one floated on top. The worst part was getting water into the eyes. The burning was blinding. Getting out of the water with the heat and the body crusted with salt was very unpleasant. I don't recommend it unless they're looking for a new experience.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:46 am

Betty Fasig wrote:
Dear Abdul,
Thanks for posting that link.

I found the article very interesting. I remember 20 Mule Team Borax. What determination and ingenuity was put into getting the borax out. Wagons, mules, horses and all measuring 180 feet! What fortitude people were endowed with in the 19th century!

Love,
Betty

And Ronald Reagan hosted a show about it. Does anyone remember? Tales of the old west. Didn't they call it Death Valley Days?

There we some good stories on that show.

Being an aficionado of westerns, I remember.

Ann
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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:37 pm

Betty Fasig wrote:
What determination and ingenuity was put into getting the borax out. Wagons, mules, horses and all measuring 180 feet! What fortitude people were endowed with in the 19th century!

Love,
Betty

Betty,

Thank you for that interesting pointer back to Death Valley's history.

I'm always thinking people worked much harder in the olden days. There was less mechanical advantage using horses and wagons and other stuff that was demanding work in the heat of the sun. They didn't have half of the medical and social welfare we have today. Yet we still seem to complain and moan... and have more sickies from work. Some of the economic woes are a testimony to this no doubt.

Anyway, back on the subject. Because of its arid and dry conditions, Death Valley is actually used as a test bed before sending robots out into the Solar System. Here's an article on that:

http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exploration/big_dig.html


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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:45 pm

And just to prove I was really there... this is me standin in Death Valley's bad, bad water:




lol!


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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:52 pm

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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:16 pm

Dear Abdul,

Nice picture of you!

I can imagine the fun you had on that trip. I look at the barren mountain and the landscape without visible plant or animal. What is the composition of the rocks on the hill behind you. They look full of iron, being red.

I lived many years in Kingman, Arizona. We used to go to Bullhead City and sometimes over to Lake Havasu. Lake Mojave was in Bullhead City. We water skiied there. It was a balmy 132 degrees one day. It was the Valley National Bank employee picnic. My ex husband and I rode our motorcycles the 30 miles there.

The heat was gruesome. That kind of heat is hard to breath.

Living in Florida, I am surrounded by waterways, flora and fauna. I love all of that.

Florida has no rocks. I love rocks. To me they tell the story of this earth. I do not understand a lot of their language, but they do speak to me in their on way.
Here, I look for fossils on Beer Can Island. It is an island that was made when the bay was dredged deep enough for big ships to come into Tampa. The island is made of what they brought up from the floor of the ocean. I found a mastedon vertebra one day. That little man made island holds many such treasures. Of course, not many people know the treasures of the past are there. My son really loves old bones from millions of years ago. So do I.

Love,
Betty
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PostSubject: Re: Wonders of the Universe   Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:14 pm

I apologise in advance if this might not be your favorite thread... to have to revive it yet again...



The Valles Marineris canyon system on Mars, where I imagine the greatest chances of discovering simple microbial life would be, is much like the Grand Canyon on our own planet in Arizona/Utah, only much much more deeper.









It is perhaps more than just fortuitous that the deepest elevations on Mars also happen to coincide with the hottest parts of the planet... for the Valles Marineris canyon is situated just south of the Martian equator and well within the Martian tropics.

This bodes well for supporting simple forms of life, if such life had indeed managed to gain a foothold in the otherwise hostile environment...



The canyon is of course a really deep gash that cuts across the face of the planet:



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