Oceans of Mars?
This could be a great day for the beach, for Southern California is still under a heat wave. The writer has not complained, being air-conditioned all day. Other people, like the crews at FMARS sites, should enjoy such comfort. Hopefully the Mars organizations will take this opportunity.
Saturday we heard from scientist Michael Manga. For decades, researchers have wondered whether Mars once had oceans. The Northern hemisphere displays features that look like ancient coastlines. Manga's team has theorised that Mars was once tilted by 80 degrees compared to today. Some cataclysm of unknown origin toppled the planet on its side.
Manga and his team aren't sure what caused the planet to topple, but they think forces beneath the surface are to blame. In his words, "Source of driving load is unclear." A hidden Black Hole? Mars' lack of heat and magnetic field are not indicative of a Black Hole today, but there may have been one in the past which has since evaporated.
We also heard from Investigator Peter Smith of the Phoenix Mars Lander. That spacecraft successfully launched August 3 and is scheduled to land on Mars May 25, 2008.