Talk:Mars/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Clean up

May 08, 2007, Cleaned up the Beginning of the Hydrology section. Forgot to log in though. Doh. Vechs 17:46, 8 May 2007 (UTC)


what is the distance from the Sun to Mars? (in km) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 23:14, 7 December 2006 (UTC).

At what time of the year? You're going to have to consult JPL Horizons for instantaneous distances. MER-C 13:17, 11 December 2006 (UTC) plagiarized this article

I was just browsing Google News and saw an article about Mars here. The last paragraph reads:

"Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in our solar system and is named after Mars, the Roman god of war. Mars is also known as the "Red Planet" due to its reddish appearance when seen from Earth. The prefix areo-, from the Greek god of war, Ares, refers to Mars in the same way geo- refers to Earth. Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos, which are small and oddly shaped. These may be captured asteroids similar to 5261 Eureka, a Mars Trojan asteroid. Mars can be seen from Earth with the naked eye."

Lifted word-for-word from the introduction without so much as a citation...

Jpvinall 05:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

So send them an email. Adding a citation would be fine under the GFDL liscence which Wikipedia content is liscened under. JoshuaZ 05:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Never mind, I've done it. JoshuaZ 05:45, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Have we placed life on Mars?

Have our spacecraft placed bacteria on Mars? 22:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Maybe. MER-C 13:08, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
A good question actually! At least the Viking sonds were sterilized before sent to Mars, but the question entails: was all landing Martian sonds treated like that, and if they were, how likely was those sterilizations to succeed? (Hehe!! Giggering evilly, does: Rursus) 14:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

The Viking landers were carefully sterilized by heating every component separately then reassembling them. However, it's impossible to completely sterilize spacecraft without completely destroying them. The components can't stand up to the heat needed to 100% sterilize them. There were undeniably earth organisms still present on the spacecraft that survived the journey to Mars. The results of the Viking life experiments show that Mars is probably self-sterilizing, and the hitchhiking Earth bacteria are probably dead by now. 00:34, 8 March 2007 (UTC)AK

Article says caps are mostly water ice.

"Mars possesses polar caps at both poles, which mainly consist of water ice."

I don't think so. It should say: "Mars possesses polar caps at both poles, which mainly consist of carbon dioxide ice."

Someone please correct as needed. 

Lance may 03:25, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe the article is correct, the bulk of the polar caps consists of water ice, the part that changes seasonally is a thin layer of carbon dioxide frost. If you think this is incorrect, Lance, can you offer any literature references? Thanks Chris Jefferies 12:55, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I'd say the article is wrong. As the main author of both Planum Australe and Planum Boreum, I can say that both ice caps are mostly dry ice. See those articles for more information and reliable primary sources. I also recommend a look into JGR-Planets. MER-C 13:05, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Looks like it was correctd. Good job! As a precaution, I wrote to NASA and asked them. I'll post the answer here if and when I hear from them. Lance may
Question: how thick are the polar caps by themselves? (Hehe!! Giggering evilly, does: Rursus) 14:41, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
The thickest parts of the north polar caps get up to ~2.5 km thick, according to MARSIS radar sounding. Note: I'll have to disagree with the statement that the caps are mostly CO2 ice. The neutron maps show that the surface material is almost entirely water and the MARSIS radar implies that the interior is mostly water. This is actually a serious problem, because we are short much of Mars' original budget of CO2, although we have about the right amount of H2O. Michaelbusch 16:38, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Size Comparison Picture?

The article reads that Mars has about half the radius of Earth, but in the size comparison photo Mars appears very close to the Earth in size. Is the image inaccurate as an example of size comparison? 06:05, 20 December 2006 (UTC)random reader

I just measured the two on my screen; the Earth is twice as wide-31mm to 16 mm. Saros136 06:33, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Yoyoyo and uhuhhuhhuh

Maybe you ( thought Venus was Mars. Kamope 16:59, 29 December 2006 (UTC) Also: Seems incorrect

| equatorial_radius = 3402.5 km (2114.2 mi) (0.267 Earths) | polar_radius = 3377.4 km (2098.6 mi) (0.2655 Earths)

Image used twice

When I was looking at the article, I noticed that the title image is also used as a thumbnail image farther down in the page. The thumbnail should be removed. I wil remove it. Kamope 14:09, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Done. Kamope 14:12, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Also: Seems incorrect | equatorial_radius = 3402.5 km (2114.2 mi)
(0.267 Earths) | polar_radius = 3377.4 km (2098.6 mi)
(0.2655 Earths)

Shield volcano

When referring to Mt.Olympus as a shield volcano, the entire word shield volcano should be linked to the shield volcano article (shield volcano). As it stands now, "shield" links to shield volcano, while "volcano" links to volcano, like so:

shield volcano

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 09:52, 30 December 2006 (UTC).

Travel from Earth to Mars

Does anyone know how long it takes to travel from Earth to Mars? If it is not already in the article or any of the references(I was too lazy to look over the whole article and every reference) should it be in there? The Modern Prometheus 03:12, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

There's no simple answer; see orbital mechanics for the beginnings of an explanation as to why. It depends on the propulsion technology proposed for the trip, compromises between whether you want to maximise payload, minimise travel time, or somewhere in between, and whether you want a "free-return orbit" - put simply, whether you want to take a path that, if you decide not to land, takes you back to the place where you started (an obvious safety factor for crewed missions). With existing chemical rocketry, you also can't just go any time you want, you have to wait for the planets to align themselves in a favourite position (a launch window).
You can find out the travel times for previous probes from the links from exploration of Mars - typically, somewhere around six months seems to be common. --Robert Merkel 03:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
This is because that is the lowest-energy trajectory with chemical rockets and reasonable timescales (Hohmann transfer). Michaelbusch 17:59, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if travel time would be faster if you were to slingshot around the sun? When Mars would be on the other side, of course. Timebender13 20:57, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Gravitational slingshot only works if you and the object you are slingshooting off of are moving around the Sun (or another object), so a slingshot around the Sun is undefined. You could in theory cut your velocity and fall close to the Sun, but that takes a lot of fuel (~30 km/s of delta-v versus ~6 km/s). Michaelbusch 03:59, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Slingshots are handy for unmanned vessles to gain significant velocity - and then travelling by a planet and even out of the solar system. If we could gain significant velocity to reduce the travel time to Mars - the problem is - how do you stop? There are a couple of possible ways, but it is not easy. It is best to take your time. MasterSci 01:10, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I realize it's fiction, but Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars (first in a trilogy) describes the options and the results in a very clear way -- especially for us non-techie types. --Michael K. Smith 13:21, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Picture in the Way

The picture above the table of contense blocks some of the above chart from view. I'm not sure how to fix it so the picture is lower so.... could someone do that please? Thanks. Timebender13 20:54, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

It has been fixed (not by me). Michaelbusch 04:01, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Mars / March

does anyone knows why the English uses March for the month and Mars for the planet while it refers to very same thing, the Roman god. we French use the same word even the week days were named after the god "Mardi" (tuesday) is in ancient French the "day of Mars" (note the similarity between "di" and "day"). thanks. FYI:

  • monday / lundi > Moon day / jour de la Lune (Moon)
  • tuesday / mardi > ? / jour de Mars
  • wednesday / mercredi > ? / jour de Mercure (Mercury)
  • thursday / jeudi > ? / jour de Jupiter or Junon?
  • friday / vendredi > ? / jour de Vénus (Venus)
  • saturday / samedi > saturn day / jour de Saturne? (Saturn)
  • sunday / dimanche > sun day / ?

Paris By Night 03:04, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Presumably because English is an amalgam of many different languages and cultures. Somewhere along the line, the two diverged. 20:02, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

In ancient rome, March was called Martius, my guess is that it has slowly evolved over time to its current form. Similar to Ianuarius -> January Nbound 04:29, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Tuesday and Friday are named after Norse gods, Tiw and Frig. Don't ask me why. El Ingles 18:00, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
And I'm pretty sure that Thursday is named after Thor. And, according to Wikipedia (I hear they know a lot), Wednesday is named after Woden, another Norse god. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 18:16, 18 July 2007 (UTC)


I noticed that the ratios quoted for Mars' radius compared to Earth's appear to be incorrect. Figures quoted as .266 or .267 but should be .533. Have not checked other ratios. Mjdavies 18:29, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I concur: the relative ratios for the Mars' radius are incorrect and should be changed. Eriol of Luin 02:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Metric vs American units (inconsistency problem)

When reading the summary section at the top right of each article on Mars and all other planets (plus the Sun, asteroids, etc.) I notice a "consistent inconsistency". Sometimes items like orbital distances are in metric only, while other times they have the American units (I would say British units but they use things like "stones" for weight). Similarly, sometimes distance from the Sun is only in kilometers, and sometimes includes the distance in A.U. in parentheses.An example is Mars, which lists:

    Aphelion distance:     249,228,730 km
                              (154.863,553 mi)
                              1.665 991 16 AU

but where Mercury only says:

    Aphelion distance:      69,817,079 km
                              0.466 698 35 AU

IMHO all measurements should be first listed in metric units, followed by American units in parenthesis, followed by astronomical units. So, atmospheric pressure for Mars should read:

    Surface pressure:                 0.7–0.9 kPa [assuming Pascals are metric]
                             (0.007-0.009 millibars)
                            0.000 006 908 - 0.000 008 882 atmospheres 
                      [or 0.000 690 8 - 0.000 888 2 % of an atmosphere]

An excellent on-line calculator for any units to any others is I find opening up several tabs for different conversions (e.g., kilometers to miles, kmps to mph, pascals to atmospheres) makes conveting many pages pain-free.

Ed 12:13, 16 January 2007 (UTC) (President, Rio Grande Astronomical Society]

I agree with you Ed. I'll help out when I see measurements in articles. -Taco325i 12:39, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Why is mars male?

Kinda self-explanatory-- 00:36, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Short answer: Because the Roman god 'Mars' is male. It could have been otherwise if the English language used an other name for that planet. See for instance the sex of the sun. The sun is male in romance languages (Le soleil in French), but female in germanic languages (Die Sonne in German). --Donar Reiskoffer 08:57, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposed merge

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

The article got merged into Climate of Mars instead. MER-C 08:25, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

I've proposed merging Martian global warming into the present article, specifically under the "climate" section. The MGW article itself doesn't amount to much. Ultimately, I think it would be good if the climate section were expanded and spun off to a "climate of Mars" article. There's certainly enough in the scientific literature to justify such an article. Raymond Arritt 04:05, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Support: article is a misnomer at the present time anyway. Michaelbusch 05:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Support climate on Mars a good title or section in the Mars article sbandrews 15:38, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
STRONGLY DO NOT SUPPORT Stop covering up evidence that makes climate change on Earth look less like man's doing. The article has a right to exist in its own right because it is of interest in its own right. You are a disgrace to Wikipedia. Mixino1 01:28, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Strongly Do Not Support The Martian global warming article has been subject to subversive censorship (like all global warming articles) since it began. This manipulation has continually reduced it to a stub by removing useful information and many useful links. Read the section on Censorship below which I have copied over from "Martian global warming: Talk" as it is of direct relevance to this proposal to merge. -- Rameses 02:14, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Comment: The topic of the present article is Martian global warming, not "climate change on Earth." Further, the proposal is to merge, rather than to delete (much less "censor") the material. Raymond Arritt 02:23, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Comment: Note also that the climatic changes on Mars have nothing to do with those on Earth and have a completely different cause. This is what I meant when I said the article was something of a misnomer: there is no global warming on Mars. There are merely long-term variations in the planet's orbit and axial tilt, which cause the temperature distribution over the surface to change. The timescales are factors of a hundred longer than human-induced climate change, as well. I had hoped that we would be able to avoid such nonsense as this discussion and the heading below, but it would seem that I was wrong. The publicists of the martian climate models know very well that the climate variations on Mars aren't global warming, but then again 'long-term variations in the spin state of Mars' doesn't sell so well to the public. Michaelbusch 04:23, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Support the article is at best WP:OR by 1) suggesting that local measurements are the same as global 2) by trying to suggest a connection between Earth and Mars climate changes without any scientific backing Correlation is not causation. My main complaint is that the editors appear to take science out of context and present it as if it is evidence (see the Solanki debate). But the main information upon which the myth is propagated that a pole is melting is important. Climate on Mars sounds like a good and interesting subsection. --Kim D. Petersen 07:08, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Censorship of Wikipedia by Special Interest Groups

Block added by User:Rameses, source page Talk:Martian global warming:

I agree with Oren0, he is writing about Martian warming. There appears to be evidence of warming occurring on other planets and this is certainly valid information to reference in this article as it points to a likely possible cause - the Sun. I have checked on the Global Warming article and it appears that William M. Connolley is colluding with others in a concerted effort to revert all changes which reflect any uncertainty regarding the fact of man made global warming. This kind of hijacking of Wikipedia will only discredit it as a source of unbiased, balanced information. -- Censorship Bias 02:53, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree. Wikipedia is being hijacked by special interest groups. Mixino1 16:34, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I also agree, contentious issues, such as Global Warming, have been hijacked by vocal biased groups. We need to find a solution to stop this form of censorship. We should remember that scientists had a consensus view based on Newtonian Physics - until Einstein destroyed the consensus with his Theories of Relativity. I also remember the scientific consensus view, among nutritionists and doctors, during the 70's and 80's was that we should all start eating hydrogenated margarine (trans-fats) to prevent heart disease. Now it has been proven that the worst thing for heart disease is trans-fats (hydrogenated margarines). Scientific consensus is not the dependable certainty that it is promoted as being. -- Rameses 18:27, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Raymond Arritt is now proposing this article be merged with the Mars article. I am sickened by this constant manipulation of Wikipedia. Mixino1 01:33, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Here's proof of Wikifriends, with an axe to grind on climate change, taking it out of open discussion.
I quote:
Can we give Summary for policymakers a decent burial? Or even an indecent one? Is there a protocol to follow, or can I just move the (very small amount of) useful information in the article somewhere else? It's been tagged for merger several months now. Raymond Arritt 04:23, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Don't forget what links to it... [6]
Gack. Is there no automagic way of taking care of such things? Raymond Arritt 22:28, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Well if you replaced it with a redirect to IPCC it would be transparent. I quite like the existence of a separate SPM page, myself William M. Connolley 22:35, 3 January 2007 (UTC)"
What have you got against talking in the open? Mixino1 01:54, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Nothing at all. The article in question had long been tagged for merger (as stated in my comment), and I was asking William for advice on how to go about completing the merger process. William has been involved in Wikipedia for much longer than I have and knows the procedures better. As for not being "in the open", there are better ways to hide things than by putting them on publicly available web pages - certainly, it appears you were able to find this discussion easily enough. Raymond Arritt 02:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposed rename of WikiProject Martian Geography to Mars

There appears to be a consensus at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Space/Reorganisation that the WikiProject Martian Geography should be renamed to Mars, in order to increase its scope and usefulness. In order to do so, there are some simple changes that need to be made, such as modifying the project banner, userboxes, and reorganizing the project page somewhat. If you are interested in helping out, go to WP:MARS. Lunokhod 16:30, 27 February 2007 (UTC)


Hello, I found a potentially confusing typo in the following sentence: Due to the smaller mass of Mass, the probability of an object colliding with the planet is about half that of the Earth. I assume the bolded Mass should read Mars. If an admin could correct this, I am sure it would be appreciated. Thanks. 00:49, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

D'oh, I'm stupid. Never mind, going to log in and do it myself ;) 00:53, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Rampart craters

Many of Mars' impact craters show signs of ice in the ground, should go into the hydrology or geology section... sbandrews (t) 11:54, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Or into the Rampart crater "article". MER-C 08:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

New Mars Y!N Article

Not sure if the info's already integrated, but here's a heads up if it isn't.

Shrumster 08:36, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

A better place to put the text would be into Planum Australe, but I'd rather be off getting stuff deleted. And I'd use the JPL press release instead. MER-C 11:24, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't get what's so special about the findings - we already knew how much water ice there was there - see Planum_Australe, puts it at 3km thick and nearly all water by structural arguments... sbandrews (t) 12:47, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
That said the picture is good :) and there's nice details about the mantle not bing pressed down by the weight of the ice, + that bit about the liquid water layer - sbandrews (t) 12:56, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
added it to Geology of Mars and ty for formating the ref :) sbandrews (t) 15:09, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
The MARSIS results are a genuine step forward beyond our previous knowledge. The previous figure of 3 km (as cited in the Planum Australe article) is based solely on the MOLA topography data showing that the ice dome rose 3 km above the surrounding plain (cf. Smith, Science, 1999). No one knew how deep the ice actually went and, in fact, it was a suprise to see how little the ice deformed the Martian crust (i.e. such that the ice is only 3.7 km thick). Apparently on Earth icesheets deform the crust more. In any case, thanks to those who are helping keep this up to date. --Jespley 02:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
your right of course - it is a nice bit of work, I guess I'm just a bit peeved at the headlines that are going with it - "Massive ice deposits found on Mars" - etc. and the kind of additions the Mars article gets due to that. Wrt the crust - yes it's interesting to see that it doesn't deform much - but *with hindsight* it's not surprising is it? - it would have been surprising if it did deform given the suspected crust thickness and the low gravity surely? Kind regards, sbandrews (t) 10:36, 9 April 2007 (UTC)


I've been watching this page for a few weeks now. It seems to get vandalised a lot. Has it ever been suggested that new users shouldn't be allowed to edit the page? Just a suggestion. --Tomhannen 17:13, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

I've noticed this too. It looks like there is some cleanup needed in the Hydrology section. The titles are not inputted correctly and it begins with "MArs is the coolest planet ever". Could someone fix this please? 17:53, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

MGS is gone

A minor note, I deleted MGS from the list of spacecraft orbiting Mars. In fact, there are way more than four spacecraft orbiting Mars, including several Mariners, two Vikings, the Russian Fobos, etc., so it makes more sense to list only the functional spacecraft in oribt. Since it looks like MGS is dead, it makes sense to drop it from the list (and also rewrite slightly to make it clear that this is a list of functional spacecraft). Geoffrey.landis 03:04, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps a list of all spacecraft orbitting Mars should be placed somehwere... 05:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

This is an encyclopaedia, not a news site! It should record information about its subjects past and present without making assumptions about WHEN people are reading it. I think you should put the information back but update it to indicate MGS became non-operational on such-and-such a date. If the list of orbiting spacecraft becomes too long it can be made the subject of a new article. This kind of thing is a common failing in Wikipedia articles as is using relative descriptions such as "now" or "modern".

Oppurtunity to create New Article on terminology of life on other planets (NOT LITTLE GREEN MEN!)

Organisms on Mars are referred to as Martian. What are organisms (e.g bacteria) on the other planets referred to as? I have often been curious about this, Wikipedia only cites Jovian as life on Jupiter. Where can the OFFICIAL information be found? I may have heard the terms Venusian (Venus), Plutonian (Pluto) and Neptunian (Neptune) used in various books. However on Wikipedia none are mentioned and the latter is referred to only as a fictional race in Futurama! I am just curious for myself, although other people might be as well. So this could be a good opportunity for a Wikipedia user who is knowledgable in Astronomy and Grammer, to perhaps create an article/list or contribute this information to other articles. Please could you let me know if anyone decides to do this as I would be most interested, thankyou. Ryan4314 19:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

On a similar discussion at Talk:Martian, a suggestion was made to simply add the possessive terms in a similar place on each of the planets respective articles. What does everyone think of having the intro starting something like this...
Mars (IPA: /ˈmɑɹz/ (GenAm); /ˈmɑːz/ (RP)) (possesive form: Martian) is the fourth planet from the Sun...
I am very keen to hear what everyone thinks of this, but would like to reassure you all that;
1. I am NOT talking about fictional extraterrestrial life e.g little green men only the grammatical possessive term of belonging to Mars.
2. I will NOT make any edits without the issue being discussed first. Ryan4314 19:50, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
For those who are interested, the answers to this question can be found here, thanks to Kotra. Ryan4314 03:20, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Picture cannot be right

In the section titled "Future mission" there is a picture of what it supposed to the Phoenix Lander. That spacecraft does not look like the Phoenix lander. It looks more like the Mars Polar Lander. This needs to be corrected. Andy120290 00:12, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

The source of the image specifically and repeatedly calls it the Phoenix lander, and I'm inclined to trust NASA. Please provide a reliable source if you disagree. ShadowHalo 02:31, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, that's definitely NOT the Phoenix lander, or even model that looks like the Phoenix lander. I'll look for a better image (like this one [1]. --Volcanopele 03:27, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, that doesn't look like the phoenix lander, even though the sourced NASA web page has it so captioned. Following other links in that same page ([2]) lead to many other images of the Phoenix lander, none of which looks like the photo shown. I'd guess that this photo is actually a testbed for the robotic arm, and doesn't resemble the final lander, since it seems it's still being assembled at this point. 12:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, on second thought, the image *could* be the lander, viewed from an angle that obscures the main golden disk shape with a solar panel. It's difficult to tell from the images shown. *shrug* 12:45, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Alright, here is my argument:

Make your own decisions. I think the evidence is pretty conclusive. Andy120290 22:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Agreed! The NASA site seems to be confusing the two spacecraft. Captions clearly show the lander with the folding solar panels to be the Mars Polar Lander. 13:30, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Roman god of war

"The planet is named after Mars, the Roman god of war". Is this true, or were they one and the same to the Romans? ie, did they look at the night sky, see the planet and believe it was the god of war? Otherwise, if the planet was only named later, what (if anything) did the Romans call it? – Tivedshambo (talk) 00:43, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, the planet is named "Άρης" in Greek, which was the ancient Greeks' god of war. The Romans adopted the ancient Greek religion, and changed the name, as they did to Hera, which was changed into Minerva. They didn't believe the planet to be a god, however.--Orthologist 14:04, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Variability of axial tilt

"If Mars had an Earth-like orbit, its seasons would be similar to Earth's because its axial tilt is similar to Earth's."

Earth's axial tilt is stable because of its large moon. If a comparison is made to Earth's seasons, then the instability of Mar's axial tilt could be mentioned in the article.

Michael H 34 03:37, 8 May 2007 (UTC) Michael H 34

Congrats to Featured!!

My congratulations to Mars becoming a featured article, fellow astronomy fans! Said: Rursus 10:19, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Censorship: Richard C. Hoagland

Why is Richard C. Hoagland's name verboten in this article ? This just give HIM more ammunition to claim censorship. 20:33, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

The "Great Galactic Ghoul"?

Does anybody else has a problem with this? While this high failure rate can be ascribed to technical problems, enough have either failed or lost communications for causes unknown for some to search for other explanations. Examples include an Earth-Mars "Bermuda Triangle", a Mars Curse, or even a "Great Galactic Ghoul" that feeds on Martian spacecraft. The previous excerpt from the article seems highly non-encyclopedic to me. Reading the article cited as reference it seems the author's reference to a ghoul was very tongue in cheek to refer to the bad luck of the Mars' missions; yet, the way it's written in the Wikipedia article itself could be interpreted as if it was meant seriously.Rosa 16:53, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

  • If you think it's an hoax revert it. I think it's just pure vandalism. -- Esurnir 18:03, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's a hoax or vandalism. The 'Great Galactic Ghoul' that eats mars-bound spacecraft is something like a long-standing NASA in-joke, the space-age equivalent of 'here be dragons'. I've heard it referenced numerous times in documentaries and the like, so it is certainly not just one author's whimsy. Fricasso 21:15, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I didn't think it was vandalism either, I was just saying the way it was edited in the article made it look as if it was serious when it isn't. I just edited a bit to make it clear it's a NASA joke.Rosa 23:39, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Geogrpahy is only for Earth

Geography only applies to earth, not Mars... this must be fixed. Kingj123 19:56, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

  • there is a discussion of this on talk:geography of Mars amongst other places, it seems geography is ok to use for Mars despite the tortured etymology sbandrews (t) 10:21, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Slightly confused

"The atmosphere on Mars consists of 95% carbon dioxide, 3% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, and contains traces of oxygen and water." How can the atmosphere have clouds, and yet have only traces of water? Wouldn't the clouds simply evaporate and diffuse throughout the atmosphere? 20:50, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Well, the atmosphere of Earth only contains 'traces' of water (less than 1%), and we manage to have clouds alright. Fricasso 16:17, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Ares Grammar

Should "Ares was known as Mars to the Romans." instead be "Mars was known as Ares to the Romans."?

Nope, the Greeks were the ones calling the god of war Ares. The Romans took Ares as their own and changed the name to Mars.Rosa 23:32, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

How do we edit this page?

How do we edit this page? The button dissapeared and now says view source. What does view source mean? If its locked than say so please. Thanks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 07:22, 15 May 2007 (UTC).

  • Hi, this page gets a lot of vandlaism so is often semi-protected, as it is now. To edit the page you simply need to register a user name and log in, regards sbandrews (t) 09:33, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
  • It should be noted that newly registered accounts need to wait 4 days to edit a semi-protected page. You can't just register and edit it. Hopefully you weren't discouraged if you did in fact try that. Leebo T/C 12:43, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

footnote #4

the fourth footnote has nothing to do with the icecaps... —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:23, 16 May 2007 (UTC).

are you sure? looks ok to me.., sbandrews (t) 20:48, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

More proof of water

recent news Berserkerz Crit 17:01, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Caves found by the Odyssey orbiter

Hello everyone, I added some info to Mars about the possible new cave entrances found by the THEMIS instrument on board the Mars Odyssey orbiter. I figured the "Geography" section was an appropriate place. Do with it what you wish... move it, edit it, delete it, you won't hurt my feelings. Kindest regards, AlphaEta 05:47, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Intelligent "Martians"

I have added this section and an illustration. The original idea came from material at the article Teslascope that I thought should be in Wikipedia somewhere. There are many sub articles that skirt this content but none adress it directly. "Mars Fever" seems to be a well know turn of the 20th century phenomenom and I have characterized it as such.Halfblue 14:42, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

  • I like the idea. It fits nicely with the "Mars In Culture" section and demonstrates how Mars stimulated some of the greatest minds in science. It also gives us an idea about what these well-known scientists thought of Mars. Seems highly relevant to me! AlphaEta 21:00, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Martian Holes

Apparently they've found Seven. Really crazy stuff. This should be put in the article.

Considering the amount of other interesting things found on Mars, why should these be in the main article? --Volcanopele 22:57, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
they were added to the geography section ãbout a week ago - still needs adding (or moving) to the geography of Mars sub-article though... sbandrews (t) 23:57, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

life on mars

why is there no reference to malacandra anywhere?—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:19, 11 June 2007

Is this inclusion relevant in the mars article ? Perhaps putting it in the "Mars in Fiction" sub article would be more appropriate. - Esurnir 01:05, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Proof of Ocean on Mars Citation

Mystery Solved: Mars Had Large Oceans Berserkerz Crit 15:47, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

--> Yahoo's article on the discovery/theory 10:52 AM (PST)

Someone needs to add a paragraph summarizing the new evidence that an ocean covering a third of Mars existed approximately 4 gy ago. I've downloaded and read the article itself (as opposed to the newspaper summaries). I'll write that paragraph (sooner or later) if no one else does. Vegasprof 09:02, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Geology - Olympus Mons

The Geology section states, referring to the Amazonian epoch, that Olympus Mons "formed during this period along with lava flows elsewhere on Mars." The article on the Tharsis bulge states that Olympus Mons formed during the Noachian epoch. I don't know when Olympus formed, but I don't think both statements could be correct. Stalwart149 18:18, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

I'd go with Amazonian - leastways that crater map at geology of Mars suggest it is a young feature sbandrews (t) 20:55, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

History section

Since there is a great deal of information of Mars' History, should we add a section for it? There even are different eras. Zazaban 19:01, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Geological history? There is some of that in Geology of Mars though it needs extending sbandrews (t) 20:49, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Mars Teraforming

It has been said before, but is it possible to incorprate the fact that Mars has possibility to be Terraformed, this article provides details, and incorprate them into the Mars Wiki, and mention the posibility of teraforming Mars, it dosn't seem to be in the Wiki

Acasperw 19:40, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

It is here at Terraforming#Mars and also Terraforming_of_Mars sbandrews (t) 20:26, 25 June 2007 (UTC)

The Face on Mars

YOu have not mentioned the Face on mars surface. trcole123 15:33, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

It has a page all to itself here sbandrews (t) 17:09, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Physical Characteristics

The first paragraph in the physical characteristics section is being squashed by the picture. I tried to fix this, but had no luck. So, if anyone knows how to deal with this, please do. Thanks. Vsst 19:05, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

is it not ok like that, it is quite readable, sbandrews (t) 19:43, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Oh, my bad. The problem was on my end, there is nothing wrong with the paragraph. Vsst 20:46, 17 July 2007 (UTC)


The article says, "In 1609, Mars was viewed by Galileo, who was first to see it via telescope."

Is this true? I don't see how it can be, given that telescopes had existed for years beofre Galileo ever used one. Also, the sentence is not reference, and I can't find anything anywhere to support it. Will anyone object if I delete it? Vsst 02:59, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

I object; Gallileo was, in fact, the first person to view the planets using a telescope, which he developed "independently" of others in the Netherlands. The Gallilean telescope was different from previous spyglasses primarily in that it didn't invert the images. There is information on this both in the Gallileo article and in the article on optical telescopes. siafu 16:55, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I put the sentence back in the article. Vsst 17:31, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Surface Temperature

I noticed that the nasa site: List temperature swings on Mars and was surprised to see that it might get to 90 degrees F. In the article it notes that the temp gets up to 70 degrees. I do no think the "max surface temp" as listed on the side fact bar of the main page is correct. I have tried several different text size views and different resolutions and it seems like it's saying the max is 23 degrees F. Also in the wikipedia entry it also states "70 Degrees F".

I think that's an excellent question. I'm curious to know what other, more Mars-knowledgeable Wikipedians have to say about it! Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:09, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I suspect part of the problem is that many published surface temperature calculations are just that -- calculations. But the NASA link gives the actual temperatures recorded by Spirit and Opportunity. From the link: "Temperatures in the shade for Spirit ranged from highs of about 35 degrees C. (95 degrees F.) in summer to lows of -90 degrees C. (-130 degrees F.) in winter." and "Temperatures in the shade for Opportunity ranged from about 30 degrees C. (86 degrees F.) in summer to minus 80 degrees C. (-112 degrees F.) in winter." So there we have it -- a high of 95 degrees F -- in the shade!!! And since we have 2 separate units, in separate locations, providing regular temperature measurements, and they are highly correlative -- then I suggest that these be considered the official temperatures. SunSw0rd 20:49, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
So yes it appears that NASA's many websites contradict themselves. I looked at the reference for the surface temp and it pointed to a nasa website. Who do we believe? NASA's robots or NASA's Website?
Mars is looking more and more like a nice place to live,... it's been a hot august here on my part of the earth.
-- 16:27, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't necessarily trust that NASA updates their websites regularly and thus different portions contradict other parts of their website. Much of the data that has been published regarding Mars' weather seems to be based on the Viking Lander temp readings. I believe that the direct measurements taken from Spirit and Opportunity as posted on the Jet Propulsion Lab site are most reliable and should represent potential hi and low temperatures. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bodhi141 (talkcontribs) 15:50, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Two points. One: the rover measurements are much higher than true surface, because the rovers are on average darker than the surface around them and put out a lot of waste heat, and their thermal probes are designed to measure the temperature of the rover, not the surroundings. It is a good thing that the warm electronics box hasn't cooled down to ambient. The Mini-TES temperatures record true surface temperature values, and agree very well with the orbiter data. The orbiter data gives you surface average temperatures over large swaths of ground, so the individual hottest dust grain will obviously be missed, but that isn't a problem. Two: there may very well be a high temperature of 35 C on the surface. But that applies just to the uppermost layer of soil. A cm below the surface, the temperature will be 20 C less, as it will be a cm in the air. You get the same effect in the desert: Death Valley has air temperatures around 120 F, but the ground temperature can easily exceed 150. Michaelbusch 16:39, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

It is plausible that some of this temperature reading could be waste heat from the rover however, the chart is labeled as "Air Temperature" and the sensor is underneath the rover so it is not in the sunlight and is in fact shaded. See - to view the chart.

It isn't an air thermometer - the probe is integral to the rover hardware. Also, the air immediately next to and underneath the rover gets a lot warmer than the ambient temperature - this is because of the waste heat. The surface temperature measurements also get up that high, but aren't the air temperature, as I mentioned above. I got this information from one of the rover engineers. Michaelbusch 22:42, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

thin atmosphere

"Mars orbits half an astronomical unit beyond this zone and this, along with the planet's thin atmosphere, causes water to freeze on its surface."

Is this true? In my opinion, it would be more logical that a thin atmosphere leads to more influence from the sun, hence a warmer climate. Doesn't a thicker atmosphere reduce the influence from the sun and lead to a colder climate? Van der Hoorn 06:08, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

While a thinner atmosphere does mean that more of the sun's radiation can reach the Martian surface, it also means that there's no greenhouse effect to retain the heat there. This is illustrated by the day-night cycle in ground temperature, which can range from 20°C during daytime to -85°C during the night. The absence of a greenhouse effect, rather than an enhanced solar flux, is the dominant feature, so Mars is colder than it otherwise would be with a thicker atmosphere. Evidence from the deep past suggests that water once flowed freely on the surface of Mars implying a much warmer climate than that at present. It's believed that this thicker atmosphere was subsequently lost, possibly due to chemical reactions between Martian rocks and water, leading to the production (and loss to space) of hydrogen. --Plumbago 08:10, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
It also results in a reduced air pressure at ground level, which in turn results in a significantly lower boiling point. This is one reason why liquid water was thought to be unlikely on Mars.
Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 17:55, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Liquid water

The Hydrology section makes the following claim:

Liquid water cannot exist on the surface of Mars with its present low atmospheric pressure, but water ice is in no short supply, with two polar ice caps made largely of ice.

but this appears to be contradicted by the following story:

Is there a contravening source that could confirm the claim?— RJH (talk) 15:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Simple answer: The experiment is a brine solution in a non equilibrium situation. The salt lowers the freezing point 21° and the experiment does not wait untill the water is evaborated totally, which might take some time. This experiment is representing an outflow of brine from an underground deposit to the surface and than water could be present for quite some time at the surface. The equilibrium clearly states that water could not be present on Martian surface as a regular feature like here on earth. ----- Its similar with a pot of boiling water on a stove, in non equilibrium you see water, after euilibrium is reached you have a hot pot with water vapour in the room.--Stone 07:59, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
added ref - a more comprehensive rewrite is needed by an expert to include a balanced view of the new research on brines, the ref I included suggests brines are not required to explain recent gully formation sbandrews (t) 19:50, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Improper terminology

As I was reading the Mars article, I came about the 'Moons' section. I think the term 'moons' should be replaced with 'satellites' as this is a proper classification of these orbiting masses around Mars. Please respond with comments.

Binaryguru 02:36, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

A valid question, but see Talk:Pluto#Nix_and_Hydra.2C_Moons_or_sattelites.3F as to why moons is more appropriate. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 02:40, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, I guess it makes sense if you only refer to any natural satellites as moons and other orbiting bodies as satellites. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:51:02, August 19, 2007 (UTC)