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A Glint Of Light And A Hint Of Life: Mars Is Getting Very Interesting Right Now

by Ed Mazza                  June 24, 2019

• On June 16th, as NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover lumbered across the plains of Mars, a glowing object was captured on camera hovering just above the Martian surface (pictured above). Another camera image taken 13 seconds after showed nothing.  (see 38-second video below)

• When a similar flash of light made headlines in 2014, Justin Maki of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week.” Maki wrote them off as cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting off of rock surfaces.

• Days later, the rover detected possible microbial life on or inside the planet as indicated by a large spike in methane. While conducting further analysis, NASA said the rover had detected methane in the past and that the planet seems to have seasonal peaks and dips. NASA is coordinating with the scientists working with the European Space Agency’s Trace Gas Orbiter, which is orbiting Mars, to find the origin of the gas.

 

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover spotted a strange glowing object that seemed to hover just above the surface of the Red Planet earlier this month.

While the glint on Mars has captured the imagination of folks on social media, it was likely just sunlight, a cosmic ray or a camera artifact. But in an unrelated development days later, the rover detected something else ― and it could be a long-sought signal of possible microbial life on or inside the planet.

The glowing object was captured on camera ― look at the right side of this raw image taken from the NASA website on June 16.

It doesn’t appear on any of the images snapped before or after, taken about 13 seconds apart, so if it was an object of some kind it moved quickly. More likely, however, it was nothing too out of the ordinary.

“In the thousands of images we’ve received from Curiosity, we see ones with bright spots nearly every week,” Justin Maki of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in 2014 when a similar flash of light made headlines. “These can be caused by cosmic-ray hits or sunlight glinting from rock surfaces, as the most likely explanations.”

So, the flash of light was unlikely to be a sign of activity on the planet.

But something else was detected on Mars last week that just might be a sign of life: methane. The New York Times reported that Curiosity detected a spike in methane, which, if confirmed, could hint of microbial life hidden beneath the surface of Mars.

38-second video of light seen hovering over Mars’ surface by Curiosity Rover (‘Amaze Lab’ YouTube)

 

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End of Days? What Happens if Antarctica’s Giant Cavity-Filled Glacier Melts?

February 21, 2019                   (sputniknews.com)

• Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have discovered that the 74,000 square mile (192,000 square kilometre) Thwaites Glacier in Western Antarctica is melting and has created a huge ‘glacial cavity’ at the bottom of it containing 14 billion tons of frozen fresh water. And it is still melting at an “explosive” rate.

• This demonstrates that Antarctic ice is not only melting in areas adjacent to oceans, but also from underneath its thick ice sheets. Were the Thwaites Glacier to melt completely, it could cause global sea levels to rise by some two feet. Such a rise would be enough to threaten coastal cities around the globe, flooding island nations and leading to soil erosion. Lucas Zoet, a science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s department of geoscience, fears that the collapse of the Thwaites Glacier “could potentially destabilize the whole region of West Antarctica.” And this doesn’t include the concurrent ice melt from other parts of Antarctica, the Arctic and Greenland.

• Last year, researchers from Germany, Austria and Australia released a study which concluded that with sea levels expected to rise two feet worldwide by the year 2300, low-lying areas of Florida and Bangladesh, and entire nations such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean or Kiribati in the Pacific, would be threatened, with massive coastal urban areas such as Shanghai, London, New York, and New Orleans affected as well.

• The Thwaites ice formation also serves to prevent other nearby glaciers from sliding toward the sea. If that happens and those glaciers melt, sea levels would rise not by two feet, but up to ten feet, affecting areas of human habitation much further inland and causing even more chaos to local ecosystems.

• Researchers from the Antarctic Research Centre at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Willington and McGill University in Canada have recently published an article in Nature which warned that the billions of tons of freshwater melt flowing into the oceans from melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica would cause the global oceanic conveyor belt network to diminish, resulting in longer, more extreme hot or cold snaps, wet spells and dry stretches, and greater temperature variance throughout the world.

• According to Dr. Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, “The point is not so much [in] whether or not it’s going to happen… the important thing is how fast is this going to happen.” (see 4:58 minute CBS News video on the Antarctic glacial melt below)

[Editor’s Note]  It appears that, in addition to a much more rapid rate of rising sea levels, the continent of Antarctica might sooner reveal the remnants of a non-human civilization concealed underneath the ice.

 

The glacial cavity, found at the bottom of a glacier in western Antarctica with the use of ice-penetrating radar and satellites with high-resolution lenses, was discovered by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who called the find “disturbing” and warned that the mysterious cavity, once containing 14 billion tonnes of frozen fresh water, was still growing at an “explosive” rate. The discovery is vital, the scientists said, because it demonstrated that Antarctic ice is melting not only in areas adjacent to oceans, but also from underneath its thick ice sheets.

Rising Sea Levels

The immediate and most obvious concern about the discovery is that if the Thwaites Glacier, which extends some 192,000 square kilometres, or 74,000 square miles, were to melt completely, it could raise global sea levels by some 2 feet (0.6 metres). According to the Smithsonian Institute, such a rise would be enough to threaten coastal cities around the globe, flooding island nations and leading to soil erosion.

Last year, researchers from Germany, Austria and Australia released a studywhich concluded that with sea levels expected to rise two feet worldwide by the year 2300, low-lying areas of Florida and Bangladesh, and entire nations such as the Maldives in the Indian Ocean or Kiribati in the Pacific, would be threatened, with massive coastal urban areas such as Shanghai, London, New York, and New Orleans affected as well.

If rising sea levels come to pass sooner than expected thanks to new, previously unknown phenomena, like the Thwaites Glacier cavity, “that’s going to really throw a wrench into the ability for these nations to plan and prepare for the impacts of sea level rise,” Dr. Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, told USA Today.

Fleets of Dangerous Icebergs?

In addition to its massive store of frozen fresh water, the Thwaites ice formation is thought to serve as an important ‘door stop’, preventing nearby glaciers from sliding toward the sea. If that happens and those glaciers melt, sea levels would rise not by two feet, but up to ten feet (three metres), affecting areas of human habitation much further inland and causing even more chaos to local ecosystems.

In this sense, Thwaites “holds a kind of wildcard for being able to increase the rate of sea-level rise quite rapidly if things unfold a certain way,” Scambos said.

In addition to their possible threat to local wildlife, icebergs breaking off from Antarctica could pose a major threat to human oceanic activities, particularly shipping. In 2018, New Zealand news portal Engineering News warned that Antarctic icebergs were already posing a heightened hazard to southerly shipping routes. A year earlier, the US Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol warned shipping companies that an unusually high number of icebergs were drifting into shipping lanes in northern areas, with the monitoring agency reporting four seasons of “extreme” danger in a row due to bergs drifting through the North Atlantic.

And while Antarctic icebergs are seen as less of a threat than those forming in the Northern Hemisphere and the Arctic, given existing shipping lanes, they still pose a threat, according to scientists.

4:58 minute CBS News video on the unprecedented Antarctica glacial melt

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Martian Water May Have Enough Oxygen to Sustain Life

by Stephanie Mlot                      October 23. 2018                   (geek.com)

• New research conducted by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and published in the journal Nature Geoscience cites two recent Red Planet discoveries: heavily oxidized rocks and briny water, that could mean the existence of very small Martians. Salty water below the surface of Mars could hold enough oxygen to support basic microbial life and even sponges. It was previously assumed that oxygen on Mars was insufficient to sustain even microbial life.

• NASA, however, tends to avoid watery areas for fear of cross-contamination with Earthly bacteria. This means that most Mars rovers, including the upcoming Mars 2020 rover, are left looking for evidence of past life and not current life.

• Earlier in 2018, analysts confirmed the discovery of desiccation cracks in Gale Crater on Mars, which are the result of residue once saturated with water. NASA dates this standing water on the surface of Mars back some 3.5 billion years ago.

• Additional evidence of underground brine reservoirs came this summer, when researchers revealed a 12-mile-wide lake of liquid water below the Martian South Pole.

[Editor’s Note]  The drip drip drip of disclosure… now NASA is admitting to the presence of oxygen on Mars. It is common knowledge among SSP insiders that the Martian atmosphere contains enough oxygen to allow for shallow breathing by humans and indigenous beings on the planet surface.

 

Salty water below the surface of Mars could hold enough oxygen to support basic microbial life.
New research published in the journal Nature Geoscience cites two recent Red Planet discoveries—heavily oxidized rocks and briny water—that could mean the existence of aliens.

Albeit very simple, very small aliens.

“We found something very surprising,” according to Vlada Stamenkovic, a scientist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and lead author on the paper.

“Many brines can exist in different places on Mars,” he told Popular Mechanics. “They fully suffice to allow the aerobic breathing for microbes and even sponges, which are the simplest animals.”

That’s great news for researchers and alien hunters looking for any reason to believe there is life on other planets.
Just keep in mind this study does not prove the existence of extraterrestrials.

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