APOD 15th May 06

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
aichip
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Mars information

Post by aichip » Sat May 20, 2006 12:49 am

Thank you both. I appreciate having the feedback. What makes Mars a bit different from most astronomy studies is that we have "geological" data and meteorological data. We can see it as a world with a past very similar to our own.

It is true that I have a great interest in Mars because it can confirm or refute many theories we have about our own world and its development. Not only that, it is most likely our next target for serious colonization efforts, and locating basic resources such as water and metals will be at the top of the list.

Having a clear understanding of its past will enrich us and allow us more options for the race as a whole.
Cheers!

Sir Charles W. Shults III

harry
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Post by harry » Sun May 21, 2006 12:04 am

Hello aichip

If I have total recall, Mars maybe able to be settled on.

Smile, its a small joke from the movie.

I will take great ineterest in reading your links. Do not stop.
Harry : Smile and live another day.

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Post by Martin » Sun May 21, 2006 1:37 am

I don't think there is enough conclusive evidence to make absolute comparisons of Earth's volcanos to others on different planets or their orbiting companions. Much more research and data is required for that. Take into account the low gravity of mars and mechanics not yet fully understood , I believe we still have a possible source with the volcano.

Another option would be water/glacier. Fast moving water can relocate even the largest of rocks and glaciers eventually spit everything out.

Of course there is the impact factor from a collision of an extra terrestrial body.

harry
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Post by harry » Sun May 21, 2006 9:52 am

Hello All

Can we assume that the Earth and the rest of the solar system had the same origin.

From this point can we draw some similarities.

Just a thought.

With Mars I'm just lost in space.
Harry : Smile and live another day.

aichip
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compare to these "rocks"

Post by aichip » Mon May 22, 2006 6:51 am

For fun, you might want to compare the rocks in the original Mars image with these:
http://aslo.org/photopost/data/508/8200 ... ow_res.jpg
http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~bullock/As ... olites.gif
http://www-cyanosite.bio.purdue.edu/ima ... trom13.jpg

These are stromatolites and they are composed of cyanobacteria and the grow a mineral structure similar to coral. The resulting structure is porous or layered or even vesicular. You would not be able to distinguish between these stromatolites and the rocks in the Mars image. It is consistent with the past oceanic history of Mars and it is not at odds with any physics.

Note that stromatolites would also have growth, like the ring structures in the vesicular rocks in the Mars image. In other words, they are consistent in more than one way with the image contents and the history of the planet.

For Martin, if you posit an explosive source of the rocks from a volcano, then you must have a material in the volcano that can change state from solid or liquid to a vapor in an explosive manner. Also remember that this material would leave traces in the chemistry of the planet and atmosphere. Water fills both requirements easily and is known as a product of heating magma.

Things are different on Io because its volcanoes are mostly sulfur and contain gaseous sulfur compounds in excess. Things are different on Triton because nitrogen is the active material that is vaporizing, producing the explosive force. Things are similar on Enceladus because water is the vaporizing agent. For any terrestrial body we will expect that magma that formed from the same materials (the protoplanetary nebula) will contain similar materials.

Ammonia and methane trapped underground and heated in molten rock and iron will form water vapor, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, graphite and petroleum. That part of the chemistry is pretty simple. Because of this, we have a source for much of our atmosphere and water right away. It also explains how the water is emerging from volcanoes- it was formed in the same place the magma was molten.

In summary, we would expect that most any terrestrial planet will have water as a major part of its volcanic chemistry.

For Harry, I must agree that since our planets all formed from the same nebula, and we are told that the sun was not yet lighted until after the planets formed, then we must assume that the composition was likely uniform throughout when the inner planets came to be. Only later, when the sun lit and produced solar wind and light pressure, did any significant separation of those materials occur. It would think that the gas giants were pretty good samples of the early nebula, barring changes in their atmospheres through chemistry.

This also explains why Jupiter is so dry - not being a terrestrial world, it could not have formed as much water through magma processes as the terrestrial worlds did.

In one stroke, we see how the Earth has so much water and Jupiter does not, and it explains why volcanoes on Earth emit so much water. It also points to the thought that Mars probably has underground springs even today as its water seeps up through the mantle and emerges. Estimates are that there are at least ten oceans' worth of water still trapped in our mantle today on Earth.
Cheers!

Sir Charles W. Shults III

harry
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Post by harry » Mon May 22, 2006 11:40 am

Harry : Smile and live another day.

aichip
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Jupiter and water

Post by aichip » Mon May 22, 2006 1:41 pm

True, there is plenty of water ice in the Jovian moon system. The paradox is that Jupiter itself is very poor in water. Galileo dropped a probe into the clouds and took measurements on the way down into the planet and found almost none, and this prompted questions about where the water might be.

Some have speculated that processes deep in the planet have consumed the water, but I feel that the lack of it possibly reflects the conditions of the stellar nebula from which our planets formed.

Consider how much water was outgassed from the terrestrial planets and then carried to the outer solar system by solar wind and light pressure. Some of this material would have found Jupiter's gravity well a fine place to settle.

It is likely that some combination of these factors is responsible for what we see in the gas giants today.
Cheers!

Sir Charles W. Shults III

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Post by BMAONE23 » Mon May 22, 2006 2:01 pm

One possible way that Jupiter could have formed without the benifit of water and still be where it is might be the theory that Jupiter formed close to the sun, where water could not have survived, then migrate thru the asteroid belt collecting smaller moons, to the outer solar system regions, capturing several icy kuiper belt objects as larger moons before setteling into its current orbit.

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Post by Martin » Mon May 22, 2006 8:49 pm

I guess my first thought on Olympus Mons being a candidate for rock distribution was the image I had in my mind from Mt Saint Helens. As I'm sure you recall, during the last major eruption, the initial blast ejected an entire side of the mountain -it exploded. Now picture a volcano much larger on a planet with less gravity. Surely this can account for some rock dispersement. It’s the initial blast that I thought was relevant not the lava flow.
Likewise, the geological history of mars is still unknown. Although, we are gathering more and more clues to the puzzle –it is still a mystery!! I don’t believe we have reached a stage where we can use the Earth’s geology as an EXACT comparison. :idea:

aichip
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Mars versus Earth volcanic features

Post by aichip » Mon May 22, 2006 9:08 pm

For Martin:

I agree that it would be erroneous to assume the exact same processes for the two worlds, but physics and chemistry are the same everywhere. We would have to come up with alternate explanations that produced similar results, and we would also expect that those materials and processes would leave traces we might be able to detect.

But one thing sticks out clearly - distribution. If an explosion of material from Olympus Mons threw these rocks this far, then the distribution should increase as we near the caldera. We would expect far more material closer to the volcano, having the same composition and being the same age.

We would have to create a map of these rocks and see how their distribution matches up to the location of the volcano. That might be possible with an orbiter. If we saw an inverse square or other similar relationship in rock density, then we could conclude that Olympus Mons was the source pretty safely.

To BMAONE23:

If Jupiter had migrated from the inner solar system to the outer solar system, then the present orbits of the planets would have been severely disrupted. It is pretty universally accepted that this did not happen, just based on the harmonic relationships between the inner planets (in their orbits, not in the silly astrological sense). We know that the Earth and other inner planets could not have accreted under those conditions. Look at the asteroid belt as a debris field from material that could not form a planet due to the disruptive effects of Jupiter's gravity.

We also know that the Earth's orbit had to be pretty much as it is because of such formations as tidal rhythmites and of "fossil" traces in the geological record. Such a change would have defintely altered the Earth-Moon system severly, but there is no such discontinuity in the geological record.

From those standpoints, we can say that Jupiter could not have resided in the inner solar system. If somebody has some good evidence to the contrary, it would be interesting to see.
Cheers!

Sir Charles W. Shults III

harry
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Post by harry » Tue May 23, 2006 2:09 am

Hello All

Jupiter

http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/status960318.html
The scientists continue to report that the probe apparently entered Jupiter's atmosphere near the southern edge of a so- called infrared hot spot, which is believed to be a region of reduced clouds. "The probe's nephelometer observed only one distinct cloud layer, and it is tenuous by Earth standards. It is likely to be an ammonium hydrosulfide cloud," said Young.
Three distinct cloud layers (an upper layer of ammonia crystals, a middle layer of ammonium hydrosulfide, and a thick bottom layer of water and ice crystals) were expected.

Because of the extreme gravity I would think water would either be frozen at the surface or still be within the matter of Jupiter.

As on earth water is close to the surface in cloud form. Increase gravity by 200 you would expect the water to remain within.

The ratio of helium to hydrogen by mass is key to developing theories of planetary evolution. In the Sun, this value is about 25 percent. During a January 1996 press conference, Galileo probe scientists estimated that this number for Jupiter was 14 percent. More comprehensive analysis of results from the probe's helium abundance detector has raised this estimate for Jupiter to 24 percent.

"This increase implies that the amount of helium in the Jovian atmosphere is close to the original amount that Jupiter gathered as it formed from the primitive solar nebula that spawned the planets," according to Galileo probe project scientist Dr. Richard Young of NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA.

"The revised helium abundance also indicates that gravitational settling of helium toward the interior of Jupiter has not occurred nearly as fast as it apparently has on Saturn, where the approximate helium-to-hydrogen ratio is just six percent," said Young.

Helium and hydrogen are much lighter compared to water and for this reason I would expect water to remain within the main mass body.
Harry : Smile and live another day.

harry
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Post by harry » Tue May 23, 2006 2:19 am

Hello All

Jupiter

http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/galileo/status960318.html
The scientists continue to report that the probe apparently entered Jupiter's atmosphere near the southern edge of a so- called infrared hot spot, which is believed to be a region of reduced clouds. "The probe's nephelometer observed only one distinct cloud layer, and it is tenuous by Earth standards. It is likely to be an ammonium hydrosulfide cloud," said Young.
Three distinct cloud layers (an upper layer of ammonia crystals, a middle layer of ammonium hydrosulfide, and a thick bottom layer of water and ice crystals) were expected.

Because of the extreme gravity I would think water would either be frozen at the surface or still be within the matter of Jupiter.

As on earth water is close to the surface in cloud form. Increase gravity by 200 you would expect the water to remain within.

The ratio of helium to hydrogen by mass is key to developing theories of planetary evolution. In the Sun, this value is about 25 percent. During a January 1996 press conference, Galileo probe scientists estimated that this number for Jupiter was 14 percent. More comprehensive analysis of results from the probe's helium abundance detector has raised this estimate for Jupiter to 24 percent.

"This increase implies that the amount of helium in the Jovian atmosphere is close to the original amount that Jupiter gathered as it formed from the primitive solar nebula that spawned the planets," according to Galileo probe project scientist Dr. Richard Young of NASA's Ames Research Center, Mountain View, CA.

"The revised helium abundance also indicates that gravitational settling of helium toward the interior of Jupiter has not occurred nearly as fast as it apparently has on Saturn, where the approximate helium-to-hydrogen ratio is just six percent," said Young.

Helium and hydrogen are much lighter compared to water and for this reason I would expect water to remain within the main mass body.
Harry : Smile and live another day.

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Post by l3p3r » Tue May 23, 2006 3:04 am

I think that sounds fair enough harry. Doesn't seem right that the moon system has lots of ice water and jupiter iteself doesn't.

aichip
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Jupiter data

Post by aichip » Wed May 24, 2006 4:26 am

Jupiter really does not have such extreme gravity. The best figure to date is barely over 2.5 gees at the "nominal" surface. Since it's fluid from the top of the atmosphere right down to the inner rocky core, there is no actual surface. The gas slowly merges into liquid due to the immense pressure. It passes through a supercritical phase where it is not possible to tell where the atmosphere ends and the liquid begins. If not for this, you might expect to see a world sized ocean of liquid hydrogen (although thermal effects will stop that from happening).

Now, as for the settling question. Anyone who looks at the energy that Jupiter emits sees that it is twice as great as the energy it receives from the sun. The settling process cannot occur in this case because of convection and turbulence. The planet's bulk is constantly being stirred due to these thermal effects, not to mention the Coriolis forces as it rotates. The helium just plain can't settle out. It would require a very quiet and stable environment for such settling to occur.

Saturn has far less energy output and in that case we might expect to see some settling. Here is another odd fact. Jupiter has a corona, just as the sun does. But Jupiter's corona is much hotter than the corona of the sun. The only reason we cannot see it is because it is so diffuse.
Cheers!

Sir Charles W. Shults III

harry
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Post by harry » Wed May 24, 2006 9:00 am

hELLO aichip

What do you do for a living?

It sounds like you know what you are talking about.

Good to see
Harry : Smile and live another day.

aichip
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Occupation

Post by aichip » Thu May 25, 2006 11:38 pm

Hello, Harry.

I'm a scientist and presently doing research on energy (as related to orbital power) and Mars. One thing that is of special interest is producing solar power in space for operating propulsion systems. Long term missions could use this power to operate engines not too different from ion thrusters in concept but much more powerful.
Cheers!

Sir Charles W. Shults III