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HiRISE Image Targeting Challenge
Webchat: October 2, 2008

Quest_Moderator Welcome to those of you who have arrived early. We will begin in about 1/2 hour.
Quest_Moderator Please feel free to ask your questions early. That way there will be no delays when our experts are online.

Quest_Moderator Good Morning and thanks for joining us. Our experts are logging in and I will send them questions right away. Please continue to send your questions in.

Alexandra_Davatzes Hi everyone! Welcome to the HiRISE Challenge Chat!

Virginia_Gulick Hello everyone! Welcome to our HiRSE Challenge!

dmarton
<Q>My question is, that which science themes are going to be selected in the next turn? Thank you: Marton Deak
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>Hi everyone! We are focusing on evidence of water right now, because that is one of the major themes in Mars research today- Follow the water! We are asking that everyone submit their suggestions under the fluvial theme, because it is easiest to keep track of them all together.

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>What evidence is there of subterranean caves on Mars that might contain frozen water? According to the "Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII (2007)" an article entitled ÒTHEMIS OBSERVES POSSIBLE CAVE SKYLIGHTS ON MARSÓ by G.E.Cushing , T.N. Titus, JJ Wynne, and P.R. Christensen, seven possible caves have been identified on the surface of Mars. According to the article, these caves, analyzed by Thermal-infrared data from the THEMIS camera aboard the Odyssey spacecraft orbiting Mars, suggest temperatures of these openings mimic behavior of a cavern floor that gets very little sunlight on Earth. One of the HiRise images from the Arsia Mons region was used in the study. Are you aware of other HiRise images that might also show these dark spots on Mars? Further discovery and analysis might lead to the discovery of frozen water inside these caves and possibly evidence of frozen microbes inside the caves like we find on Ear
Virginia_Gulick
<A>This is a good question. HiRISE has found several of these possible "caves", mostly around the large volcanoes. One possibiity is that they may be openings to partially collapsed lava tubes. This is common on Earth in volcanic areas.

DiME
<Q>Basic question. What do they hope to gain with the Mars flybys?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Well there are currently no spacecraft flybys. However we do have spacecraft orbiting (circling) Mars for several years now. The U.S has Odyssey and MRO and the Europeans have Mars Express.

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>hi happy to be here!
Quest_Moderator
<A>Do you have any questions for our experts?

greatindialpu
<Q>hi,is nasa confirmed about water on mars?
Alexandra_Davatzes <A>Yes, there is water in the form of ice on Mars, and this was confirmed by Phoenix as well. It is also very likely that liquid water once flowed on the surface, because we see many old river valleys and dry lakes and gullies.

DiME
<Q>Basic question. What do they hope to gain with the Mars flybys?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>We are interested in learning more about Mars. Mars has lots of evidence for past liquid water on the surface and may have also had periods when the climate was warmer. An important question is to understand what happened to the water. This has a direct importance to understanding our own planet.

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<Q>Is it true that some snowfalls have been spotted on Mars?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Yes, the Phoenix lander has a laser onboard that is designed to gather knowledge about how the atmosphere and surface interact and has detected snow about 2-3 miles above the surface.

th4bard
<Q>Is there any chance for Mars to be populated in the next couple of years? I know that the first step is to find water on the planet, but, supposing there is not, can we "send" water from Earth to help inhabit Mars? (Horia/CNITV/Ro)
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>This is quite difficult, and there are many steps we have to go through before we can get there. First, we have to be able to collect rocks and bring them back to Earth, then we can try to do a manned mission to Mars next. Actually populating Mars is even harder. There are many obsticles to overcome, but there are quite a few scientists working on these problems. We would need water, an atmosphere to protect us from the suns rays, and more gravity!

Dan
<Q>Where I can take new informations about Mars?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>I'm not sure I understand your question. If you are asking where can you get information about Mars, I would suggest going to the various Mars websites first such as http://mars,jpl.nasa.gov.

Alexandra_Davatzes Are you all able to make suggestions? Are you running into any troubles that we can help you with?

Virginia_Gulick Has anyone used HiWeb our image suggestion system yet? Remember you need to register for the HiRISE Challenge first and then we will send you an email on how to submit an image suggestion for the HiRISE camera to target.
th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
yes, it was very easy to use.. and fascinating in the same time... to be amongst the first to see some pictures of the Red PLanet is something... :)

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>Is there other HiRise Imagees with caves, if so, may we have the ID numbers?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>I don't know the image numbers off hand, but you can do some searches on the HiRISE image release site at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu.

DiME
<Q>Are there more than 1 chemical composition of water? Ie different types of water?
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>No, water is just H2O, but it can be in different phases: Water can be in the form of ice, liquid, or a gas.

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<Q>I used the HiWeb image suggestion system last year...
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Good to hear. Did you find it easy to use?

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>Our teacher Mr.Mitchell registered this morning, did you receive this?
Quest_Moderator
<A>I have not processed registration this morning, but will as soon as this chat is over. Mr. Mitchell will then receive a welcome letter with information on how to proceed. Has he used this system before?
Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen <Q>Thanks

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<Q>and I have seen some patterns that resemble the traces left by rivers back here, on earth
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>Yes, and we see very similar patterns on Mars- they look a lot like the dry river valleys on Earth!

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>Is there any possible patterns of were the caves occur?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>They are located on the flanks of some of the Tharsis volcanoes like Ascraeus Mons. One image # is PSP_004847_1745, but you may already have this.
Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen no

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<Q>sorry, I'll put this into one question: Can we compare the valleys on Mars to those left by riveer beds back here on Earth? And thus assume that water has once been on Mars?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Yes you can.. .. Water leaves characteristic features in the valleys that we see both on Earth and on Mars. However the valleys on Mars are dry....

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>What evidence is there of subterranean caves on Mars that might contain frozen water? According to the "Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVIII (2007)" an article entitled ÒTHEMIS OBSERVES POSSIBLE CAVE SKYLIGHTS ON MARSÓ by G.E.Cushing , T.N. Titus, JJ Wynne, and P.R. Christensen, seven possible caves have been identified on the surface of Mars. According to the article, these caves, analyzed by Thermal-infrared data from the THEMIS camera aboard the Odyssey spacecraft orbiting Mars, suggest temperatures of these openings mimic behavior of a cavern floor that gets very little sunlight on Earth. One of the HiRise images from the Arsia Mons region was used in the study. Are you aware of other HiRise images that might also show these dark spots on Mars? Further discovery and analysis might lead to the discovery of frozen water inside these caves and possibly evidence of frozen microbes inside the caves like we find on Ear
Virginia_Gulick
<A>We do not have evidence that the caves on Mars are filled with water. They appear to be dry holes.

Virginia_Gulick Question for the4bard... :
<Q>Did you try to submit an image suggestion using HiWeb?
th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<A>yes!

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen <Q>Thank you we need to go back to class, so we'll access the archives later on.

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>Are they caused by volcanic activity
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>I think you must be referreing to the caves here, right? Well, one possibility is that they are collapsed "windows" in lava tubes, especially given that they are commonly seen on the flanks of volcanoes.

DiME
<Q>
Are they working on a way to go inside these caves?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>I'm not aware of anyone proposing to do that yet!

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<Q>along with the team i was part of (10F I think...) we tried to submit some images which we compared to riverbeds back here in Romania (it was the closest reference we had).
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Have we imaged your team's suggestions yet?

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>according to the article, the scientists are suggesting that there might be frozen liquid that might cause them to be cooler then the surrounding regions
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>We are definitely finding out that there is a lot of ice just below the surface on Mars, sometimes closer than we thought, and some of the scientists on the HiRISE team and on other instruments and missions are trying to figure out the distribution of the ice around the planet.

Victor
<Q>i saw a Martian 3d map today those caves looked like some sort of land slides
Virginia_Gulick
<A>If we are talking about the same feature for example the "hole" in the image I listed earlier in the chat then that is an actual hole in the surface.

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>bye
Quest_Moderator
<A>Thanks for joining us. I look forward to your entry!

Victor_CNITV
<Q>Is it posible to find as much chemical elements on Mars as on Earth?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Mars has quite a few that we are only beginning to identify with instruments on the lander and rover missions.

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>thanks again
Quest_Moderator
<A>Thank you for making the connection!

Victor_CNITV
<Q>I would like to know more about the matrian atmosphere
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Well the Martian atmosphere is mostly made up of carbon dioxide.


Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>How soon does our proposal has to be in?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The first opportunity will be due this Monday at noon Pacific time.

Virginia_Gulick If you have any questions about HiWeb and how to submit an image suggestion please let us know.

Kelcie_Mr._D._Mitchell_Evergreen
<Q>Thank you! We'll let our advisor know.

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania
<Q>What about water in the martian atmosphere? Is there any? How can we explain the snowfalls the Phoenix Observer has spotted?
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>There is very little water in the thin Martian atmosphere, which is mostly made up of carbon dioxide. CO2 forms ice as well, especially at the cold temperatures and low pressures on Mars. CO2 ice forms on the polar caps each winter.

Virginia_Gulick Hello to all those who just entered the chat room! Are there any questions we can answer about how to submit an image suggestion for the HiRISE camera to target?

Quest_Moderator We will have an archive up later today so that you may see the questions that went before. Please ask your questions about HiRISE site selection while we still have Dr. Cavatzes and Dr Gulick available to answer you!

DiME
<Q>thanks for answering my basic questions i need to read up on the subject -- bye!

Quest_Moderator To our newcomers -- We're near the end of our hour-long chat. Please ask your question as soon as possible! Thanks,

Victor_CNITV
<Q>we apologise for being so late but most of us were informed to come 1 hour later

Victor_CNITV
<Q>what is the temperature and presure at the ecuator?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The average pressure is about 0.6% that of the Earth. The temperatures at the equator can get up to near freezing, but on average it is very, very cold.

Victor_CNITV
<Q>and what about the hight of the martian atmosphere?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Well like Earth's atmosphere, Mars' atmosphere is densest in the lowest places and thinnest in the highest reaches. The height of the atmosphere is somewhat higher than the Earth's. The scale of Mars atmosphere is roughly about 11km in height.

Emma9i
<Q>do you explain why was snow on mars?...snow or ice
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>A snowflake is a single crystal of ice or an agglomeration of ice crystals. Snow is ice.

Alexandra_Davatzes Do any of the newcomers have questions about using HiWeb? Have you gotten a chance to try to make a suggestion?

Victor_CNITV
<Q>well if it is mostly CO2 that means that the prezence of water will make vegetal life posible, no?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Well people have thought of that before. There is a whole field of study known as Terraforming. The short asnwer is that it would take a very long time for plants to be able to survive. The atmoshpere is very very thin (meaning not very dense)

Emma9i
<Q>well.....we have descovered a fish form...:))
Quest_Moderator <A>I'm not sure I understand.
Victor_CNITV <Q>my friend means that me and my team (9i) found a mountain shaped exactly like a fish

Victor_CNITV
<Q>no further questions!

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>Is it true that Phoenix discovered falling snow on Mars? How can we explain this phenomena considering that we have not found liquid water on Mars?
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>Please scroll up to see the previous discussion of snow on Mars or look at the transcript following the chat.

Virginia_Gulick
The first opportunity to submit a target for the HiRSE camera to image on Mars is this Mnday at 12 noon Pacific time. Are there any questions about how to pick a target, how to use HiWeb our image suggestion facility?

Quest_Moderator Be sure to check http://quest.nasa.gov/challenges/hirise/ for more information on the current cycle. And stay tuned as the HiRISE challenge continues!

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>Can extremophiles from Earth live on Mars?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>That is a good question! One of the things scientists aare interested in is whether microbial lifel ever existed on Mars, for example in the rcks below the surface.

Emma9i
<Q>till when is the HiRiSE Challenge ?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The HiRISE Challenge provides an opportunity to submit an image suggeestion fo rthe HiRSE image to target, When the image is rturned, we ask you to help analyze the image and write an image caption for it. It will get posted along with the weekly releases every Wednesday at http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu . We will help you with the caption if needed.

Victor_CNITV
<Q>there are some earth creatures found on earth (water bears... i think) that can survive in space... mayby they can do the same on Mars?

Emma9i <Q>okay..thank you all for your time

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>Considering mars temperature in what state could we find water on Mars, on the surface or in the ground?
Alexandra_Davatzes
<A>We know there is water ice on the surface and just beneath the surface on Mars right now. It is possible that highly saline (salty) water could also be stable, but that has not yet been found. The ice on Mars tends to sublimate directly from a solid (ice) to a gas.

Emma9i
<Q>till when is the HiRiSE Challenge ?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The first opportunity to submit a suggestion is this Monday. If you submit your suggestion by this Monday at noon, it will be considered for targeting for this cycle . Those images will be returned in early November. There will be a second opportunity in 2 weeks, but you will have two chances to get your image suggestion targeted if you submit by Monday!

Victor_CNITV
<Q>ok bye every one this was very informative!

Emma9i
<Q>is it true that on Mars in the equator zone could be water?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>On the hottest day of the the year in the deepest canyon or crater near the equator liquid water could possibly exist.

Alexandra_Davatzes Thank you all for coming. Please submit your suggestions as soon as possible for the best chance of getting it returned quickly! We look forward to seeing them!

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>On what criteria did NASA scientist choose the landing place of the Phoenix?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>They wanted to land near the polar layer deposts in hope of sampling ice. They had to pick a site that had the least hazards to the lander

Virginia_Gulick Anymore questions about the challenge?

ioana.cnitv09
<Q>On behalf of the students of "Tudor vianu" National High School, thank you very much for your time and for the information you gave us. We are all very exited to participate at this project.

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>which is the method of procuring the Mars pictures? At what altitude does the satelite orbitate
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter orbits at about 300km above the surface. At highest resolution we can image a surface feature that is about a meter across. This means we could see your teacher's desk from orbit!

Alexandra_Davatzes We are happy you all are participating!!!

Virginia_Gulick I'm not sure I understand your question regarding the method of procuring Mars pictures. Could you clarify please?

Virginia_Gulick We have a brief tutorial about how the camera operates. You can go to http://hirise.seti.org/epo/ and find out more about it. You can also find out more about how to submit an image suggestion at this website.

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>Is it posible to find other resources on Mars such as fosil fuel?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>It may be possible to find other resources such as mineral resources. Water would also be considered a resource if we could find it near enough to the surface.

Ana_CNITV_Bucharest and from Patricia too:
<Q>How do we know where to find water? Exactly what are the elements that we have to discuss in order find out if it water or no there?
Alexandra_Davatzes <A>I'm not sure I understand your questions completely- we con look for water in a variety of ways. With the HiRISE camera, we are often looking for the geomorphologic (which just means the shape of the rocks) evidence for past liquid water flowing on Mars. Some of the things we see are gullies and dry riverbeds, but we also see things like dry deltas where valleys meet craters. We think this means that the rivers carried water into lakes within the crater, much like the Mississippi River Delta, where the Mississippi river empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

andreea_m
<Q>Hello! How does the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter collaborates/exchanges informations with the other devices in the area (for instance Phoenix )?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The science teams talk to each other and coordinate on how best to obtain important data.

ciprian_cnitv_9f_
<Q>what really happened when the picture with that face on Mars was taken?
Quest_Moderator <A>There's a nice write-up at: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2001/ast24may_1.htm

Alexandra_Davatzes <Q>Bye!!! I've got to go. Good luck and have fun!!!

Teodor__Tudor_Vianu_National_Mat
<Q>It is possible to exist life on Mars. Or there was life before?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>The surface of Mars is not conducive to life at present nor is it conducive to liquid water flowing on the surface. However, in Mars' past geological history, we see evidence for liquid water flowing on the surface. We see huge flood channels and valleys carved into the surface by liquid water most probably. Water has carved similar features on the Earth. However on Mars, these features are dry and have been dry for a long time.

Teodor__Tudor_Vianu_National_Mat
<Q>It is possible to exist life on Mars. Or there was life before?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>We know that where water exists on Earth even in very extreme environments there is life. The question is since water seems to have existed on Mars in the past, was there also microbial life in the past on Mars as well?

ramonaXD
<Q>is it posible to find other resources on Mars such as copper, iron?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>It should be possible. Most of the ore deposts on Earth are thought to have formed in hydrothermal systems. Hydrothermal systems form in areas where the subsurface is permeable enough for water circulation and where there is a prolonged heat source beneath the surface such as a magmatic intrusion.

ramonaXD
<Q>is it posible to find other resources on Mars such as copper, iron?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>Thermal waters can dissolve minerals out of rocks and materials in one area and deposit them elsewhere where the water temperatures are cooler.... This process can concentrate various minerals in zones around and away from the heat source forming ore deposits.

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>Thank you for your answer! I just wanted to know the altitude of the orbiter.
Virginia_Gulick <A>You are welcome!

luca_cnitv_romania
<Q>Does Mars have magnetic activity?Is Mars atmosphere protected from solar and cosmic radiation?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>No Mars does not have strong magnetic acitvity so the solar and cosmic radiation reaches the top of the atmosphere.

Virginia_Gulick Any questions on how to suggest an image for the HiRISE camera to target?

andreea_m
<Q>When do you think a human expedition will go to Mars?
Virginia_Gulick
<A>It will likely be a long time likely 25 years or so away. There are very real problems with sending people to Mars and returning them back to Earth safely. Because it is so difficult for humans to go to Mars, we send orbiters, landers and rovers to Mars to learn as much as we can.

adrian_cnitv_romania <Q>Thank you!

Virginia_Gulick
Ok, any more questons? If not, I'm hoping to see lots of image suggestions from you all by Monday. If you are not registered with the Challenge yet please do so. When you register, we will send you out a welcome letter and give you instructions on how to use HiWeb our image suggestion facility. If you have any questions after the chat on submitting an image suggestion, please email us.

Virginia_Gulick Thank you so much for joining us during our webchat today. We enjoyed answering your questions! Bye, bye!

th4bard_Horia_CNITV_Romania goodbye:)

Anne_9F Bye bye..And thank you for all !

luca_cnitv_romania Bye! thank you for your time and information!

ramonaXD thank you very much for the information!::smile

 
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