Talk:Mars/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 →

Life on Mars

I have a problem with the statement that if colonization were to occur mars is a likely candidate. Not that it isn't a likely candidate, but it isn't the planet most like the earth. It is close, and within the habitable zone of our sun, but Venus is more similar in size and atmosphere. I changed the wording because Mars is a likely candidate for colonization, but not because it is most like Earth.

True, but this article si not talking about whether we can move Venus to Mars' orbit. In our current situation, Mars is most like Earth, mainly because it is not a blazing inferno. Reader12 22:51, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Good point, but again you are talking about habitability. It may be the next most habitable planet, but that does not mean that it is the most similar. I see that it has been removed from the article anyway. I don't think it should have been there in the first place. It is, after all, only speculation.

Initial Discussion

I've updated the record on Mars' closest approach to Earth, on Wednesday, August 27, 2003.

2. Venus 3. Earth 4. Mars 5. Jupiter 6. Saturn 7. Uranus 8. Neptune 9. Pluto 10.Topal

Is anyone else seeing the letters "as" immediately above the table for Mars's natural satellites? When I view the page, I see them, but if I click on "Edit this page", I can't see them anywhere in the code! Putting "L" before the opening "caption" tag and "R" after it results in this appearing in the displayed page:

R Mars's natural satellites

So the problem would appear to be related to the "caption" tag in some way. But I can't see anything untoward in the page's HTML. Does this mean that it's all my browser's fault (it's Mozilla 1.1), or is there really something wrong in the page? Going through the edit history, I see that they first appear after the edit by Notheruser on 15th March 2003, although this edit was apparently just a spelling correction, so I have no idea how it could have affected any formatting. -- Oliver P. 05:40 May 11, 2003 (UTC)

The characters were at the end of the natural satellites table, outside the table definition. They're gone now. -- Zoe

Ah, thank you very much, Zoe! I think my brain must be tired; I'm getting confused by everything here tonight... ;) -- Oliver P. 06:40 May 11, 2003 (UTC)

Height of Olympus Mons was given in this article as 25 km, but as 27 km in that article. I have adjusted to make both articles read the same. BUT there is no mention of how these different heights are calculated. As there is no "sea level" on Mars, as there is no sea of free water, what height datum is used? On Mars is the height above mean surface level used or is the height based on elevation above surrounding landscape? I understand Olympus Mons sits in a depression 2 km below mean surface level - this would account for the 2 km discrepancy. -- kiwiinapanic 09:15 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hmm, speaking as an astronomy ignoramus, I noticed that the text of the article mentions the planet's "blood red" color, while in the picture it looks more like it's made of cheddar cheese. (Okay, I mean it's more or less yellow.). What gives?

Zashaw 04:20, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The colors of several photos were altered in the past because some thought that the public is not yet "ready" for the truth. - Der Eberswalder 10:12, 7 Apr 2004 (UTC)
About the colors of Mars, don't believe the conspiracy sites: it doesn't take an intentional coverup to make the colors of pictures differ. Color correction is a difficult thing, as anyone who's worked in photography, graphic design or prepress knows; and astronomical and space photos are often taken in wavelengths different from those seen by the sensing cones in our eyes, making correction even harder.
The Seventies Viking landers' pictures were poorly color-corrected because their calibration targets were dusted with material thrown up from the ground by the landing jets. Consequently the picture calibration had to be done in a rough manner, by hand and eye, with no prior standard to go by. The initial calibration attempted to make the sky a neutral gray, because of prior theories about its appearance; this appeared bluish in some broadcast and print reproductions. It was later decided on the basis of careful study of the pictures that this was wrong, but some later calibrations went too far in the other direction, and gave the ground a bright red appearance and the sky bright pink. Gilbert Levin has been claiming for decades that the initial calibration was correct and that subsequent adjustments served to obscure the appearance of green vegetation on the ground; conspiracists call this evidence of a coverup. But unless you believe that the same conspiracy was involved in the design of the calibration targets for the Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity landers, it's pretty clear by now that he is wrong; we have well-calibrated pictures of the Martian surface now.
Some have been excited by the appearance of a blue sky in completely uncalibrated downlinks from Spirit and Opportunity, or in pictures that have been run through Photoshop's Auto Levels feature, but this is meaningless; it just indicates that the sky is bluer than the ground. Others have pointed to seeming anomalies in the appearance of the color calibration targets, but this is simply because some pictures were taken with an infrared channel in place of the red channel.
Keep in mind also that much of color perception involves automatic adjustments that happen inside the human brain. Mars is visibly redder than the other planets, and to someone who is good at seeing these color differences (I'm not so good at it) the difference can be pronounced to the naked eye. But that doesn't mean that, if you looked at it more closely, it would appear fire-engine red. It usually looks somewhere in the tan-to-orange range in telescopes, and properly corrected pictures of Martian soil give it more or less the "red" you see in red dirt on Earth (such as in the Southwest US), that is, really a rusty tan color. The sky seen from the surface of Mars is usually some shade of tan or beige, though it varies over the sky, and the sun at sunrise and sunset appears with a striking blue halo. --Matt McIrvin 21:28, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

There's been a lot of media hype on Mars's "approach" to the Earth, as if it were whizzing by.

On Aug. 27 at 5:51 a.m. ET (1051 GMT) Mars was less than 34.65 million miles (55.76 million kilometers) away -- closer than it’s been in 59,619 years. -- some dopy website

But aren't Mars and Earth in elliptical orbits? Hasn't Mars been "closer than ever" to earth for several days, if not weeks? The precision of quotes like the above, which thankfully is not in the Wikipedia, makes it sound like being close is an instantaneous event.

Also, how much easier is it to see Mars with naked eye or with 8x to 20x magnification (such as binoculars or cheap telescope) than usual? Doesn't Mars "approach" and "recede" on a regular schedule of some sort? Like every 10 orbits or whatever?

What's the big deal, anyway? --Uncle Ed 16:57, 27 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Below is the IP address of someone I know intentionally edited the Mars to reflect bad information.

There may be more. There is a delphi forums group called the Bully Pulpit for Conservative Republicans and a few have advocated defacing Wikipedia Entries.

Thank You.

Why is the image broken? It's a valid file and the syntax seems correct - it even works in preview if you replace it with a different image... 33° 18:37, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

It looks fine to me right now. However, I too have seen images temporarilu "vanish" like you describe in recent weeks; I suspect that it's a result of Wikipedia's teething pains on its new servers, or perhaps a bug with the new image-handling code that's been introduced recently. Bryan 02:03, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Bah. Turned out my ad-blocking software thought it was just the right size to be an ad. So never mind... :-) 33° 14:59, 26 Feb 2004 (UTC)

"Consequently, scientists will probably find evidence of past life on Mars within the coming years"? That seems a pretty grand statement to me. Maybe it should say "this increases the probability that earth-like life once existed on mars" - Omegatron 21:13, Mar 4, 2004 (UTC)


Mars (planet) is being proposed to be moved to Mars, with reference to Mars (disambiguation) at the top. Any objections or comments should be listed on Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion. Anthony DiPierro 18:06, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'd rather have the map back at 580 pixels. Even at that size it's hard to figure out what you're looking at if you don't already know.

The image's filesize at 580 pixels was 91 kilobytes, now it's 20 kilobytes. This is already a fairly image-heavy page so I think it's a good idea to keep them trim for the sake of modem users. With the thumbnail formatting it's obvious that there's a larger version available for the clicking so I don't think much is lost. Bryan 01:08, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

I found another version of that map with labels on some of the features, but it's a .gif and 400k; too big? --wwoods 01:03, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

Thumbnailing may bring it down to a reasonable size. Also, I'd try jpegging it; if it's a version of this particular map with the same sort of smooth shading between many colours then gif is a very bad compression method to use. Bryan 01:08, 7 May 2004 (UTC)

under 'Other Cultures > Indian', this sentence is incomplete and fragmentary:

"In Jyotish, Mars is known in Sanskrit as Mangal (auspicious), Angaraka (burning coal), and as Mangal (auspicious), Angaraka (burning coal), and Kuja (the fair one). It represents energetic action, confidence and ego,"

anybody know what the missing Jyotish word is? and the unspoken thought after 'ego,'?

trace gases: methane 10.5 ppb (,

for the rest i don't know which values are correct; those at seem to be the most realistic ones since the neon concentration is similar to the neon concentration in earth's atmosphere (, the values at are smaller by a factor of 10, those at are larger by a factor of 10. google gives 642 results for (mars neon 25 ppm), 428 results for 250 ppm, 210 results for 2.5 ppm.

neon 25 ppm ? crypton 3 ppm ? xenon 800 ppb ? ozone 300 ppb ?

does anyone know for certain? 21:59, 14 Jun 2004 (UTC) says that there's also 100 ppm of NO in Mars' atmosphere, the same is stated on German wikipedia, and there's 2.5 ppm for neon. It seems likely that there's less neon in Mars' atmosphere than in Earth's due to neons low molecular (=atomic) weight. 14:41, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)


the infobox on the Icelandic article is much better, you might want to use that look. -- Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 16:33, 2004 Sep 2 (UTC)

Why does the Icelandic article have black on black for the section headers in the info box? Ed Sanville 02:10, 3 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Alright I need page numbers!

(Above sentence posted by User: at 2005 April 20 00:23 UTC)

Do you mean page numbers on the web article itself, or references to the external links? -Wikibob | Talk 00:30, 2005 Apr 20 (UTC)


Why is the main data column that should be on the right side of the page removed?

Fixed.--Patrick 10:20, Dec 13, 2004 (UTC)

landing map

could we get a map of the surface including where probes have landed? - Omegatron 18:43, Jan 5, 2005 (UTC)

Mars in various cultures

The "Mars in various cultures" has two sections of only two sentences each. I am sure this is not good wiki style. They should be either deleted altogether, greatly expanded enough to deserve their own section, or condensed and mentioned in the introduction.

This article, though, looks very complete, with some great images. I'm no expert, and haven't been contributing to this article --I was just reading it out of curiosity-- but you might want to consider nominating it to be a featured article. --Dmcdevit 23:52, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I found mention of a Martian hurrcane on "some dopey website".[1] Sure enough: Hubble caught a Texas-size cyclonic icy-water storm in late April 1999.[2][3][4] Kwantus 20:20, 2005 Feb 2 (UTC)

Missing references

The only primary objection here for FA status is it needs references. As I was not a contributing editor to this article, would the people who contribute to the Mars article please provide references? Thank you. -- AllyUnion (talk) 19:26, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC),
Offcourse, I will work on this reference problem after I finnish work on the crappy article structuring --Exir Kamalabadi July 1, 2005 01:44 (UTC)

Images and infobox

Seems like the infobox does not allow images on the left side of it. Now all images are grouped under it. Can somebody correct this problem? --Jyril 12:32, Mar 27, 2005 (UTC)

Highest 'known' mountain

This is indirectly addressed to User:Gene Nygaard who left the comment revert irrelevant qualification by User:; do you expect to find mountains of gases on the big planets?.

If I recall correctly currently we have only mapped around 40 to 60% of the surface of mercury, and have not attempted mapping of a number of moons in the outer solar system not to mention Pluto. It is likely that there are also bodies which have as yet been been undiscovered.

Therefore it is possible, and possibly even likely that there are mountains higher than mount Olympus in the solar system. There is absolutly no need for a comment such as you made which I found rather rude and insulting to the anonomous user. --Neo 13:05, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

So you don't think that a feature taller than Mons Olympus on Mercury wouldn't stand out and be noticed without detailed mapping? Get real.
There is no significant likelihood of finding a taller mountain in our solar system. Gene Nygaard 13:26, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Prior to space probes visiting Mars we had no idea that Olympus Mons was a mountain, it was just a surface feature. It is very difficult to determine the nature of features from a telescopic image. By mapped I mean imaged by a spacecraft. This image [5] shows how much of Mercury's surface is known to us - 48%. I will not say that it is likely that there is an Olympus sized mountain on Mercury, but it is possible in the unimaged areas.
This will be my last comment on the subject as you seem to be rude and hostile. --Neo 19:37, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)

Now calm down.If a higher mountain is discoverd, I'm sure that it will be added to Wikipedia later. No need to get upset...OK???

  • It is almost impossible that there is something bigger than Mount Olymps in the Solar System (it is very big), and for so many years it has been classified has "The Biggest Mountain in the Solar System". I doubt smaller planets like Mercury, Pluto or other ice planets like Pluto have bigger mountains, plz remember that Olympus Mons is due to a fixed vulcanic hot spot in a planet that didnt move a lot. That's why it is so big. On Earth hot spots move with the planet, that is why there are several islands in Hawai and the Azores, for instance. If Earth would have fixed hot spots then it would have a bigger mountain than Mars. -Pedro 19:14, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
Actually, not necessarily. There are many factors affecting this. Olympus Mons is big partly because of Mars' low gravity; on Earth a mountain that big would sink back into the soft mantle relatively quickly. A smaller body with less gravity than Mars, such as Mercury or Pluto, could concievably support an even larger mountain. The smallest bodies in the solar system can support such large "mountains" that they aren't even spherical - consider all those lumpy potato-shaped moons and asteroids that have been discovered over the years. One possible extreme is 2003 EL61, which is one third of Pluto's mass and based on albedo observations could be twice as long in one dimension as the others. These bulges probably won't ever be called mountains, but it shows the extremes these things can go to. Bryan 23:56, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • Ok, you are confusing two different things, but that's a view. But, lol, That's the shape of that asteroid (I wouldnt call that a planet) and part of its shape it is surely not a mountain, as the size of a mountain only starts at sea level. In the case of Mars, there's a sort of sea level. I thought that, maybe there's criovulcanism on Pluto (maybe due to tidal effects by Charon), and it would form a mountain like a normal volcano. We should exclude shapes of asteroids from planets and planetoids (spherical bodies), there is some scientific confusion, but almost everyone knows by instinct what's a planet and what's an asteroid. But I also though in that view and thought in the case of Hyperion (moonlet of Saturn) or Eros (a NEO)... I really didnt like the "world" given by NASA for Hyperion in the Cassini website... it seems pretty inappropriate. A potato is a potato. OK, Hyperion is a different sort of potato, but a potato, not a world, IMO. --Pedro 02:44, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Image layout

I checked this article, and the image layout is horrible. All the images are cramped to the top, and there is rarely any image on the bottom of the article. Does anyone mind changing the layout?--Exir Kamalabadi July 1, 2005 07:35 (UTC)

Major revision of sections

The sections of this article doesn't seem good. I would suggest that Mars in astrology and Mars in various cultures merge into the lead section, Delete Mars in fiction (or merge it into the lead section), and make Martian meteorites a sub-section of life on Mars(since most of martian meteorites section talks about Martion meteorites as possible proof of martian life). I'd also consider merging observation with exploration, as is done in the Venus article. Any comments?--Elixir of Life July 3, 2005 10:47 (UTC)

Mars in fiction section should contain very general introduction of the subject. It is too important not to be included in the article. But now it is more like a list of specific examples, which is not good. Same applies to the Martian meteorites section. Astrology and Mars in culture should be briefly mentioned in the lead section, and merged into one own article. Exploration of Mars section is way too concentrated to current missions. Finally, it is weird that Mars has no own article on its geology, as it is by far the most studied planet after the Earth. --Jyril July 3, 2005 11:19 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestions. Do you think that Mars in Fiction should be merged into the lead section?--Elixir of Life July 4, 2005 09:43 (UTC)
Definitely not. Lengthening the lead section moves table of contents down. The "in fiction" sections are conventionally near the end, and belong there, and astrology and "in culture" likewise near the end. Separate articles, if there is sufficient information; the summaries of them should appear in the same order here. Gene Nygaard 4 July 2005 13:57 (UTC)
I suggest we remove the "in fiction" section entirely. There's another page already dedicated to it (Mars in fiction) that covers almost all the same ground and is less list-like (though it, too, needs some work). It would shorten the article considerably and also remove redundant information. We could simply provide a link in the See also section. Any objections to this course of action? —ZorkFox 05:41, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea to me. --JiFish(Talk/Contrib) 10:43, 3 October 2005 (UTC)
Is this going to happen? More and more stuff is being added to this section as we speak. --JiFish(Talk/Contrib)
Done. Please check to make sure I didn't leave anything out. I tried to merge the fiction information in the main Mars article with the information in Mars in fiction. I added a "see also" link to the Mars in fiction article. —ZorkFox 03:10, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Old PNA nomination (from PNA/Astronomy)

It's the most explored planet, but the article about Mars is not very high quality. The sectioning is horrible, and the image layout is also not nice. Also, there is almost no reference.--Elixir of Life July 6, 2005 10:31 (UTC)


Will anyone mind if I put the markup of the sidebar inside this page(like the Venus page) instead of letting it be a template? If it remains a template, it will destroy the arrangements of the images( the images will be "Pushed" down). --Elixir of Life July 3, 2005 11:15 (UTC)

Geology of Mars

Just uploaded public domain image it may be of some help for this article or Geology of Mars article. Just a quick note i think that a history of Mars in world culture could maybe have it's own article i think their would be sufficient material. Yakuzai 3 July 2005 13:31 (UTC)

History of water on Mars.jpeg

User:Wonglokking's edits

User:Wonglokking recently deleted a bunch of the intro to the Mars article. I agree that much of that was background info that didn't need to be in the intro, but it still should be in the article someplace. I suggest someone more familiar with Mars and this article take a look at the edits and please move the deleted text to an appropriate section in the article. BlankVerse 08:39, 16 July 2005 (UTC)


In the atmosphere section it is stated that "68 degrees Farenheit is about as hot as it gets". I have two objections to this:
- The max surface temperature can be found in the sidebar.
- Why Fahrenheit?

Sundae 15:50, 17 July 2005 (UTC) lol. I don't know what 68 degrees Farenheit means. o.O BTW, there's no problem with that info on the article and in the sidebar. One is data, the other is for reading and understanding.--Pedro 03:00, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

Areology >> Geology

It's far more appropriate to use the terminology of areology to refer to the substance of Mars rather than geology. It even says in the article that areo- is the accepted prefix for all things martian.

I disagree for a couple of reasons. First, notwithstanding the Greek geo, geology is commonly used refer to other celestial bodies, not only Earth. Second, geology is unambiguous, while it appears some people use areology to describe the study of Mars in general, rather than Martian geology in particular. Wmahan. 20:04, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Despite my natural penchant for using the specific if obscure term over the generic but common one, I have to agree with Wmahan: areology nowadays means « the study of Mars », rather than « the study of Martian rocks ». Even if that weren't so, it would still be better to speak of geology throughout Wikipedia (when speaking of the rocks that make up rocky planets) rather than hermeology, cyther[e]ology, selenology, areology and each of the asteroid-logies (where one quickly runs into word conflicts: (1) Ceres -logy would be cereology, which has already been assigned to mean the « study of crop circles »...).
Urhixidur 20:52, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
In general I agree that the most commonly used term should prevail, even though I like "areology" better, but what about adding a little note to that section to the effect that "the geology of Mars" is sometimes called areology? (Unfortunate about that cereology thing; sheesh.) ZorkFox 19:13, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't object if the word is actually used as the counterpart to geology, as opposed to meaning "the study of mars". I'm just a little wary of assuming geo- becomes areo- when Mars is involved. For instance if someone went to Mars and proved a theorem, it would still be geometry, regardless of the Greek roots of the word. Wmahan. 20:11, 28 September 2005 (UTC)
As Urhixidur notes quite correctly, 'cereology' is the study of crop circles. But if we just as properly use the Greek root for the substantive study of each planet, the study of Ceres' substance would be 'Demetrology'. There is no conflict. All of Urhixidur's other alleged conflicts also fall to careful study. 'Hermeology', 'hygieology', and 'selenology' stand without conflicts. 'Cyther[e]ology', though reducing more probably to 'aphrod[it]ology', remains similarly unassigned. The major asteroids are similarly unconflicted, if we merely employ the commonest Greek: not the unassigned 'vestology', but the also-unassigned 'hestiology'; not the clumsy 'pallasology' or the confusing 'pallaeology', but the pleasingly simple 'athenology'. If we wish to optimise Wikipedia[.en]'s descriptive power, none of the Greek-rooted terms should be completely rejected. I might go even so far as to propose that we use the best available classical term for the subject body under consideration. By the culturally liberal interpretation of such a rule, the study of Sedna's substance might well be described as 'ouranology', and the study of Quaoar's substance as 'shaktology'. Of course, such a rule is naturally / intrinsically subject to diminishment as the objects described fade into the larger background of the inverse-observability horizon. Neither respectfully understanding, nor profoundly respecting, the rightfully overriding Wikipaedian preferences for humility and objective description prohibits us from expanding the expressive power of our words where such expansion fits the diverse descriptive tasks at hand. Why should we choose to deny ourselves the beauty and power of 'heliology' when we refer to the endeavours about which we presently detour so prosaically as 'solar physics'?
. 00:43, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
In the case of areology, it's quite simple: the word already means something else. Why deny ourselves the beauty and power of a modern language like English, and use a prosaic and antiquated one like Greek? ;-) That said, it's a minor point in the end, and I don't think it's worth arguing about endlessly. -- Wmahan. 03:06, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Martian mountains image

File:Martian mountains.jpg
Martian mountain region - image captured from BBC TV's Sky At Night, broadcast on 2nd Oct 2005

Jouni edited my summary of this image, wishing it to be validated: the image was taken by me on my computer which runs a television card, the programme was BBC tv's The Sky at Night, 2nd October 2005.

As pointed out to me, this picture is different from previous images taken by Spirit, if anyone else saw the programme, or sees a repeat, please reference it. The BBC website does have an archive of the programmes, but it's only up to August. Alf melmac 20:25, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

It looks like computer model of Mars surface then real picture. --Li-sung 22:24, 14 October 2005 (UTC)
It is just a vertically stretched image from Spirit's panorama.--Jyril 12:52, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Really, Sol 11. As vertically stretched it looks awfully. --Li-sung 00:55, 10 December 2005 (UTC)

Gulliver's Travels

I have added a bit about Jonathan Swift's book Gulliver's Travels, which mentions there being 2 moons, even though they weren't discovered until 150 years later! I found out about this from the book Intelligent Life in the Universe by Carl Sagan and I.S. Shklovskii. They also mention that Voltaire echoed the Laputans discovery in his book Micromegas.Blaise 20:43, 2 November 2005 (UTC)


Dear NASA,

Why not send weather satellites to Mars? Then we could put them on TV, for a Mars Weather Channel akin to the current (Earth) Weather Channel. I'm sure lots of people would be interested to see up-to-the-minute pictures and video of Mars. oneismany 11:42, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

Is this a joke? --JiFish(Talk/Contrib) 12:44, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Daily dust and temperature maps of Mars. Close enough? -- Kazrak 14:47, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
Currently it's a bit limited. Why not devote TV time to extraterrestrial landscapes, or for that matter, terrestrial landscapes? I would definitely tune in to a channel with live coverage of the Grand Canyon, or the Himalayas, for example. Why not the Moon? Or Mars? Or any planet? Or any planet's moon? oneismany 11:02, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
Well, there's [6]. Better? -- Kazrak 09:33, 1 December 2005 (UTC)
That's fantastic, but it's hardly as exhaustive of Mars as Earth satellites are of Earth. And it's just a single planet. How many planets and major asteroids or moons are there out there? Humankind has gazed up at the planets and stars from Earth's surface for millions of years. Now, we can gaze at the planets up close! We could even gaze back at outselves from the other planets! This fact is so exhilerating that we should go beyond just thinking about it and make it happen. oneismany 10:17, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

The Big Honkin' Map

The PDF map gets shown at full-size in Safari. That's about 2000 pixels by 1000 pixels shown as an inline image. This is, shall we say, suboptimal. Is there any way we can thumbnail this thing? -- Kazrak 09:33, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Ice lake section

I've rewritten the section on the "ice lake" found by ESA, which lacked citations for its assertions, which are not, in my opinion, reflected by the scientific facts. As noted in ESA's announcement, there is a height difference of 200 meters. The previous version asserted that the ice patch is a "thin layer of frost that has condensed onto dark, cold sand dunes (about 200 m high)". ESA, on the other hand, states that the height difference cannot be solely attributed to the ice sheet, and that it is probably and mostly due to the dunes beneath. These are clear qualifiers of uncertainty, and therefore, the bold assertion that we're dealing with a "thin layer of frost" (!) does not appear supportable to me. From ESA's own report, it seems more supportable that we are in fact dealing with an unusually thick ice patch.

I've also rephrased the bits about the BBC allegedly "sensationalizing" the story, which were unsourced. It appears to be true that no scientist has referred to this structure as a "lake", however.

If there has been any qualified scientific commentary about this, I'd like to see some more sources added to this section.--Eloquence* 02:42, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

List of occulted stars

I removed the huge table of (basically incomprehensible) numbers from the article. It is a highly specialized dataset in which only a very few readers could have an interest (certainly none of the casual ones). Wikipedia isn't just an infodump, and this article could already stand some trimming. —ZorkFox 02:54, 28 December 2005 (UTC)