Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

New Scientist: "Unusual warm spots on Mars might represent 'ice towers' similar to those seen in Antarctica, say researchers. They could even harbour life, Nick Hoffman of Melbourne University told a conference on Thursday.
Hoffman detected warm spots in the Hellas Basin after scrutinising infrared images taken with THEMIS, the heat-sensing camera on the Mars Odyssey orbiter. The spots are between 20 and 40 degrees warmer than their surroundings both night and day, and irrespective of whether they are being hit by sunlight.
The simplest explanation, claims Hoffman, is that the warm spots are caused by some kind of geothermal activity causing the release of water vapour. If so, they could resemble the ice towers found on Mount Erebus, an active volcano on Ross Island in Antarctica, where the conditions are almost as cold and dry as on Mars.
The Mount Erebus towers are 10-metre tall chimneys of ice and are found nowhere else on Earth. They are created when the steam from volcanic vents hits the intense cold of the Antarctic air and condenses directly into ice, says to Hoffman's colleague Phil Kyle of New Mexico Tech in Socorro."

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