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Image captured by Phoenix Mars lander  (Source: NASA)
There have been numerous traces of possible water on Mars, but astronomers are still looking for definitive proof

Researchers believe they have found evidence of liquid salt water on the Red Planet of Mars, with the discovery thanks to the NASA's Phoenix Mars lander.

Several images captured by Phoenix show what appear to be water droplets located on one of the rover's landing struts, which now makes researchers believe there could be liquid water somewhere under the surface of the planet.

"A large number of independent physical and thermodynamical evidence shows that saline water may actually be common on Mars," according to University of Michigan professor Nilton Renno.  "Liquid water is an essential ingredient for life.  This discovery has important implications to many areas of planetary exploration, including the habitability of Mars."

Renno worded his report very carefully, explaining that the discovery has "important implications," but not outright saying it's proof of water liquid.

Although the temperature in the northern plains of Mars didn't go above minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit while the Phoenix was there for a six-month period in 2008, researchers still believe there could be pockets of water under the surface.  The presence of high amounts of salt may have caused the freezing temperature of water on Mars down to minus 90 degrees, which is about 120 degrees colder than Earth's 32 degree freezing temperature for water.

There are numerous spots on Mars that could be salty enough that it's unlikely they'll be able to freeze without the temperature dropping to minus 100 degrees or further, scientists said.

The report is still highly controversial, despite 22 different scientists signing onto the report -- NASA never brought up the discovery, seeing how the evidence may not be enough.

Each discovery of possible signs of liquid water or ice helps researchers hone in on locations space probes and satellites can examine during future missions.

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Please use ISO units
By oTAL on 3/19/2009 10:25:11 AM , Rating: 5
I know that most of the people that visit the website likes ºF, but the standard temperature unit is ºC and we should expect that from a science website.
I'd say the best option would be to have the temperature in ºC followed by ºF between brackets.

Please don't bitch about how I could just use Google to convert it. That is not the point. Distance could be measured in AUs and you could convert it with Google, but it still wouldn't make sense (in most articles).

RE: Please use ISO units
By eetnoyer on 3/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Please use ISO units
By aegisofrime on 3/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: Please use ISO units
By dclapps on 3/19/2009 11:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
"Irregardless" isn't a word.

RE: Please use ISO units
By aegisofrime on 3/19/2009 11:45:31 AM , Rating: 4
Thank you for pointing that out. It's ironic that in my critique of the usage of American units in a science-related post, I have mistakenly ended up using an American lexicon.

RE: Please use ISO units
By sigbin1969 on 3/19/2009 4:44:36 PM , Rating: 1
Actually, Fahrenheit is not an American unit of measurement--it originated in Europe. (BTW, Daniel Fahrenheit was a German born in Poland.)

The word "irregardless" is not part of the standard American lexicon, and no one really knows its origins.

RE: Please use ISO units
By Cubexco on 3/20/2009 9:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
Probably quite close to the origins of "misunderestimate"

RE: Please use ISO units
By myhipsi on 3/20/2009 1:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
.... or "unthaw"

RE: Please use ISO units
By Ammohunt on 3/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: Please use ISO units
By gmyx on 3/19/2009 3:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on the dialect of English you use. American English does not have 'ou' or 're'. British and similar do. Colour, Honour and Centre are perfectly valid when using a British or similar dialect.

RE: Please use ISO units
By plowak on 3/19/2009 3:30:58 PM , Rating: 1
Don't forget tyre...

RE: Please use ISO units
By TA152H on 3/19/2009 11:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, since it's an article that people can relate to, it's much more meaningful in Fahrenheit. If someone said, it's -5c, it's not going to have the same visceral effect as using a measurement most people understand. If it were something like the temperature of a star being more, or something with numbers that wouldn't really have any meaning (I can't relate to 5000 degrees in any measurement), I think it would make more sense. But people can "feel" -15 degrees F, and to me, that's what makes the difference.

I think author made a good choice.

RE: Please use ISO units
By aegisofrime on 3/19/2009 12:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
You are assuming that everybody that reads Dailytech is American?

RE: Please use ISO units
By theapparition on 3/19/2009 1:07:12 PM , Rating: 4
I have no problem with the assumption that people who read German tech/science sights are German. Since DailyTech is American, I see no reason why it should cater towards other nationalities. I'd wager that well over 90% of respondants here are Americans. All of a sudden, everyone wants to cater to the minority. Wrong, cater towards the majority.

Of course everyone is welcome to read/participate in any discussion, but there should be an understanding that if you visit an American site, you will be subjected to American customs.

For as wrong as it is, Americans still use the Farenheit scale for temperature measurement. I'll praise the day when we accept Celsius, but until then, giving Farenheit measurements on an American run website seems appropriate.

RE: Please use ISO units
By gmyx on 3/19/2009 3:17:05 PM , Rating: 4
I'd bet willing to bet that Americans don't come close to 90% of this site's users. Only someone with access to the servers could tell us that.

RE: Please use ISO units
By Murloc on 3/19/2009 3:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
but this site maybe is international, I think they should put SI measures and american measures in brackets.
there isn't a site like this in my mother language, and I fully understand only articles in english or my mother language.

I'll praise the day when we accept Celsius

I saw this on encarta dictionary: "6. politics proposal of legislation by citizens: a process valid in many US states and in Switzerland that allows citizens to propose legislation by petition "
Why don't you make an initiative to adopt SI measures?
it would be a nice step towards modernization.

RE: Please use ISO units
By theapparition on 3/19/2009 5:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Because in the US, statewide regulation of units would be illegal. It has to happen at the federal level, since measurement standards are controled at the US government level.

Still, without much popular support, suggesting such legislation would be impractical at best.

I think the far better thing is for companies to adopt metric practices. That will lead to eventual adoption of metric by the general public.

RE: Please use ISO units
By KashGarinn on 3/20/2009 5:18:07 AM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't work.

The thing is, if you want to switch systems, you have to COMPLETELY STOP using the older one and start using the new one.

Canada did this, and it worked.

U.S. tried this a long time ago: - But they failed because they didn't realize that while you can convert from one to other, you won't ever completely go over to the new system, as you're always converting, and you'll never stop converting.

If U.S. would just stop completely using the old system, and start with the metric system, then you'd finally use it, but until that happens, you won't.

There are benefits to this in a global society that we speak a common language we all understand, within any metric.

If you disagree, then please reply with your argument in Icelandic, a language which is by far better than English.

RE: Please use ISO units
By ninus3d on 3/20/2009 10:18:58 AM , Rating: 2
There are no European equivalent as good as DailyTech and very few of the "localized" pages even come close.
Internet really isn't about localization and when was it ever?

If there was a page on the same bar as DailyTech hosted in Europe the base of preference would most likely not be whether you were American or European but more or less as randomly as whether you are an Ati or Nvidia fan.

RE: Please use ISO units
By CityZen on 3/20/2009 12:18:49 PM , Rating: 3
I'd wager that well over 90% of respondants here are Americans

It just so happens that you'd lose the wager :D

See Alexa's traffic details of DailyTech:

You can quickly discover that only 52% of DailyTech are Americans. A healthy 48% are NOT Americans. Yes, that is still a majority, albeit a very slim one.
However, even if Americans were only 30% of the readership, I guess this site would still have to use the Fahrenheit scale, given that most Americans are incapable of understanding a temperature in Celsius degrees. On the other hand, most international readers who visit this site are probably able to understand the unscientific Fahrenheit scale (and yes, this is a wager of mine). So it's just case of adjusting to the lower standard :)

In any case, given that the American - international readership is almost a 50-50 split, this article would have been much clearer if temperatures had been given in both scales and displaying in each case the proper degree symbol.
For example: "down to minus 90ºF (-68 C)", instead of just "down to minus 90 degrees".
Is it THAT difficult?

RE: Please use ISO units
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2009 4:59:04 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm... Do not know if what he said would assume that everybody that reads dailytech is American. However from what you said, I can conclude you believe all Americans are from the USA. There are over 40 countries in the Americas... All their citizens are Americans, but not all use the same standards.

RE: Please use ISO units
By gmyx on 3/19/2009 3:15:03 PM , Rating: 3
Ok then, since this is Science after all, use Kelvin! I think 'most' people understand Celsius better then Fahrenheit. I'm not sure how many countries still use F instead of C but I'd wager C has must broader use than F.

RE: Please use ISO units
By tjr508 on 3/19/2009 10:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
Cry about it. Many American-dominated scientific and engineering fields use English units frequently. Space is one of these. The same goes for petroleum, industrial electrics, tubular goods, and many more. The units war is still alive and strong.

RE: Please use ISO units
By danrien on 3/20/2009 12:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't realize we were on a 'science' website. DailyTech is more like a Tech site (as the name implies) with a touch of science (and a load of science-related opinion articles) added in.

the green drop
By alu on 3/19/2009 10:03:06 AM , Rating: 3
that's mountain dew

RE: the green drop
By acase on 3/19/2009 10:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
Looks more like the lander drank some gatorade and got hot.

RE: the green drop
By BladeVenom on 3/19/2009 10:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
It's space herpes.

RE: the green drop
By Motoman on 3/19/2009 11:01:47 AM , Rating: 2
Ice Pirates FTW!

RE: the green drop
By wingless on 3/19/2009 11:18:41 AM , Rating: 4
C'mon guys, get serious. That is obviously Brawndo - The Thirst Mutilator! Now we know why Mars died. They watered everything with Brawndo. Dummies LOL...

Actually this discovery is fascinating. Where there is water there is the potential for permanent human colonization. We also know how to use the stuff as a fuel source. My only problem with Mars is the lack of a magnetic field. The radiation sun burns are going to be killer...

RE: the green drop
By choadenstein on 3/19/2009 11:57:59 AM , Rating: 2
But Brawndo has what plants crave, its got electrolytes!

RE: the green drop
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2009 5:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
Little green men, they must come from the green water. Yes, it's starting to make sense now.

By safcman84 on 3/19/2009 10:16:07 AM , Rating: 2
How can a scientists use Fahrenheit as a measurement of temperature??
The scientific units for temperature are either degrees Celsius or Kelvin (which is used mainly for thermodynamic temperature).

The fact that they use Fahrenheit shows to me exactly why they managed to make a satellite/probe crash into Mars by confusing meters and feet.

By nafhan on 3/19/2009 10:29:27 AM , Rating: 2
The scientists probably did use Kelvins (maybe C) and then someone converted it to Farenheit for the news article as F is more familiar to most US readers.

By safcman84 on 3/19/2009 11:02:20 AM , Rating: 1
for the greater good of the american scientific community:

I hope you are right

By drebo on 3/19/2009 12:30:45 PM , Rating: 4
Is one more precise than the other? No. So why does it matter? Every country has it's own idioms and cultural quirks. These are American scientists being reported on by an American news paper. Why shouldn't they use American units of measure?

Smell that? It's the burning wood of your soap box.

By Suntan on 3/19/2009 1:08:06 PM , Rating: 2
(which is used mainly for thermodynamic temperature).

As a degreed engineer with a specilty in thermodynamics and over a decade developing refrigeration systems, I have to say I've never come across the term "thermodynamic temperature."

In any case, I can assure you that people in these related technical feilds (I have never heard anyone in any branch of science call themselves "a scientist") are quite capable of using °F just fine, its not that hard.


By tjr508 on 3/19/2009 11:01:02 PM , Rating: 1

Strange phrasing for a 'science' article
By rtrski on 3/19/2009 12:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
The presence of high amounts of salt may have caused the freezing temperature of water on Mars down to minus 90 degrees, which is about 120 degrees colder than Earth's 32 degree freezing temperature for water.

Ignoring the slight syntax error and the undefined use of the Fahrenheit scale, this still makes no sense. The freezing temperature of "water" on Mars is exactly the same as it is on Earth, under the same relative pressure (say at extremely high altitudes). As is the freezing temperature of highly-saturated perchlorate-salt-laden water.

Why not just say the presence of a high saturation of dissolved salts may have permitted the water to remain in liquid phase despite the fact that the measured temperature at the time of the sighting was around -15 degrees (F)? Instead you sound like you're saying the vapor phase plot of H2O is somehow different on Mars than on Earth.

By foxtrot9 on 3/19/2009 12:52:11 PM , Rating: 1
Get a life

By tjr508 on 3/19/2009 10:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
Chloride saturation doesn't have to be high to keep -15oF water liquid at ZERO psia (American units, suck it SI people).

of course there's water
By fredthelight on 3/19/2009 12:51:20 PM , Rating: 1
And Nasa has been us for many years.
Read this, no comments are needed.
And right from NASA's website..explain this :
I know, it might be a little strong for a first post on DT, but when I see most comments are totaly outside the subject, I could not resist. I wish American people start to really questions those who control them..being elected or not.

RE: of course there's water
By MicahK on 3/19/2009 2:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
All I see on the second picture is an impact crater? Am I missing something?

And those arguments on the first link are very one sided. Anyone can write an article that people will believe. For one, Mars doesn't have the atmosphere for a blue sky, its most likely grayish at best. Two, colors will appear different on Mars and most pictures are artificially colored to give us a sense of "true" color.

It is true that NASA doesn't tell the public everything they find, but most people don't care for the little details anyways. Until they can actually prove life, there will be no announcement about it.

RE: of course there's water
By ninus3d on 3/20/2009 10:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
Not being one of those buying in the whole "NASA is hiding the truth" idea but many of the "evidence" seems to me as nothing more than them restraining them self from publicizing "fascination news" until they are 100% certain...
Like the oxygen and methane discoveries, why make front page news on speculation? They are scientist after all, only the proven facts should matter right?

By RoberTx on 3/24/2009 9:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
I am fed up with pop-up ads.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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