Astronomy News. Google Mars (mars.google.com). Monday March 13. Assignment #2 now on WebCT. Due: Friday Mar 31 Assignment #1: will be returned on Wed Final Exam: Tuesday, April 18, 09:00-12:00 Essays: Due Friday, March 24 Wed : Guest Lecture: Jupiter and its Moons: Michal & Amrit
Google Mars (mars.google.com)
Mars now is not very hospitable: cold, little atmosphere, no UV shielding, no liquid water
Viking 1 and 2: launched in summer of 1975, and landed in July and September 1976.
Images: no apparent macroscopic signs of life (plants, footprints)
Atmosphere: mass spectrometer showed no O, methane (or silane) that can't be accounted for abiotically. No pure life gases.
Soil: Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectrometer (GCMS)
(3) PR (Pyrolytic Release): to look for signs of photosynthesis
Three lines of evidence:
(1)Metallic grains resembling those formed by terrestrial bacteria;
(2)Organic molecules (PAHs) in/on globules;
(3)Unusual structures looking like Earth bacteria fossils.