B: A pseudo-scientist without any training in astronomy, geology, or geochemistry, who has not been anywhere near JPL for years, and who has a record of ridiculously false interpretation of planetary images (Phobos, Tempel 1, Mercury)?
Group A were at a JPL press conference today, showing further imagery of Vesta. A few points:
o Vesta is surprisingly dimorphic: Heavily cratered in the northern hemisphere, relatively smooth in the south.
o The very pronounced equatorial grooves may have been produced by a massive south-polar impact, strong enough to have caused compression of the entire body, followed by relaxation.
o Landslides on the walls of deep craters are surprising — not only because of the very small gravitational field but because of light/dark streaking which is currently unexplained. Likewise some scattered dark spots outside craters.
o A preliminary look by the VIR shows very variable chemistry over the surface, which will be available for further study as the spacecraft drops into lower orbit.
Group B (Hoagland, as ever was) has been proclaiming ever since the first images of Vesta that there are "unmistakable" ruins of cities all over the surface. He says he sees straight lines, 90° angles, and grid patterns all of which can only be the work of a city-building civilization. Conspicuously absent from his FB ravings on the subject have been images to support that claim. Apparently he's saving those for the fee-paying customers at the Leeds Exopolitics Conference.
In an internet radio show with Howard Hughes late last week, Hoagland slam-hyped his own appearance at the Leeds meeting, promising...
o This is going to change EVERYTHING
o These images are MIND-BOGGLING
o This will CHANGE OUR LIVES FOR EVER
o I'm going to present A REVOLUTION
o Disclosure IS UNDER WAY
Well, we'll see about that, won't we?
Hoagland also claimed several times that the JPL press conference had been re-scheduled from 14:00 to 12:00 EDT because the artificial features on Vesta would be announced, and they wanted to be sure of getting the lead on the evening's TV network news.
Well, we'll see about that too, won't we?
Update 1: Hoagland has now commented, on FB.
Calling Vesta a "planet" and ... "a world" ... MAY make the Evening News ....
They're STILL in "drip ... drip ... drip" mode. :)
The geometric/artificial features on Vesta that we KNOW are there (which wewre not shown or commented on AT ALL ...) are NOT going away; time and time again Russell (the chief scientist) said-- "We need to wait for the HIGH-resolution images ...."
"We can't AGREE [on the Team] what the hell these things are! So, we need MUCH BETTER images ... before we're going to say ANYTHING in public!"
They were OBVIOUSLY "buying time" .... And, DELIBERATELY "burying" this Vesta data under the "debt-ceiling news."
As I said a couple days ago .... :)
This is classic Hoagland-twist. If they say what he predicted, it's "SEE I WAS RIGHT, NYAA NYAAA." If they don't it's "They were OBVIOUSLY buying time and DELIBERATELY burying Vesta data. JUST LIKE I SAID NYAAA NYAAA"
Except, that's NOT what he said. If this makes the network news before 1st commercial break I'll eat my scale model of Phobos.
Well, my papier-mâché Phobos is safe. Not a whisper of this on network news, as far as I can tell. As usual, Hoagland was wrong, wrong, wrong.
This is such a shame. There's plenty of real science interest in what Dawn is doing. Richard Hoagland, because of his eloquence, has the attention of thousands of inquisitive young minds. Instead of leading them to the real story, he's teaching them that everyone in NASA is a liar, and a press conference can mean whatever you want it to mean "if you know what to look for."