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Bruce Moomaw

"Nature's" obsessive (or Scrooge-like) guarding of their proprietary rights has annoyed a lot of people for some time. Including me.

Andrew Gray

Note that Nature have it up now anyway... http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050221/full/050221-7.html

(The pdf definitely had the strapline last week; when did New Scientist pick it up?)

joj reuben

According to the credits on the HRSC web page, the pack-ice sea is revealed in the image taken on orbit 32 of the mission. With a 6-7 hr orbit Mars Express is now on about orbit 1400 and there must be several hundred HRSC images in total. Given that this amazing discovery has been made almost a year after the image was taken (and one that was presumably less than perfect during calibration/commissioning of the camera) it seems there might still be alot to be revealed by the stereo/colour camera on Mars Express over the coming years.
Having waited a year for the MARSIS radar to deploy there is a certain irony that the first evidence for an equatorial sea was found using the camera. It is also reported that at just 45m deep the radar would probably not have detected such a shallow body of water/ice anyway!

Joe Mansfield

ESA has released a much better Mars Express image to coincide with the Mars Express Science Conference at Noordwijk earlier in the week.

New Scientist have also posted a follow up to last weeks article also covering John Murray's presentation and the subsequent discussions at Noordwijk - they note that Vittorio Formisano pointed out that Elysium is the area where he found the most evidence of Methane.


Charles Schmidt

In the image (see link above) of the "pack ice" there's a crater smack dab into the center of a largish chunk of ice. I wonder if its a nice sploshy frozen ejecta blanket could serve as a useful analog in finding other mantled ice on Mars. ?? There certainly seem to be alot of craters like it.

Oliver Morton

A correction: the embargo strapline was added before the New Scientist story hit the web, but after they had first seen the abstract. So it wasn't under embargo when the news was gathered, but Nature tried to make it so subsequently.

Dianna McMenamin

I'm really glad to see you are writing about Mars again. My comment isn't specifically about ESA results and Nature, though.

Two years ago when I decided to return to grad school to study martian geology, I decided to do some reading to get myself up to speed. By happy accident, I started with Mapping Mars.

While I was reading this book I was also auditing a seminar course where we read planetary geology articles. Three of the professors who attend have been involved in NASA missions in the past (and one is even mentioned -- very briefly -- in your book.) When the decision came from NASA about where to land the two rovers, a good bit of seminar time was devoted to a debate about the best sites.

Well, a day or two earlier, I had been reading in your book about how sites are picked.

And I had the eeriest sense of deja vu, as the professionals in the room essentially duplicated the discussion you had reported in the book. Only the details of the missions were different.

In short, I think you really got the flavor of the scientific debate and described it perfectly.

Also, last year, when I went to my first LPSC, it was quite a thrill to see people walking around who I had read about and felt like I had gotten to know by reading Mapping Mars.

This year I'm giving my first presentation at LPSC. (Scary!)

Thanks for writing!

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