Presentation on theme: "Mars The Radioactive Cow planet. 1. Four mission goals: - Determine if life ever existed there - Characterize the climate - Characterize the geology -"— Presentation transcript:
1. Four mission goals: - Determine if life ever existed there - Characterize the climate - Characterize the geology - Prepare for human exploration 2. After a bumpy start, both rovers are working 3. Tons of data being sent back to earth using the first non-terrestrial satellite network 4. If you have a DirectTV dish, you can tap the line Rover Review
- Evidence of salty oceans - Evidence that the oceans are gone - Evidence of methane in the atmosphere (CH 4 ) -(10 ppb) - Daytime Highs = 80 o F - Nighttime lows = -200 o F - Strange looking spectrographs What the Rovers Confirmed
What is wrong with this picture? (Hint: Think Actinide) Strange Spectrograph
What is wrong with this picture? (Hint: Actinides gone) What NASA released to the Press
a) A common ingredient in toothpaste b) A native from from Actinia c) 15 Radioactive elements Actinium (Ac) to Lawrencium (Lr) Q: What’s an Actinide? Q: Why would an Actinide be found on Mars? a) It, like, grows there. Or something. Right? b) Four words: Radioactive Martian Cow Dung (RMCD) c) The Rover’s brought it with them Pop Quiz Q: Why is this even interesting? a) It is? b) Actinides do not occur naturally c) If the Rovers didn’t bringActinides, and they exist on Mars… Then perhaps the oceans dried up because of a Nuclear War
a) It’s just like an Etch-a-Sketch, but it comes in a variety of colors b) A measurement, using a variety of methods, to determine the molecular or atomic composition of a thing c) All the colors of the Rainbow Q: What is a Spectrograph? Q: What is the least expensive spectrograph? a) The K-Mart SpectroMaster™ b) I dunno c) All the colors of the Rainbow Pop Quiz (Continued) Q: Why is this even interesting? a) It is? b) Spectrographic Analysis Rul3z! c) Without spectrographs life would be very, very different
Back to Actinides…Why is Plutonium showing up on the Spectrograph? 1.Mars was once inhabited by an advanced civilization 2.The Martians blew themselves to bits in a thermonuclear war that destroyed their cities and evaporated their oceans 3.A few survivors of this catastrophe fled to Earth in a home made space capsule, killed all of the Dinosaurs, and became your ancestors 4. Your government doesn’t want you to know this (and started a war in Iraq to distract everybody’s attention) However. Plutonium is carried on board both Rovers. To keep the electronics warm at night. Besides, more than just one type of Actinide would have shown up had there been a thermonuclear explosion
More Important: Methane in Mars’ Atmosphere: 1.Four atmospheric gasses essential to life: Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen, Methane, and Water vapor 2. Methane gets into a planet’s atmosphere in only one of two ways: Active Volcanoes Living organisms 2.Methane lingers about 300 years on both Mars and Earth (CH 4 gets broken apart by the sun and other chemical reactions) 3.For the last 90 years no observatory, nor any of the 38 U.S. or Soviet Mars probes have detected a single active volcano on Mars -So… the methane in Mars’ atmosphere is being constantly renewed by something we haven’t found yet. Two words: anaerobic methanogens
Mars Trivia… 1. How much thinner is Mars’ atmosphere ours? 2.What is one of the largest source of methane here on Earth? 3.What astronomer claimed, in 1877, that canals carrying water existed on Mars? 4.Which planet’s orbit is closer to the sun: Earth or Mars? 5.How many radioactive cows currently reside on Mars, pumping their foul gas into the atmosphere?
Mars Trivia… 1.How much thinner is Mars’ atmosphere ours? 100 times thinner 2.What is one of the largest source of methane here on Earth? One word: Moo 3.What astronomer claimed, in 1877, that canals carrying water existed on Mars? Percival Lowell 4.Which planet’s orbit is closer to the sun: Earth or Mars? My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas 5.How many radioactive cows currently reside on Mars, pumping their foul gas into the atmosphere? Exactly None
The End That is were farts come from is it not?