Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by cmn32480 on Saturday October 01 2016, @07:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the mars-farts dept.

NASA's Curiosity rover has found evidence that chemistry in the surface material on Mars contributed dynamically to the makeup of its atmosphere over time. It's another clue that the history of the Red Planet's atmosphere is more complex and interesting than a simple legacy of loss.

The findings come from the rover's Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM, instrument suite, which studied the gases xenon and krypton in Mars' atmosphere. The two gases can be used as tracers to help scientists investigate the evolution and erosion of the Martian atmosphere. A lot of information about xenon and krypton in Mars' atmosphere came from analyses of Martian meteorites and measurements made by the Viking mission.

"What we found is that earlier studies of xenon and krypton only told part of the story," said Pamela Conrad, lead author of the report and SAM's deputy principal investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "SAM is now giving us the first complete in situ benchmark against which to compare meteorite measurements."

Of particular interest to scientists are the ratios of certain isotopes - or chemical variants - of xenon and krypton. The SAM team ran a series of first-of-a-kind experiments to measure all the isotopes of xenon and krypton in the Martian atmosphere. The experiments are described in a paper published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

The data is expected to add to our understanding of how a planet's atmosphere evolves.


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @07:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @07:57PM (#408862)

    Yesterday?

    Did anyone else notice how it had disappeared this morning along with a bunch of others that have since been reposted?

    Was this a server crash and rollback? Hacking? Something else?

    Seriously Soylentils want to know before we start suspecting censorship.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:00PM (#408863)

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. Or in this case probably some simple error.

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:56PM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday October 01 2016, @08:56PM (#408871) Journal

      more complex and interesting than a simple legacy of loss.

      Could have been worse, could've lost an entire atmosphere, instead of having it regenerated from your crust.

      --
      "Believe it or not, your opinion on this topic is really not necessary,"
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @11:26AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02 2016, @11:26AM (#409042)

    i don't know if it applies in this particular instance, but when editors are processing stories they have to manually select both the time and date of release. It is fairly easy to miss the date field which defaults to the current day, thus the selected time of release might be in the past. Once the editor saves the story it goes out live very quickly. When the error is spotted, the editor re-edits the story and quickly changes the date field, in which case the story is only 'released' for a short while before the correction removes it again.

    Of course, with the level of expertise that I and the other editors have this is very unlikely to happen, and I have never done it personally.... well, not so far today anyway.