archive: SETI Mars\Water = Life?

SETI Mars\Water = Life?

Larry Klaes ( lklaes@bbn.com )
Mon, 07 Dec 1998 17:49:58 -0500

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>Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 14:33:50 CST6CDT,3,-1,0,7200,10,-1,0,10800,3600
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>From: "Gerard Madden" <gerardmadden@tinet.ie>
>To: <carlsagan@craigerware.avalon.net>
>Subject: Sagan: Mars\Water.
>
>This site shown by Michael Bonnici today is very
>exciting. I was hoping that we might someday find
>fossils of micro-organisms. Could this be true, that
>there is liquid water, and the possibility that the
>Viking microbiology experiments confirm the
>existence of microbial life. - Gerard Madden
>
>
>http://www.spacer.com/planetary/marswater-98a.html
>
>>Dr. Levin described a dynamic daily cycle on Mars in which the extreme cold
>>of the Martian atmosphere greatly restricts its ability to hold water
vapor. Thus,
>>the scant water vapor on Mars is forced down to the surface, where it is
>>deposited in frozen form. As the sun rises, the ice melts, but its
evaporation is
>>restricted by the low vapor capacity of the overlying cold atmosphere.
Levin
>>cited Pathfinder's results to show that the atmosphere immediately above
the
>>surface warms considerably, equaling a spring day on Earth, but, just a
couple
>>of feet above the surface, temperatures are sub-freezing. The warmed
surface
>>layer of air absorbs water vapor until saturated. No more water can then
>>evaporate from the surface, and the ice remaining there melts into liquid
water.
>>As the sun mounts, the temperature of the atmosphere above the surface
warms
>>sufficiently to permit any remaining water and ice to evaporate. However,
during
>>this daily cycle, the soil has been moistened with enough water to sustain
>>microorganisms.
>
>
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