Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mars' South Pole May Hide a Large Underground Lake

Mars' South Pole May Hide a Large Underground Lake

"It's always exciting when you talk about liquid water on present-day Mars," Ashwin Vasavada, project scientist at NASA for the Curiosity mission, told However, he declined to say how confident he is in the study's claims, because he isn't an expert in the kind of radar imagery the team used. "It's exciting because of any implications it might have for the habitability of Mars." [Geometry Helps Solve the Mystery of Mars' Water]
And it's too early to say what precisely those implications may be. Scientists still need to confirm the discovery itself and understand precisely what characteristics that water may have, which will require missions that have yet to be designed, much less launched.
Water below the ice?
The new research builds on more than three decades of theorizing by scientists about the chances that water lurks below Mars' polar caps, just as it does here on Earth.
That idea was first proposed by Steve Clifford, now a planetary scientist specializing in water on Mars at the Planetary Science Institute based in Arizona, who was not involved in the new research. He was inspired by scientists' studies of lakes below the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets here on Earth, he told Those lakes are created when heat from within the planet melts the glaciers in patches. He thought a similar scenario could be happening below the ice caps on Mars — we just didn't have any way to see below the ice.
The new research attempted to do just that using radar data gathered by an instrument called MARSIS, which uses pulses of radar to study the planet's ionosphere and interior structure. It has been orbiting the planet aboard Mars Express, a European spacecraft, since 2003.

The Night of the Red Moon and the Red Planet

Live on the wrong continent, or simply have cloudy skies? Gianluca Masi and the Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 have you covered, with a live webcast of the eclipse from the heart of Rome, Italy on July 27th starting at 18:30 UT.
Be sure to catch Friday’s total lunar eclipse, either in person or online… we won’t have another one until January 21st, 2019.

Signs in the Heavens - Blood Moon July 2018

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

End Times Alert: Blood Moon 2018

Longest Blood Moon of Century Occurs July 27

Blood Moon 2018: Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of Century Occurs July 27

The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century takes place this Friday, July 27.
The total phase of the "blood moon" eclipse of July 27 will last 1 hour and 43 minutes, during which Earth's natural satellite will turn a spectacular red or ruddy-brown color. From start to finish, the entire celestial event will last nearly 4 hours.

The eclipse won't be visible to viewers in North America, except via webcasts. But observers in much of Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Indian Ocean region will get an eyeful, given cooperative weather, according to lunar scientist Noah Petro, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. [In Photos: The Rare Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse of 2018]