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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:23 AM

Mars Rover 'Curiosity' Team Reportedly Will Reveal Major Discovery In December

Source: Huffington Post


NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has apparently made a discovery "for the history books," but we'll have to wait a few weeks to learn what the new Red Planet find may be, media reports suggest.

The discovery was made by Curiosity's Sample Analysis at Mars instrument, NPR reported today (Nov. 20). SAM is the rover's onboard chemistry lab, and it's capable of identifying organic compounds the carbon-containing building blocks of life as we know it.

SAM apparently spotted something interesting in a soil sample Curiosity's huge robotic arm delivered to the instrument recently.

"This data is gonna be one for the history books," Curiosity chief scientist John Grotzinger, of Caltech in Pasadena, told NPR. "It's looking really good."


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/20/mars-rover-curiosity-discovery_n_2167207.html



Can't wait! This is really exciting.

Hmmm... I wonder what Marco Rubio will say.

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Reply Mars Rover 'Curiosity' Team Reportedly Will Reveal Major Discovery In December (Original post)
theHandpuppet Nov 2012 OP
Voice for Peace Nov 2012 #1
Berlum Nov 2012 #2
Confusious Nov 2012 #7
emsimon33 Nov 2012 #112
roguevalley Nov 2012 #119
uponit7771 Nov 2012 #124
leftyohiolib Nov 2012 #3
Native Nov 2012 #20
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2012 #34
slackmaster Nov 2012 #48
AAO Nov 2012 #83
We are Devo Nov 2012 #63
melm00se Nov 2012 #50
Joe Bacon Nov 2012 #69
Turborama Nov 2012 #71
Kablooie Nov 2012 #4
trumad Nov 2012 #5
Voice for Peace Nov 2012 #13
tclambert Nov 2012 #6
Confusious Nov 2012 #8
lunatica Nov 2012 #11
Voice for Peace Nov 2012 #14
FrodosPet Nov 2012 #9
Pale Blue Dot Nov 2012 #23
yodermon Nov 2012 #54
We are Devo Nov 2012 #64
aandegoons Nov 2012 #10
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #12
theHandpuppet Nov 2012 #16
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #18
theHandpuppet Nov 2012 #22
Berlum Nov 2012 #21
DippyDem Nov 2012 #15
DainBramaged Nov 2012 #17
Kolesar Nov 2012 #19
ncteechur Nov 2012 #24
reteachinwi Nov 2012 #25
Setsuna1972 Nov 2012 #26
Botany Nov 2012 #27
alcibiades_mystery Nov 2012 #87
closeupready Nov 2012 #108
whistler162 Nov 2012 #28
NomadicView Nov 2012 #29
NomadicView Nov 2012 #30
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #31
deutsey Nov 2012 #36
Victor_c3 Nov 2012 #46
AAO Nov 2012 #84
LongTomH Nov 2012 #110
Ian_rd Nov 2012 #32
JustABozoOnThisBus Nov 2012 #40
jpak Nov 2012 #33
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2012 #35
Zen Democrat Nov 2012 #37
Godhumor Nov 2012 #38
2pooped2pop Nov 2012 #39
Rosa Luxemburg Nov 2012 #127
barbtries Nov 2012 #41
Lochloosa Nov 2012 #42
onehandle Nov 2012 #72
Ryano42 Nov 2012 #78
Dr. Strange Nov 2012 #79
harun Nov 2012 #43
Gman Nov 2012 #44
meeshrox Nov 2012 #47
harun Nov 2012 #49
Victor_c3 Nov 2012 #51
Peace Patriot Nov 2012 #56
Peace Patriot Nov 2012 #58
Mz Pip Nov 2012 #81
Enrique Nov 2012 #62
aquart Nov 2012 #60
Victor_c3 Nov 2012 #68
slackmaster Nov 2012 #45
TomClash Nov 2012 #52
James48 Nov 2012 #53
FailureToCommunicate Nov 2012 #55
Tutonic Nov 2012 #57
progressoid Nov 2012 #59
Dr. Strange Nov 2012 #61
Enrique Nov 2012 #65
glinda Nov 2012 #82
Hassin Bin Sober Nov 2012 #66
AlbertCat Nov 2012 #67
dexterborg Nov 2012 #70
onehandle Nov 2012 #73
We are Devo Nov 2012 #74
allan01 Nov 2012 #75
yellowcanine Nov 2012 #76
TrogL Nov 2012 #77
Liberaltalker Nov 2012 #80
Livluvgrow Nov 2012 #85
AAO Nov 2012 #86
glinda Nov 2012 #88
sofa king Nov 2012 #92
theHandpuppet Nov 2012 #95
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #98
Ter Nov 2012 #89
randome Nov 2012 #93
area51 Nov 2012 #90
Delphinus Nov 2012 #91
randome Nov 2012 #94
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #96
randome Nov 2012 #97
Evasporque Nov 2012 #103
colorado_ufo Nov 2012 #115
toddmiller Nov 2012 #129
Marrah_G Nov 2012 #99
mainer Nov 2012 #100
Duer 157099 Nov 2012 #101
humanistcafe Nov 2012 #102
murielm99 Nov 2012 #104
ThoughtCriminal Nov 2012 #105
glinda Nov 2012 #113
Bradical79 Nov 2012 #106
colsohlibgal Nov 2012 #107
closeupready Nov 2012 #109
emsimon33 Nov 2012 #111
KamaAina Nov 2012 #114
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #120
randome Nov 2012 #116
AlphaCentauri Nov 2012 #117
valerief Nov 2012 #118
SWTORFanatic Nov 2012 #121
Wolf Frankula Nov 2012 #122
hexola Nov 2012 #123
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #125
Rosa Luxemburg Nov 2012 #126
donco Nov 2012 #128
Trajan Nov 2012 #130
StarryNite Nov 2012 #131

Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:26 AM

1. This ought to be a fun thread when people start waking up...



with a kick and a rec

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:27 AM

2. Precisely as the Mayans predicted

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:16 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to Berlum (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:40 AM

7. Obama and NASA are going to destroy the world?

Don't be humor impared.

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Response to Berlum (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:06 PM

112. Rats! You beat me to it!!!!

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Response to emsimon33 (Reply #112)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:02 PM

119. transformers

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Response to Berlum (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:11 PM

124. +1

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:27 AM

3. evidenvce of organic life

 

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:18 AM

20. I bet it was a finger.

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Response to Native (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:32 AM

34. It's an ear

Blue Velvet.

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:20 AM

48. ...Or a toe

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #48)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:23 AM

83. Where's Bunny?

 

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Response to Puzzledtraveller (Reply #34)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:21 AM

63. Van Gogh's ear maybe.... n/t

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:25 AM

50. Jimmy Hoffa

n/t

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Response to melm00se (Reply #50)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:35 AM

69. Doctor Manhattan?

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Response to Joe Bacon (Reply #69)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:41 AM

71. Lord Lucan

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:32 AM

4. I'll have to keep my ears open in the local coffee shops.

I live a couple of miles from JPL.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:35 AM

5. They found his reading glasses...

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Response to trumad (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:58 AM

13. now THAT's a blast from the past..

long long ago

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:38 AM

6. A trilobite fossil?

A bottle cap? A book entitled "To Serve Humans?" All the socks that have ever gone missing in the laundry?

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Response to tclambert (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:41 AM

8. I think the socks are in the 4th dimension, not mars.



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Response to Confusious (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:56 AM

11. People there have been wondering where those socks keep coming from

They don't have feet so thus they have no need of socks.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:59 AM

14. they use them as antenna warmers.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:52 AM

9. Per the Sarcastic Rover:

https://twitter.com/SarcasticRover/status/270970332456837121

"Not sure what it means, but my new discovery has been code-named 'Operation Mind-Reading Alien Slug-Worm.' "

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:29 AM

23. LOLOLOL. nt

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:36 AM

54. KHAAAAAANNNN!!

sorry

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Response to FrodosPet (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:22 AM

64. I love sarcastic rover!

Makes twitter worth it!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:54 AM

10. It is interesting that they are taking their good time to confirm it.

I am guessing it is an Earth meteorite.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:56 AM

12. Not LBN

Posted yesterday in GD well over 12 hours ago : http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1855602

referred to this link : Big News From Mars? Rover Scientists Mum For Now http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016/big-news-from-mars-rover-scientists-mum-for-now

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:13 AM

16. The forum police have arrived?

This IS LBN and falls within the 24 hour time period required for LBN. Neither was it posted on LBN to begin with. Maybe you should aks the person who posted to GD why they didn't post to LBN.

Sheesh. This is why I rarely post anymore.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:17 AM

18. Statement of purpose for LBN is 12 hours : not 24.

"Post the latest news from reputable mainstream news websites and blogs. Important news of national interest only. No analysis or opinion pieces. No duplicates. News stories must have been published within the last 12 hours. Use the published title of the story as the title of the discussion thread."

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:20 AM

22. Well you'll have to pardon me if I was ASLEEP at the time

But by all means, please report me so this thread can be locked and no one will get this news on LBN.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:19 AM

21. "We'll handle this." - KC

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:04 AM

15. Mitt's tax returns? nt

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:16 AM

17. They found Hoffa

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:17 AM

19. During half time at the Rose Bowl?

With special guests: The Black Eyed Peas

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:41 AM

24. I bet they find a blue dress. nm

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:41 AM

25. evidence

 

Perhaps its the anonymous evidence randome is so on about.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:49 AM

26. did they find a dead Engineer from Prometheus ???

But on a more serious note...maybe they did find some fossils of small lifeforms, or enough to confirm that something was alive on Mars, hmmmm...

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:54 AM

27. I already know about it

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Response to Botany (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:41 AM

87. Beat me to it

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Response to Botany (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:55 PM

108. If brilliant minds think alike, you and I are geniuses!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:59 AM

28. At last they found...

Waldo!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:18 AM

29. Ohhh I know, I Know!

They found Saddam's WMD?

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:21 AM

30. In my wildest dreams?

Evidence of vast quantities of water just below the surface? I suppose that's too much to dream for.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:21 AM

31. OMG! Life???

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:33 AM

36. That's what I'm wondering!

It's hard to imagine anything else being so momentous...

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:17 AM

46. or even evidence that there was once life. That'd be huge for me.

It would make sense that they'd take their time to release the information. You wouldn't want to be wrong about any of the results and data.

This could be a really exciting time for space exploration!

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #46)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:27 AM

84. May have to update the book of Genesis for the Holy Rollers.

 

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #31)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:10 PM

110. The Curiosity rover's instruments are not designed for life detection..........

.....only to identify organic (carbon-based) compounds. Finding organic molecules would, however, validate the results from the Viking Labeled Release experiment. That was designed to detect living organisms and did come back with positive results. When the Viking Gas Chromatograph failed to find organic compounds in the soil, most researchers assumed the Labeled Release results were due to 'exotic soil chemistry.'

Gil Levin, who designed the Labeled Release experiment, has always believed that the Vikings found life on Mars. If the Curiosity science package finds evidence of organic molecules, it will prove Dr. Levin right after 36 years.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:23 AM

32. Announcing an announcement? Is Donald Trump heading up NASA now?

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Response to Ian_rd (Reply #32)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:54 AM

40. Or LeBron James

Created a whole tv show around "the decision".

Or maybe Geraldo Rivera - they discovered another of Al Capone's safes on Mars. The grand opening will reveal all.

Whatever it is, the suspenders is killin' me.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:28 AM

33. I hope they tell us before the world ends on Dec. 21st.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:33 AM

35. WMD's!! We had the wrong desert!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:45 AM

37. Okay, I'll play. It's that damned monolith from 2001: Space Odyssey

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:50 AM

38. Proof of Transformers, cementing Michael Bay's reputation as a visionary

The rover then promptly exploded in slow motion to the sounds of Aerosmith.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:54 AM

39. They found Rmoney's tax returns?

I thought they might be there.

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Response to 2pooped2pop (Reply #39)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:28 PM

127. Of course!

that's where they are

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:57 AM

41. that is exciting.

life on mars????

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:59 AM

42. SANDWORMS!

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Response to Lochloosa (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:41 AM

72. That would be perfect. nt

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Response to Lochloosa (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:56 AM

78. Sandworms! You hate 'em! I HATE 'EM!!!

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Response to Lochloosa (Reply #42)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:00 AM

79. The worms ARE the spice.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:04 AM

43. I thought they may have something big coming when a lot of the info and updates went quiet

once they started running the soil analyzers. I was like "Why did they go in to boring mode?". Then I thought they had to be pouring over some interesting finds to verify if they were correct or not. Then spent a lot of time in that one spot.

Too bad they are making us wait so long.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:06 AM

44. Apparently they found methane

according to a couple of reports around. They are delaying the announcement to be very sure the readings are accurate.

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Response to Gman (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:18 AM

47. They did find methane

a while ago (maybe weeks?) and decided to run another test. They figured that it could be trace amounts from the Earth air they brought with them in the instrumentation. They ran the test again and found no methane. But, this is separate from that event. From the NPR article:

"So why doesn't Grotzinger want to share his exciting news? The main reason is caution. Grotzinger and his team were almost stung once before. When SAM analyzed an air sample, it looked like there was methane in it, and at least here on Earth, some methane comes from living organisms.

But Grotzinger says they held up announcing the finding because they wanted to be sure they were measuring Martian air, and not air brought along from the rover's launchpad at Cape Canaveral.

"We knew from the very beginning that we had this risk of having brought air from Florida. And we needed to diminish it and then make the measurement again," he says. And when they made the measurement again, the signs of methane disappeared."

http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016/big-news-from-mars-rover-scientists-mum-for-now

This is something different and even more exciting!

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Response to Gman (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:23 AM

49. Actually their last press conference was about them not finding methane

They have future tests planned that will be more sensitive to it.

The orbiting spacecraft have detected methane on numerous occasions. It wouldn't be big news if Curiosity detected it as well.

The only thing I can think of that they would find that would lead to this type of anouncement is detection of compounds in the soil that we know only arise from biological processes.

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Response to Gman (Reply #44)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:28 AM

51. For those not in the know...

Methane decays/bonds with other stuff rapidly. Unless there is an active biological process occurring, no methane should be found on Mars.

If they found methane, it could be huge.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #51)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:50 AM

56. Thanks for that info! What emits methane...besides cows, us & other mammals?

From what you're saying, if it's a methane finding, it's a sign of CURRENT life on Mars. But...(I'm kind of stuttering over this)...what could it be? What kind of critters? Do bacteria emit methane? Do other tiny things? Algae? Mosquitos? Flies? Krill? Or snakes, or fish, or turtles? What could be emitting methane on Mars? Maybe under-the-surface life? But of what kind?

This could be a correction of their previous announcement, that they DIDN't find methane. Maybe they snuffed that because it was just too big a discovery, and have gone back and thoroughly verified it. But it could be--and probably is--something else. Evidence of past life? Evidence of oceans below the surface? "One for the history books" sounds pretty big.

But if it IS methane, what does this imply, as to the type of life?

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #56)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:01 AM

58. Wiki on methane producers...

Biological routes
Main article: methanogenesis
Naturally occurring methane is mainly produced by the process of methanogenesis. This multistep process is used by microorganisms as an energy source. The net reaction is:
CO2 + 8 H+ + 8 e- → CH4 + 2 H2O
The final step in the process is catalysed by the enzyme methyl-coenzyme M reductase. Methanogenesis is a form of anaerobic respiration used by organisms that occupy landfill, ruminants (e.g., cattle), and the guts of termites.
It is uncertain if plants are a source of methane emissions.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane

--------------------

I guess that answers my question. "Organisms in the guts of termites." Could be very tiny critters.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #58)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:12 AM

81. Maybe cockroaches

I've heard they can survive just about anywhere and anything.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #56)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:13 AM

62. it could be a leaky gas line

they better check that out

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #51)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:10 AM

60. I didn't know. THANK YOU.

I sucked at chemistry.

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Response to aquart (Reply #60)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:33 AM

68. me too, but it didn't stop the federal government from hiring me as one!

You gotta love veteran's hiring preference.

Actually, I'm selling myself a little short. I actually do a pretty decent job with what I'm assigned. However, my area of expertise is in metals and other inorganics. Organic chemistry, other than the real basic stuff, is a stretch for me.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:07 AM

45. It found Jimmy Hoffa?

 

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:29 AM

52. Methane in the atmosphere

And perhaps its source. That would be my guess.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:30 AM

53. Oh My God- it's fullof stars! n/t

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:47 AM

55. Leftover party favors that read...

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:01 AM

57. the KFC secret ingredients.

n/t

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:07 AM

59. Uh oh...

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:12 AM

61. Here is an image of what they found.



Apparently it was Earth all along.

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Response to Dr. Strange (Reply #61)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:24 AM

65. you maniacs!

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Response to Dr. Strange (Reply #61)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:22 AM

82. ...after climate change and melts.....

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:28 AM

66. It's a Wall Drug sign.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:31 AM

67. Curiosity....

.... has been in Utah the whole time.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:38 AM

70. Mars Rover Discovery

Bacteria or water would be my first guess... or alien urine hehehe

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:44 AM

73. Anything less than evidence of past organic life will be a disappointment.

Just the 'chemistry' for the possibility of life will be a yawn.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:47 AM

74. Or..

An old Mars Times newspaper showing that a climate change denier had just been elected president of Mars.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:48 AM

75. re: Mars Rover 'Curiosity' Team Reportedly Will Reveal Major Discovery In December

the crash site of the galactica?

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:51 AM

76. Could be the missing Iraq WMDs. Saddam was a crafty fellow.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:55 AM

77. Does this change the Drake equation?

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:11 AM

80. They found oil!

And now all of a sudden the Repugnant Party are doing a one eighty on thier whole stance on cutting funding for NASA. Now they want to increase the founding ten fold!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:35 AM

85. Fundies heads are going to explode

They will unveil that Mars is heaven because they found the flying spaghetti monster

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:38 AM

86. They discovered the perfect soil for growning kick ass ganja!

 

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:48 AM

88. Carbon. The building blocks of life.

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Response to glinda (Reply #88)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:22 PM

92. Could be.

Ever since the Viking Labeled Release sent back a positive result, NASA has scrupulously avoided saying that they are testing for life on Mars.

I think it's because NASA fears losing its funding if the knuckledraggers in Congress find out their goat-herding manual was wrong about the creation of the universe.

The instrument in question here, SAM, explicitly cannot prove the existence of life--according to NASA's press releases. But what do you know? It can measure the gas content of a sample and determine what organic chemicals, if any, are found. It can measure the percentage of carbon-14 isotopes found in those chemicals, and we know that life selects against carbon-14. I think it can detect the chirality of molecules, and if a predominance of one "handedness" of those molecules is observed that too may suggest that life has been busy selecting those.

My father helped build the Labeled Release experiment and for over thirty years now he has been saying, "we found evidence of life on Mars, we just couldn't figure out what it was."

Now, perhaps, we can. But because our country's science is funded by a bunch of idiots who reject the findings of science because it conflicts with their own magical thinking, NASA isn't going to say so until it's screwed down so tight it cannot be undone.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #92)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:47 PM

95. I don't blame them, considering the idiot overseers to whom they have to answer

Not just controlled by the GOP, but GOP Reps from the South.

House Committee on Space, Science and Technology

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Chairman

Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Chairman

Subcommittee on Research and Science Education
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Chairman

Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation
Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ), Chairman

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), Chairman

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Response to theHandpuppet (Reply #95)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:10 PM

98. I dunno, announcing something like that would take the wind out of those idiots' sails.

I really don't think NASA's exactly been sitting on things just to avoid offending fundamentalists. The more anti-science chunks of the population - on both sides of the aisle - are going to hate it just as much no matter what they do or find.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:52 AM

89. It won't be major to me

 

To me major is a fossil, plant, or a statue. They're going to announce something like they found a little water under an ice cap or something. Please prove me wrong.

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Response to Ter (Reply #89)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:35 PM

93. If they found fossils, God put those fossils on that red planet.

He's such a prankster.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 11:52 AM

90. Is it true there's water on Mars?





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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:21 PM

91. Absolutely

wonderfully funny replies!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:44 PM

94. From a comment on Huffington Post.

Anyone know anything about this or is it just bullshit?

They found a 7.62 cm diameter ring of unknown origin. Using Vickers test for hardness it exceeded 10,000HV, that for diamonds. Actual composition is of an unknown element or combination of elements. It is extremely unlikely to have been produced naturally. Curious markings on the outer edge are being examined and initial thoughts are they are not naturally occurring and suggest intelligent creation.

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Response to randome (Reply #94)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:06 PM

96. Why would the rover's chemistry team be the ones who'd announce something like that?

It's obviously BS.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #96)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:10 PM

97. Did not think of that. Oh, well...

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Response to randome (Reply #94)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:24 PM

103. keep it secret....

keep it safe.

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Response to randome (Reply #94)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:46 PM

115. Hmmmm . . . 7.62 cm is too big

for a Hobbit to wear . . .

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Response to randome (Reply #94)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:01 AM

129. That episode of Southpark with the whale. It's all true.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:11 PM

99. Arghhhhhhhhhhh... I wanna know NOW!!!!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:12 PM

100. Joking aside, any NASA folks here care to spill the beans?

I've been disappointed before by NASA's "big" announcements. Water won't excite us. Even an amino acid or two won't really excite us. So what could be "one for the history books"?

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:17 PM

101. Just remember this

1) almost anything that is new is an exciting discovery to a scientist

and

2) anything that is discovered on Mars will be "one for the history books."

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:23 PM

102. Talk about ...

... suspense! That little Rover is something else. To think where we've come in the last hundred years. Exciting.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:32 PM

104. Little green men and

bug-eyed monsters, just like those early science fiction pulp magazines said.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:34 PM

105. We are the Martians

- Ray Bradbury

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Response to ThoughtCriminal (Reply #105)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:25 PM

113. +1

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:40 PM

106. A lot of people are going to be disapointed

Saying a discovery is "one for the history books" will mean something much different to a lot of non-scientists and those who aren't science enthusiasts, than it will for actual science geeks. I'm excited though, and should be interesting to a lot of people here

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:48 PM

107. The Mind Reels

My thought is if this was not really major and/or startling they would announce this in a pretty prompt time frame.

Being really into this kind of stuff, I subscribe to the two most popular science magazines, I'm anxious to hear and maybe see what this could be. Once again if this weren't really, really big I doubt they would delay announcing it or ramp up speculation like this.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:57 PM

109. My crazy side says some sort of fossil or even a micro-organism.

If not, perhaps methane and other gases in proportion to what would be expected to occur in the presence of carbon-based life forms.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:05 PM

111. December 21? The end of the Mayan calendar? The Mayans are up there????

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 03:31 PM

114. When in December?

The 21st?

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #114)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:12 PM

120. Sometime between Dec. 3-7

They're announcing the findings at an annual conference that runs across those days.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:00 PM

116. If they have to spend so much time studying it, it wouldn't be a big enough story.

So I think a fossil or artifact is out of the question. Methane would be too anticlimactic.

Signs of life that they need to verify whether or not it came from Curiosity itself would fit.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:14 PM

117. Uranium, Plutonium or Gold

They have to notify the mining companies first, before making it public

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:30 PM

118. I know what it is--a stink bug. Damn things are EVERYWHERE. nt

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:32 PM

121. Hate to say it but I don't think it will be that interesting

They do this all the time.

We found traces of methane that may be indicative of life or prehistoric life, but we're not sure, it's only in trace amounts...

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:32 PM

122. Here's a photo of it.



It's the TARDIS!

Wolf

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:39 PM

123. I hate threads that make us all seem brain-dead...

Seriously - where can one go to find quality conversation on this topic?

The hundred or so of predictable responses are really boring...even the Freeper thread was more interesting...

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:15 PM

125. Quick, someone, complain about the price tag!

Seriously, if they have evidence of life, this is huge.

First question, to my mind: independent origin or planetary cross contamination?

Its totally possible that these things would be VERY distant cousins.

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:27 PM

126. Maybe they will report that they found bones!

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:30 PM

128. ten commandments? nt

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:04 AM

130. I think it's Jesus's crash pad ....

They spotted the stack of empty pizza boxes and a pile of Diet Rite cola bottles ....

( Do they even make Diet Rite anymore ? )

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Response to theHandpuppet (Original post)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 01:27 PM

131. A beer can and a couple of cigarette butts

No matter where you go, you always see beer cans and cig butts.

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