Sunday, July 12, 2015

"Mars": a simple pocket space guide has more pictures than anything

The pocket space guide “Mars” by Robert Godwin (2005) contains some of the most numerous and best actual photos of the actual landscapes from Mars from many probes.

The booklet (ISBN 978-1-894959-26-1, Apogee, from Burlington, Ontario) has about 50 pages of text history, going back to the 19th Century. Much of this goes back to speculations about the “Canals”. 

The Viking lander in 1976 performed several experiments which were supposed to support to possibility of organic chemistry and life on Mars.  They were at best unconvincing, although Dan Fry (of Understanding, an organization near Phoenix with which I interacted a lot in the 1970s) thought that the results could be interpreted positively.  In 1996, a meteorite found in Antarctica with signs of fossil life raised controversy.

More recent interests have concerned whether methane found on Mars could have come from other than organic processes. And the evidence increases that Mars once had large oceans.

Update: September 28, 2015

NASA has said it is convinced it can prove that some salt water still flows in some valleys or channels on Mars today, press release

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