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1 24th April 13:27
timothy demko
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Posts: 1
Default Cool Mars soil features

These pictures from the Spirit rover show some very interesting holes
and pits in the soil surface. They may have been made by the rover
itself, but it looks to me like they may be original features and not
artifacts. If this was a soil surface from a desert on earth, I'd say
they were collapse or drainage features or burrows of organisms! We will
have to wait to see what the MER team has to say.

Tim Demko
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2 25th April 09:31
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Default Cool Mars soil features

"Timothy Demko" <> skrev i en meddelelse

Take a look at Mars statistics at

Atmospheric composition: 95% CO2 and 0,03% H2O
Barometric pressure: ~ 1% of Earth' Barometric pressure

This leaves CO2 as the 'sedimenting' medium - the role of air and water on

This link states, that CO2 does not have a fluid fase

So CO2 fall as snow and evaporates. However CO2 ended burried, it seems fair
to assume that the holes are vents from evaporated CO2.... that'll be my
take on the features on the pictures.

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3 25th April 09:32
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Default Cool Mars soil features

I saw a Mars-picture with a rabbit on it. I thought it was a fake untill I
got your pictures. The holes are likely to be traces of recently cropped
- not only does this prove, that fresh meat and proteins are present for
future residents, but carrots and vitamins as well. It is officially stated,
that, although this facts was known and kept secret before mission start,
the mission-objectives has not changed. Fresh drinkingwater still needs to
be found in great abundance.

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4 25th April 09:33
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Posts: 1
Default Cool Mars soil features

You know where I saw something like that here on Earth... at a mine in
northern Chile they had some very iron-rich detritus as a by-product
of some processing they did, and they never cleaned this dump area, so
I guess it was started about 10-15 years before I got there. The wind
blew this stuff around, and during dry spells, the stuff would get a
crunchy shell like "surface" and would develop "bubbles" that would
collapse when I'd stir it. The stuff behaved like mud but it was
really dry (even with water present, it didn't absorb the water, it
became a suspension).

It was like a very thick loose pile of iron filings (but with added
non-iron content to give it weight). I presume the static electricity
charge held it together in the wierd way. Anyways, it was worse than
a New York carpet in the winter when it came to generating static.

Does the Spirit have a way to discharge externally generated or
ac***ulated static too, because I expect the same could kill it's
circuitry. But Nasa has already considered that, probably, so never
mind. They use MilSpec stuff or better which is probably immune.
That's why the miners dumped this stuff there behind the eating area,
because if (when) it ac***ulated in any place frequented by machinery,
it was a static shock minefield and had killed vehicle electrical
systems (from what I heard them say). But this was years ago, and I'm
not sure how reliable their reports were, because most of them must
have heard it from their predecessors and it also relies on my
knowledge of Spanish.

Anyways, they called the dark stuff "hot snow" if anyone's heard of
it. Nasa calls their cruncy Mars stuff something different, anyone
know the name?
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5 25th April 09:33
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Posts: 1
Default Cool Mars soil features

True, too. CO2 is special in that it sublimates. In solid form I
think it's commonly called Dry Ice (cool name). It's very cold, and
will cause tissue damage on direct short-term exposure to exposed
flesh (in most animals). When it warms, it jumps right to umm...
gas, it skips the liquid phase, just like you see in dry-ice, when it
melts it becomes that eerie fog (sometimes used in dance clubs or
props for special effects).

Now imagine how nasty CO2 falling, as a solid, would be to regular
animals, though. That would get ugly fast, unless you're covered in
fur and made sure it never hit your eyes (assuming unprotected life

I agree with the holes, as vents. Entropic theory supports you on
that, as models would indicate that the emissions would have to rise
to escape and would eventually use something like a spring, or a
volcano or a "grand canyon" in reverse. It'd be like a whole bunch of
rivers hitting a big river by following their courses of collective
least resistence or highest weakness, like raindrops on a windshield
-- notice that many will follow a single track even when it means
travelling laterally.
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6 25th April 09:33
christof kuhn
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Posts: 1
Default Cool Mars soil features

Nick Hoffman developed the "white mars" hypothesis, saying that many (if
not all) of the erosion phenomena are caused by CO2, not water.

To me (and I'm certainly not well enough educated on that subject), it
sounds quite sensible.

Cheers, Christof
Christof Kuhn
Inst. f. Angewandte Geologie,
Univ. f. BoKu Wien, Austria
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7 26th April 05:59
External User
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Default Cool Mars soil features

January 22, 2004

White Mars is dead and Nick Hoffman is a crackpot.

Get over it.

Thomas Lee Elifritz
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8 26th April 05:59
jo schaper
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Default Cool Mars soil features

Hi Christof!
I too, know little of the 'white Mars' hypothesis, however, as a
caver, the scenario of CO2 as the erosion agent--would make wonderful
sense if Mars is largely carbonate, or high calcium silicates. And all
that red color isn't iron at all, but CO2 freeze dried CO2-phreatic dust...
I don't think we have enough data to say anything except to
speculate, but in water, calcium carbonate solubility goes UP as
temperature goes down. And Mars is nothing if not cold--the flaw to this
is, of course that in the ocean CO2 pressure goes up the further down
you get, whereas on Mars it has to be low-pressure.
The cavers have been drooling about Martian speleology for years;
some of them are working on the Martian meteorites, and cave bacteria
which actually might survive someplace like the Red Planet.
Alas, by the time the people get to Mars, I will be nearing 80,
and unfit to go to space...wait a minute--there's John Glenn *|;-)

Geo Communications Services --
Jo Schaper's Missouri World --
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9 26th April 06:00
External User
Posts: 1
Default Cool Mars soil features

Hi Christof
Thanks a lot for the link. It gives a lot of good background to evaluate the
Mars geology.

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10 26th April 06:00
carsten troelsgaard
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Posts: 1
Default Cool Mars soil features

Hi Jo
Before I add further ...{{{*|;-)o;}}}, big hug.
and ... I like your hat!

You should take time to follow Christof's link. He (N. Hoffman) emphasize
the suspicious (? my spellcheck does not like to jump between dk and us)
lack of carbonate and take it as a sign of absense of H2O.

why not?

The mixing of this CO2 snow with dust and it's evaporation (sublimation) may
pave the way for the fluidized flows that has left large-scale dendritic
flowpatterns on the Mars' surface.

But N. Hoffman gives a very good bid on the large-scale flow-structures -
though that may not be what you refer to. I'm tempted to give you a snap
impression on N Hoffman's account on the matter, but it's complicated and
interesting enough to deserve your full attention.


Right! If he can, so can you.

best from Carsten
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