Talk:Mars/Archive 2

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Water Found On Mars?

According to Aviation Week, NASA is expected to announce today that water has been identified on Mars. This seems to be confirmed from this news item of a "important find" at NASA itself. Guess we'll know in a few hours.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:27, 6 December 2006 (UTC).

Hmmm... [1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bizzybody (talkcontribs) 09:39, 18 December 2006 (UTC).
Yes, I tried to edit the incorrect sentence that says it is only likely to be water - to the fact that there is water - but apparently as a new registered user I cannot. Can someone make the change, or remove the protection. MasterSci 02:12, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Unofficial flag of Mars

Hele wondering if the "unofficial flag of Mars" shown in the infobox of this article is of sufficient importance to be the leading image in this article? It seemingly takes precedence over the image of the planet itself. --DannyZ 01:34, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I agree - I think it should be removed, or at least moved further down the page. -Berek 08:54, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
And I third the motion, so I've taken it out of the infobox. There's already a whole section for it at Mars#The Mars flag. Bryan 09:14, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Olivine and methane

I removed the reference to methane being produced by "the decomposition of the mineral olivine" because the literature I can find on the subject requires carbon dioxide dissolved in water (which produces hydrogen when it comes in contact with olivine) which then, apprently, combines with the carbon dioxide to produce methane. [2] Wouldn't this require liquid water... something Mars hasn't had for a long, long time? At the very least, if this really is possible, there should be a bit more explanation of the process (even if it's just a few more words). This page [3] seems to have a reasonable explanation. Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

Also, might we think about archiving the talk page? It's getting pretty huge.—ZorkFox (ষTalk) 03:07, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I've added a bit about the process, with more information under Atmosphere of Mars, with a reference to the original paper. Mlm42 23:51, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Richard C Hoagland

The article references the fact that probes have vanished. Go to Enterprise Mission, Richard C. Hoagland's Homepage. He says that someone or something is taking these things out. Martial Law 22:28, 10 March 2006 (UTC) :)

Everytime Mars is discussed, especially on Coast To Coast AM, Richard C. Hoagland is consulted. Martial Law 22:30, 10 March 2006 (UTC) :)

There's nothing fun in that. It's always bad when crackpots get a chance to spread their ideas in public.--Jyril 23:13, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
The problem isnt his mind. Is his pocket. He already sold tons of books.

Dust devil animation

Even as a thumbnailed animation, Image:Marsdustdevil2.gif has a size of 1.1 MB. This creates quite some traffic each time the page is loaded (and potentially delays the display of the other images). Could someone create a static thumb and/or can this be reduced to a separate link to the image page? Femto 15:37, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I have converted the gif animation into a Theora Ogg video file, which is now 136KB instead of 1.1MB It looks about the same, and is the approriate file type for videos on Wikimedia Commons. The file is here:
    if anyone wants to place a link to it. The really nice thin about the GIF is that it embeds as video on the page unlike the OGG file which needs to be downloaded and played with VLC... Sadly I have no luck with the embedded VLC Firefox plugin... --Tomhannen 08:20, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

datum vs. zero altitude

the bit about the zero altitude / datum of mars is rather unsatisfying.. what is meant by a fourth-degree, fourth order spherical harmonic gravity field, anyway? and how does that correspond to a hieght at which pressure is constant? and how does that correspond to a height at which temperature is constant? are they all the same? if so, why? i couldn't find this information on google (but found loads of sources saying blindly "fourth-degree and fourth-order spherical harmonic gravity field" without even giving a rough explanation of what that is). does somebody know more about this? Mlm42 09:20, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

  • moved section to Areography.. but still don't have a good explanation. Mlm42 23:14, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  • I edited the equivalent section in Areography, but am not sure whether it's better than the current wording here in Mars. The mention of a "fourth-degree and fourth-order spherical harmonic gravity field" is useless unless we can get a clear explanation of it. Besides, how relevant is it if the actual method for choosing the basis is the triple-point/air pressure method? --Kris Schnee 20:28, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Image Layout

The Image layout is too cramped. The positioning is bad, and there is just too much images. Can anyone solve this problem? Maybe we should delete some images that are alike, or maybe resize them. --Exir KamalabadiJoin Esperanza! 04:42, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

  • moved some images to other pages.. i think it's better now. Mlm42 23:15, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


Is this verified fact? I was under the impression that the surface of Mars was a dull brown, with the reddish colour being caused by dust in the atmosphere?--Brideshead 21:50, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

    • added reference for this fact. Mlm42 23:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Image of 'Water-worn' particle

The microscopic 'water-worn' particle (imaged) looks suspiciously like a tektite.Duncan.france 01:13, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


I'd like to create some start-ups for Mars surface features and I've got my head all twisted around trying to figure out what to use for longitudinal points. I understand that the latest pattern is "planetocentric longitude" with 0-360 degrees East, as our Timekeeping on Mars page says and as the ESA has informed me. Perhaps unfortunately, Google Mars has apparently decided to do 0-180 West and 0-180 East to make things intuitive for Earthlings. Click on Sinus Meridiani (the Martian Prime Meridian) at the Google site and then randomly click on things nearby and you'll see what I mean. I have every expectation people are going to be using Google when they want to do Martian latitude and longitude which may be problematic. Add to this that many sources use the old 0-360 degrees West system, "planetographic longitude", and it's a mess. Marskell 15:37, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

There's no difference between -180 to +180 and 0 to 360 - This is a meaningless difference. As to the east vs west differences, yeah, that's a problem. As is the planetographic stuff. The current reference ellipsoid is from MOLA, and they chose to go with a right-handed coordinate system based on the distance from the center of the planet (ergo, east leading planetocentric longitude).

Capture of Moons

It seems to me that there should be some mention of the martian moon capture paradox. Please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding of facts is this: There is no current good explanation for how mars could have captured phobos and deimos. Without an appreciable atmosphere for airobraking, and with no 3rd body present, gravitational capture is not possible (or is incredibly unlikely), in general. In addition, presumably phobos was captured relatively recently, ruling out the possibility that it was captured at a time when mars did have a thick atmosphere. (it orbits too close to mars to survive for very long, due to tidal loss of orbital speed). This is an unresolved mystery. Pog 17:15, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

My understanding is that this objection can go away if the asteroid being captured was not lone but one of a pair. This would provide a third body for the interaction. --Burntnickel 16:31, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Both moons orbit around mars' equatorial plane in circular orbits, whereas captured bodies would be expected to orbit around some random plane, in eccentric orbits.

Whilst it is true that one of a pair of asteriods could be captured at the same time, it is also almost improbable; there are very few binary asteriods many km across, it is believed that the celestial mechanics required for a succesful capture using a third body are exacting, and very unlikely to happen by chance. Any yet mars would seem to have done it twice? And at least once recently, due to phobos' orbital position being unstable (it will be destroyed in <50million years).

The carbonacous makeup of the moons also suggests they are not ejecta from mars.

I'm not saying that they aren't captured bodies. I'm just saying that it is an obsurdly remote possibility (which in the words of sherlock holmes must be accepted as the truth, since all other possibilities have been eliminated). It might be worth mentioning, that's all :P

--Pog 10:06, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

You may want to include the theory that the moons accreted at the same time as Mars from the solar nebula/dust cloud. I can provide a reference for this if you think it's a worthwhile idea. 00:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)AK 7 March 2007

Fourth brightest object?

This line is in the Jupiter entry:

"Jupiter is usually the fourth brightest object in the sky (after the Sun, the Moon and Venus); however at times Mars appears brighter than Jupiter."

In the Mars entry we have:

"Mars can be seen from Earth by the naked eye with a brightness of up to -2.9 magnitude, only surpassed by Venus, the Moon and the Sun."

The two seem to contradict each other.

Anyone know which is correct? Ajkgordon 17:04, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

They don't contradict each other, because the Jupiter entry is talking about the brightness at any given time, and the Mars one is talking about the brightest they get. That is, sometimes Jupiter is brighter than Mars, but when Mars is at its brightest it's brighter than Jupiter. Brian Sayrs 17:38, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Good point, well spotted! Thanks. Ajkgordon 20:51, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Except that, at its brightest, Jupiter can reach magnitude -2.94.[4] This would appear to exceed the maxima of Mars at -2.9, but I've seen -3.0 listed on some sites for the closest opposition approach. ;-) What might be interesting in the "Astronomical observations" section is to list the maximum magnitude of the Earth as seen from Mars, as well as the magnitude of Jupiter (which should be greater than that seen from the Earth.) — RJH (talk) 16:03, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Reference to HD80606b

What does extrasolar planet HD 80606b have to do with anything? This either needs explaining or removing. 15:29, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Good call, problem has been fixed now. It was a mistake that I had made. The correct name is 5261 Eureka. Tuvas 16:11, 13 June 2006 (UTC)


Wikipedia:WikiProject_Astronomical_objects/Collaboration - Nominated for Collaboration of the week - --GW_Simulations|User Page | Talk | Contribs | E-mail 19:34, 5 June 2006 (UTC).


Well, I've found alot more references for the various parts of this article. I'm going to take a bit of a break from it, but as you should be able to see, things are looking pretty nice. If someone could finish off the work, and check the references added, it'd be nice;-) I think that's one of the major things we needed to do to get this to FA status, so... Tuvas 19:04, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Collaboration of the Week: June 13-19

Mars has been made Astronomy collaboration of the week for the week of June 13-June 19. Please make suggestions for ways to improve this article here or by all means, Be Bold! --Volcanopele 22:01, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Sunlight on mars

I would like to know how many hours of sunlight mars gets on it each day


It's very simple. Take the number of hours in the day (24.6 or so, off the top of my head, in the article it has the exact value), and divide it by two, and you have the answer. Tuvas 02:08, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
But Mars has axial tilt, like Earth, so has variable sunlight hours through its seasons. Ajkgordon 08:31, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
True, but then the question becomes alot more complex, depending on the location, time of year, etc. Still, the average will be as I said. Tuvas 19:04, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I could imagine the sunrise and sunset are more abrupt due to the thin atmosphere. So possibly the twilight periods are shorter on Mars since there is less refraction of the sunlight near the horizon. That might affect your perception of the length of the day. But I'm not sure how significant an effect that may be. — RJH (talk) 17:10, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, because of the almost continually dusty atmosphere, dawn/dusk twilight lasts about 3 hours. Odyssey/THEMIS has taken good visible images in the early morning (4:30-5:00 AM).


I think this is a great topic to kick off the astronomy collaboration of the week. My suggestion of what to do is to start by thinking about organisation. I've found it works really well to construct an ideal table of contents, then put all the current content into that structure. This identifies any gaps in coverage. Current FA Mercury (planet) and hopefully soon-to-be-FA Venus both start with an inside-to-outside description of structure, followed by sections on orbit and rotation, observations, and structure. There's no great need to follow that, but I think it works well as a structure, though Mars would also need a section about its moons. Worldtraveller 16:01, 14 June 2006 (UTC)


An ideal TOC is a great idea to structure the article. Starting with the Venus or Mercury article seems an ideal place to start. Shall we start a list of contents here and then format the article to fit before expanding or adding sections? Sophia 18:15, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Mars has some differences from Mercury and Venus. For one, there has been a great deal more spacecraft to visit Mars than the other two. That means that the exploration section is quite valid as is, only possibly removing the observational section. But, for the sake of argument, I'm going to post Venus's TOC, and compare. All with a * after we already have.
   * 1 Structure * (Physical characteristics)
         o 1.1 Internal structure
         o 1.2 Geography
         o 1.3 Surface geology
         o 1.4 Atmosphere
         o 1.5 Magnetic field
   * 2 Orbit and rotation  <- Could be added
   * 3 Observation * In exploration subsection, could be made it's own section
   * 4 Studies of Venus *Included in the exploration section, again, could be made it's own section. If done, should combine with observation.
         o 4.1 Early studies
         o 4.2 Ground-based research
   * 5 Research with space probes *Exploration section
         o 5.1 Early efforts
         o 5.2 Atmospheric entry
         o 5.3 Surface science
         o 5.4 Radar mapping
   * 6 Venus in human culture *Could be improved
         o 6.1 Historic connections
         o 6.2 In fiction
   * 7 References *
   * 8 See also *
   * 9 External links *

That's my comments as to what could be increased. Let me know what you think. Tuvas 19:03, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the Venus TOC provides a pretty good basis for a Mars TOC. All I'd add would be a section on the moons, and also one about life on the planet - ALH84001, the Viking experiments, and so on. Climate could come under Geography, and I'm not convinced that colonization needs a section. Perhaps a link in a see also section.
We'll have to be careful about length - Venus is about 39kb, and there's quite a lot more to be said about Mars. If we can keep it under 50kb we'll be doing very well, although I suppose quite a few sections will be summaries of sub-articles. I am sure we can do an excellent 'Mars in human culture' section, mentioning things like War of the Worlds and such but without letting it become one of these awful arbitrary lists of books and films that feature Mars. Worldtraveller 20:06, 14 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, that is true, there is alot more to be said about Mars. Still, we have alot more sub pages then Venus. The mars Exploration section is pretty much the most we should put in there. We should mention more about Mars in Human culture, and perhaps create a sub-article for the grand list.

So, from what I can tell, we need to add:

  1. Orbit and Rotation

Improve/make own section:

  1. Human Culture
  2. Observation from Earth (Past and present, cool stuff, etc)

Is this all? Tuvas 20:21, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

The section on "life" needs a tiny bit more detail on how this is linked to the search for (unfrozen) water and the controversy over "bugs" found in meteorites on earth that are thought to originate from mars as these are the topics readers are likely to have come across. And since NASA talks about colonizing Mars using the moon as a base station, I think readers would expect to find something here about it too. Also we must mention Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles! Sophia 20:19, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Lead Section

The lead section needs improvement. Tuvas seems to taking care of some of the problems, but it needs expansion. The lead section should summarize what will be discussed in the article as a whole. However, at the moment, it manages to be a lead section about Mars without actually talking about the planet Mars. Nothing about geology, nothing about water, nothing about the possibility of life, nothing about the effect on culture in the 20th century! If the lead section can be expanded to include actually discussing Mars (is discussing the symbol of Mars really THAT important?!?). --Volcanopele 19:14, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I've done alot of work to it, I think that it can be reworded a bit still, perhaps some links added, and a bit more information included. But, it's alot better.Tuvas


The kick-off has been done the first money is already out for the Pasteur payload of the ExoMars Rover. The point that ITAR made a cooperation impossible is not true. The Urey team of the JPL [a] is stll active and this will be an mostly american instrument (there have to be at least three european companies in this team). The Atmospheric Pressure Matrix Assisted Laserdesorbtion and Gas Chromatography -- Mass Spectrometer is also consisting of a german fench and US team, in which the ITAR basically stopps every question from europe to be answered from the US.

[a] Development and evaluation of a microdevice for amino acid biomarker detection and analysis on Mars A. M. Skelley, J. R. Scherer, A. D. Aubrey, W. H. Grover, R. H. C. Ivester, P. Ehrenfreund, F. J. Grunthaner, J. L. Bada, R. A. Mathies, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 102, 1041-1046 (2005)--Stone 17:29, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

More photographed than Earth

From the introductory paragraph:

As of 2006, there are parts of Mars that are more photographed than parts of Earth. [citation needed]

I think this should more correctly be "photographed with higher resolution"; it's a pretty trivial observation which hardly needs a citation, e. g. the Viking landing site is surely photographed with higher resolution than some site in one of Earth's deserts or polar regions. IMO this sentence should be made somewhat more specific or (probably the better option) deleted completely. Icek 01:53, 8 July 2006 (UTC)

Removed.. Its not a meaningful statement. My bedroom is more photographed than parts of Earth. Phidauex 00:32, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Try FAC?

We tried recently to get this article peer reviewed, without much success. One other way to get the article reviewed would be to try and nominate it for a featured article. We would definately get some good feedback then, and that's the goal anyways. Comments? Tuvas 15:01, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

  • it is a good idea, although FA in English wikipedia are usually poor and uninterresting articles, so I don't know if that is a good thing, but at least it will gain some attention by some people, and that's good. --Pedro 15:28, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
I say: go for it -- Nbound
Article nominated for FA -- Nbound 03:44, 18 September 2006 (UTC)
Great - let's keep our fingers crossed. Sophia 05:52, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

As big as the Moon on August 27th 2006?

I have gotten a few emails from people saying that Mars will be extremely close to earth at 12:30 on August 27th. I have no clue how true this is, but the wikipedia page doesn't say anything about it. I think that this page should at least mention it, whether its a scam or not. The email says that Mars hasn't been this close in 5,000 years and won't be again for 60,000 years or something. They say it will be the same size as the moon to the naked eye. If this is the case, it would be quite a sight to see. Thanks ahead of time to anybody who answers my question. 23:43, 8 August 2006 (UTC)Ryan

It is a chain letter that seems to resurface almost every year since 2003. On August 27, 2003 Mars was closer than in 59,619 years. Although it was brighter than usual, it wasn't that much bigger. The change compared to other very close oppositions (times when Earth is between Sun and Mars, i.e. they are on opposite sides from us i.e. Mars is closest to us) was minimal. If Hubble imaged Mars during these oppositions, you wouldn't tell the difference from the images. The "Moon-sized" Mars part is nonsense. For more, see Bad Astronomy website articles from 2003, 2005 and 2006.--JyriL talk 23:53, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Considering that Mars an Earth have different traslation cicles, it is impossible that a big mars could be observed again on August 27, during several years from 2003. It can be in any other date, but not around August 27 during some years.

Yeah, Mars was well visible on August 27th, 2003. On this August 27th, it won't be far from solar conjunction (behind the sun)!--JyriL talk 12:59, 13 August 2006 (UTC)


I can not find any scientific publication except one for teachers from JPL which does use this term. ISI does not even give a single hit while google scholar gives a hand full. Only some strange pages on the net use this term. The discussion in the archive points it ould very good. Areology is research on the subject of the whole planet not only the rocks. The right word for studies on the planet earth does not come up to meright know may be there is no such word at all.--Stone 15:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

This has already been hashed over at least once. The archive contains a record of that debate. Again, it found that Geology, rather than Areology, should be preferred. Cheers, --Plumbago 15:59, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
If anybody can find a citation in a article worth mentioning areology it would be fine, but uptill than this use is unreferenced at best.--Stone 12:02, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
My admittedly anecdotal experience is that areology is not used by working Mars scientists (areologists? :)). A search at (a high traffic, NASA sponsored searchsite of professional astronomy articles) gives no hits for areology but over 3000 for the combination of "Mars" and "geography". Given this and the ISI, Google scholars, and general net results cited by Stone, I'm changing the name of the section to Geography. Jespley 17:22, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I just realized that I was getting confused between areology and areography. Nonetheless, my point stands and I'm going to change areography to geography. I'm new to wikipedia so hopefully I'm not rudely setting off an edit war. Jespley 17:25, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Help! I've realized this is more complicated than I thought. There are links to an areography wikipage but Martian geography is already taken. Simply changing areography to geography will require wholesale rearranging of pages and page names. Anyone want to help me so that I don't create a chaos of broken links and stranded pages? Jespley 19:05, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm holding off editing for the moment and those interested might consider discussing the issue of the term "areography" Talk:Areography page. Jespley 19:05, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Non-NASA probes

Why are only the NASA missions to Mars listed in a table, and not the ESA and/or other missions? DaMatriX 18:55, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

The Mars Express Orbiter is an ESA project. NASA has had the most success with Mars - historically the Russians were pretty jinxed just as NASA didn't have much luck with Venus. Sophia 00:33, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
Have change the template accordingly. Sophia 00:45, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Rare high-altitude clouds found on Mars , thanks, CarpD 8/28/06

Chinese Name

Would it be possible for someone to add a phonetic pronunciation for the chinese name for Mars? It seems very strange to have something like that in the lead paragraph without a translation. Stardust8212 18:41, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


Hasn't been updated in a very long time. I presume that editors interested in Mars might be interested in the portal? (and yes I know this is arguably out of process for the talk page here) JoshuaZ 03:46, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Martian Chronicles

My reasoning in putting back a deleted reference to The Martian Chronicles is that it's one of the most famous works by a famous author, an SFWA Grand Master [5]. --Kris Schnee 18:48, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

I do agree that this is a very famous work - on the UK school syllabus when I was there as well as a mini series screened in the 80's [6]. Sophia 20:51, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Polar ice caps melting?

(First time posting, please forgive any stuff-ups!)

Could someone possibly add some information about the polar ice caps "melting", please? This seems to be cited as proof that our own planet is warming up due to increased solar activity rather than greenhouse gases, but from what I read measurements have only been made for a short time, and it seems there are other possible explanations (eg dust storms, regional variations). Alexessory 02:20, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

If you can find some sources, id be happy to =) -- Nbound 02:53, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

This is one page I found that seems fairly comprehensive: My problem is that I'm no expert, so I don't feel I can judge the validity of any of the arguments! Alexessory 02:44, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Thats only regional short-term polar heating according to the article, and it is infact already mentioned briefly on the page: "Recent evidence has suggested that Mars is subject to short term climate changes, such as warming of the south pole.[22]" -- Nbound 03:30, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Personally I agree, that's exactly how I understood that page also. However, it's only one source, and the "ice caps on Mars are melting therefore global warming must also be due to the Sun, not anthropogenic pollution" argument seems to be quite common at the moment. Thought it would be useful for an expert to address that here. Alexessory 22:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Probably better suited for the article on global warming itself. -- Nbound 22:57, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

historical observations

Kevin Zahnle (2001). "Decline and fall of the martian empire". Nature 412: 209–213. doi:10.1038/35084148. 

Exploration section

Hey all. I've been looking at the exploration section, it looks like it needs to be re-written. It make it look as though the most notable thing about Mars exploration was it's large failure rate, which I think there should be a better way to explain it. I'm going to try and work on something, but you might take a look at it. Tuvas 03:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Percival Lowell and the Lowell Observatory should be mentioned in the historical observation section, because he had a large influence on the common belives of life on Mars with his three books and the chanels he pictured in his observatory.--Stone 08:12, 29 September 2006 (UTC)


Article about real aerography--Stone 14:32, 3 October 2006 (UTC) book with a chapter about Areography and no Mars is mentioned. The book of Lowell Areography is the only significant mentioning of the word ever!--Stone 14:38, 3 October 2006 (UTC)


yup; fair enough.. the problem with simply deleting all the text in the Areography article and pasting it to the Geography of Mars article is that you lose the history, and you have to fix all the links.. but a page move should do the trick; then we'll just have to fix the links manually. Mlm42 17:03, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, see the discussion at Areography page for my justification for making the change. I've just been too lazy to actually do the change since it involved pages moves, etc. Jespley 17:31, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Fixing up the climate section

This whole section needs some work as noted by whoever put the dispute flag up. I've started doing a little tidying up and added one reference though I'm new to wikipedia so I messed up the formatting and to get the full article with actual numbers you'll need a subscription to JGR. We need to add a whole section about long term climate change at Mars which is one of the driving forces behind science at Mars. Maybe I'll write something up when I get a chance. Here's a place to start for anyone with a subscription to Nature: Jespley 18:07, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I'll get to work on the long-term climate change (my specialty) as well as tidying up the climate section some more. Mplmetman 18:44, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

That section was translated from german and its wiki is not cited -- Nbound 11:43, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

My understanding is that the "surface" temperature on Mars drops very dramatically as one rises feet and even inches off the ground. If memory serves, I believe I was told that your feet could be at room temperature while your head was at arctic conditions. This is due to the very low atmospheric pressure (less than 1/100 % of one atmosphere). I thought you might add this to avoid people from thinking that the warmest temperature quoted (68-70 degrees) means an unprotected person on the surface would be comfortable (temperature-wise, ignoring pressure & radiation issues). If you could figure out what that theoretical maximum 70 degree temperature at the surface would be at perhaps 6 feet high, that would be particularly great. User: EdIsenberg 0400 UTC 15 January 2007 (President, Rio Grande Astronomical Society

What's worse is that the article is inconsistent. The temperature range in the "Climate" section contradicts that given in the sidebar. Which is correct? Scrutchfield 03:19, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Mars seen from Earth

I'm missing where in the sky Mars can be seen from Earth. Is it part of a constellation? --Bisco 10:44, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

It would depend on time of year -- Nbound 11:28, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Being a planet rather than a star it is not a fixed part of a constellation. --Guinnog 11:41, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Right now it can't be seen, it's almost directly behind the sun. But, it varies constantly, where it can be seen. Tuvas 14:34, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Link to a site showing, among other things, the current apparent positions of planets. Icek 02:15, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

All I did to the Mars article was correct a grammatical error.

Justin Jepson, 8th Grader

Ceres and Mars

I deleted this: "Interestingly, the perihelia of Ceres and Mars are on the opposite side of the Sun, minimising the perturbation of Ceres' orbit by Mars."

I say having opposite-side perihelia makes for closer approaches. I used Solex 9.0 to find the Ceres-Mars approach distances from the present until 3000, and then did the same for an imaginary Ceres that is the same, except its perihelion on the same side of the Sun as Mars' is.

The real Ceres approaches Mars to within 150 Gm 47 times, while its counterpart did so 23 times. The real Ceres beat the record approach 36 times.

I would think having more close approaches increases the perturbations. Maybe for some reason opposite-side perihelia does minimize the perturbations, even though the two bodies come closer. But we need a citation or explanation before putting that in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saros136 (talkcontribs)

I think this is simply a coincidence. The perturbations should be so minimal compared to the effect of Jupiter I guess this fits the Wikipedia:No original research criteria, unless this one was ever studied in a scientific means (but then it needs to be referenced). Thus I fully agree with removing this sentence. andy 11:19, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

plants on Mars ?

I'm not saying that there are trees on mars. But what is it ? 23:10, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

What ever these features are they are not vegetation as Mars does not have any surface liquid water. If you could find the canal system that irrigates them then maybe you have something.....  ;-) Sophia 23:21, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Ever seen this image mars humanoid skull ? For plants and aliens there is no evidence found jet, but images always contain stuff free to interpretation. Without water and oxygen and no trace of organic compounds found in the dust, the plants on mars have to be a lot different from what we know. The spectral date finds only inorganic emmisions from rocks and minerals and the rovers never had any contact with a plant, so only the satelite images with a resolution of a fraction of a meter are not enough to give us the right to claim plants on mars. If you want to see what satelite images can show use google eart and look at some desserts on earth, it is cool what errosion can form!--Stone 12:07, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

"Several researchers claim to have detected methane in the Martian atmosphere with a concentration of about 10 ppb by volume.[14] Methane is an unstable gas that is broken down by ultraviolet radiation, typically lasting in the atmosphere for about 340 years,[15] and its possible presence on Mars could indicate that there is (or has been within the last few hundred years) a source of the gas on the planet. Volcanic activity, comet impacts, and the existence of life in the form of microorganisms such as methanogens are among possible sources." (in ) See also DDR-Physiker 22:26, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Ja und? The plants claimed by the links above are somewhat different to some microbes producing a few molecules of methane. They say the trees and plants form larg areas on the surface visible from the orbit. Anybody would be glad to find some life on mars but uptil now only the methane is a good trace the pictures are for sure not. The microbes are on the target list of Mars Science Laboratory and even moreon Exomars, but this will take another decade untill we know for sure.--Stone 08:38, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
"Arthur C. Clarke has also expressed his belief that certain organic-looking areas in photograph MO8 04688[1] from the Mars Orbiter Camera probably represent tree-like organisms.[2][3] These images were taken at latitude -82.02°, longitude 284.38°, near to the Martian south pole. If the 'trees' were any form of life, they would be on a scale unknown to Earth: some of the Martian 'trees' would be one kilometre in diameter." ( ) 21:37, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I like Arthur C. Clarke but this is the same as I would ask Helmut Newton to look at espionage satelite pictures of balistic mmissle cites, because he can take nice photos of woman. He is simply not qualified for this type of work. If the trees are several miles high the whole thing would be visable from Mariner and Viking because they were not its most likely that its a change in surface colour. A recent article poits out the posibility of geysers of carbon dioxide dust which breack through a surface layer of dust. The dust from the underground is darker and forms certain paterns on the surface. This looks like spiders trees or what ever you interprete into the Rorschach inkblot test.--Stone 09:01, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
The spider article: Kieffer HH, Christensen PR, Titus TN (2006). "CO2 jets formed by sublimation beneath translucent slab ice in Mars' seasonal south polar ice cap". Nature 442: 793–796. doi:10.1038/nature04945. 
Die CO²-Sublimationstheorie - leider auch nur eine unwahrscheinliche Theorie von anderen dieser Sorte, denn der experimentelle Nachweis fehlt. 00:10, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
This is the English edition of WP. You can be much more helpful by using that language in your comments :-) Awolf002 00:39, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Ja sollte auch, aber ich verstehe ihn auch so! (Yes, but I understand him)--Stone 08:32, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Regarding the first line

I feel a decent article benefits from an IPA key after the subject. However, there are several different codes depending upon where you come from (the UK, the US, etc. and local variants therein). I had introduced a consistent RP pronunciation guide across all planets' articles, but these have been subsequently modified, partially anyway. It begins to look a bit messy at the beginning when you start specifying different pronunciation keys, especially given it's the opening line of the article, as is currently the case in the Mars article. I would like some opinion on whether it is worth invoking a "standard" IPA key, or not. Perhaps the solution is to abolish the pronunciation guide altogether. Conversely, perhaps on a larger scale some thought should be given to a separate facet of every article layout that has a pronunciation box in it. I just don't like the current state. Kris 16:29, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


There is a discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Astronomical_objects#Planet_infobox_conventions_.28km_vs._AU_vs._miles.29 on standardizing the planet infoboxes, as well as the possibility of changing the planet diameter to radius. If you care about these things, let your opinion be heard there. Lunokhod 10:07, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Still, of all the planets in our solar system other than Earth, Mars is the most likely to harbor liquid water, and perhaps life, so the myth has had enough influence that even now probes carry packages to attempt to find microscopic life.

This line says that everyone sending a probe is stupid - needs a rewrite. Tempshill 15:11, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

If you look on the data from Galileo and from Viking neither Europa nor Mars have life. Close inspection of all available data does not change the asumption that tha chance to find life is really small, but the politicians resposible for the funding of the missions are lured best with the myth of life. You can do a lot of science if you tell them you go on a hunt for aliens, but you do not get money for geological surch for tectonic movment on mars or radiation chemistry of the surface layers or the errosion phenomens in water free conditions. The Myth of life is everywere, but even highly capable instuments were not able to find one, so what does this tell?--Stone 15:52, 6 December 2006 (UTC)