Friday, April 11, 2014

That glinty thing on Mars

        For once I'm not going to get on Mike Bara's case about last night's Coast to Coast AM jollity. For one thing, what followed Mike was so much, much worse. John Brandenburg and his ridiculous fantasies about nuclear weapons on Mars. George Haas in complete loony-bin mode presenting his Queen Nefertiti profile. Michael Salla telling us campfire yarns about human colonies on Mars. There wasn't more than a teaspoonful of truth in three hours of talk radio.

        Compared to that lunacy, Mike was relatively sane, giving us the possible explanations for the glint in an image from Curiosity's right navcam. He may have gone a bit over the top with his "half buried railroad tracks", and his hatred of Phil Plaitnote 1 made me smile, but considering he has no expertise on the subject whatsoever it really wasn't too bad. He was quite correct in saying that the fact that two (actually three) different flashes have been seen is a problem for the cosmic ray hit theory.

        I claim no expertise either, but I'm interested enough to have scanned all the blogs today. There have been several comments to this blog, which by default went to the "Morningstar predicts" thread. So I thought it would be helpful if I gave a handy menu of web resources and encourage further comments on this thread. So here we go.

The sol 589 (3 April) glinty thing
The sol 588 (2 April) glinty thing
The sol 568 (12 March) glinty thing
Phil Plait's original blogpost
Phil Plait's self-correction
Emily Lakdawalla's thread in
Stuart Robbins' blogpost
Justin Maki's technical explanation
Above Top Secret thread (over 500 posts already, yikes) 
Earthfiles report 

[1] Bara is always frothing about his "haters," but in truth he's the only hater.


Chris Lopes said...

When Bara's the sane one, you know you're in trouble.

Trekker said...

I wonder if the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter could zoom in on the area, and see if there IS, after all, a shiny rock in the location of the glint.

expat said...

It's a certainty that MRO has already covered this terrain. I don't think there's any zoom capability. The resolution is what it is. And it's excellent.

P.S. Stuart Robbins' latest podcast, looking at the problems with the theory of solar fission, is excellent.