MECA-OM Images - Page 2

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LWS Author Profile Page

Posts: 3062

Reply: 21

PostPosted: June 14, 2008 4:37 PM 


I agree with you totally about when the real raw OMs will be released. I think that they are showing some possibly non geological "structures" and that the authorities do not feel safe in releasing them to the public until they are certain that they; have confirmed that organic molecules are present from the tega tests; have a good idea what the structures are likely to be as compared to Earth analogues; can make definitive statements on the structures; and cannot be upstaged by non-astrobiologists from the general public.

I also don't think we should be holding our breaths for raw images from the Atomic whatever microscope.

I think we have been spoiled by the openness of the MER Rover releases, but then, they were not equipped to search for visual or chemical signs of current life and so everything could plausibly be passed off as "just rocks". In Phoenix's case there could be little doubt if the micro images show some undeniable spores of some type and they could not have some unestablishment types pointing out the obvious features of life, or could they?


moe Author Profile Page

Posts: 37

Reply: 22

PostPosted: June 14, 2008 6:10 PM 

nope. no raw images but i did find the skinny on the substrates, . Interesting... very interesting indeed. Would like very much to see you get a hold of some horton...

danajohnson0 Author Profile Page

Posts: 1195

Reply: 23

PostPosted: June 14, 2008 10:13 PM 

The AFM(Atomic Force Microscope) 'nanobuckets' delivery system of particles accumulated on a series of various micrometer sized arrays which trap particles INDIVIDUALLY, and which shows a clear preference for ~5 microns.
These particles are being imaged in a way which will cause confusion and 'hopelessness' by most who cannot bring themselves to pursue the truth when it becomes an expensive affair of human terms.
I found someone collapsing my Windows and shutting down my computer automatically about an hour and a half earlier. I did not have any choice, warning, or blue screen stall. I simply found the many open windows shut down at once, with my work lost in balance. This should be monitored here on, as a possible terrorist style attack possibility against some on the blog, if anyone else has this unique type of experience. I have plenty of memory, page file space, and other prerequisites.

Back to the imaging.
This is an altered, difficult to interpret image from the AFM preparation sample rack, wherein the pegs and holes snag particles by a size range. The test reveals a ~5 micron size preference, and this shows a much reduced image where the items are seen in gray scale, no longer blocked-up in the highlights, and enlarged 300%.
This is remarkably not geological for an Earth type soil. This is a classic Martian collection of 'bio' suggestive items.
Annotated for your viewing. I'll be releasing large images for reference on a different topic.
These must be identified as particular mineral growths if anyone is to claim these are geology. Otherwise, these are not geological, probably. Let's stop playing with science concepts. These must ID'd by real geologists and bio professionals. The similarity to the Meridiani site is uncanny, and the two sites are currently at very differing climate locales. Could this be new geology?
At 300% enlargement, altered to reduce highlights which were hiding image details. From the sol 17 collection, image 247302.


rpage Author Profile Page

Posts: 655

Reply: 24

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 1:02 AM 

Dana, I don't know where you got that image or how you processed it but it does have several images that I would flag as possibly biologic.

I have spent years looking at microscopic conodonts, arthropods, sponge spicules, ostracodes, and many other (microscopic)fossils.

There might be something to those remains to be seen with the future sets of images!

LWS Author Profile Page

Posts: 3062

Reply: 25

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 8:13 AM 

Dana, rpage

I agree with rpage. Those images at 23 are very suggestive of biology. However, we are in the early days yet before the good OM and AFM images are released (most likely as selected and screened Press releases rather than the MER model of all and sundry images)

With all the unoffficial talk about very near surface ice from the Official sources as well as Hort's and other anims that suggest some sublimation of that ice (especially the images of the slumping of the sample in the bucket), I think the balance of early info suggests that there is likely to be some spectacular news in the future but that will depend on what the chemical evidence says as well as the microscopy.

If the chemical evidence says no (or only perhaps) then all bets are off that the visual evidence will be interpreted as anything other than quaint martian geology no matter how suggestive of earth life they might appear to be.


dx Author Profile Page

Posts: 1661

Reply: 26

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 9:15 AM 


Martian soil is not Earth soil. Its been a static planet bombarded for billions of years with UV rads, dried out eons ago and even though its cold dead soil can turn into something even deader than we know, if their is such a word.

I like the idea of 'stickiness' applied to the soil particles and the slump pic indicated a weak sloped slump regardless of a weaker gravity. Slump tests for concrete on construction sites offer a visual test before its application to the project. So I was very surprised the Martian soil drop was so slouchy,[like wet dog crap] with hardly any peak to it, just a curved mound in a circular edged form. I wonder what that cross-section of the soil drop and the soil it dropped onto looks like? Is there a distinct break line or continuance into itself again. This condition usually indicates a too wet mass [of some substance-other than water] for it to stand on its own for at least a 30 degree slope!! This is not the case.

Microbes? Organics? UHH, don't think so! There would have been some 'squigglies' in that microscope image.

Wouldn't you think that too?


LWS Author Profile Page

Posts: 3062

Reply: 27

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 12:08 PM 

Hi Dx

Would the squigglees be obvious in the OM images at the magnification given? I don't think so, they could well be hiding in the clumped dust but I think there are some indications that they are indeed there in the filaments etc. that some of us see and some don't.

Organics; we have to wait for the Biochemical Chemical analyses.

Re. stickiness and the slump in the sample, why should'nt water be involved? There seems to be a distinct possibility of significant quantities of ice there, why should'nt some water in whatever form (adsorbed, bounded or other-else) fill those soil interstices?

Why must the "wet mass" be of some substance other than water? What substance do you suggest in the presence of sihnificant quantities of ice?

Microbes? We have to wait for the Organics results as well as the Atomic force microsopy. At present I think there is a 99% chance for both.


dx Author Profile Page

Posts: 1661

Reply: 28

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 12:39 PM 


Yes, water-bound squigglies should have been seen immediately. I own a microscope and have seen them in various water types, but not from dead soil. You don't need much in magnification to observe them, if they are there. rpagesees conodonts under the scope and so have I and magnification is a wonderful thing but not much is needed for these either. But if something exists at the sub-atomic level, well, I'm just interested at all.

I think we will find out what the 'wet mass' is all about, as you say. But it being water, I don't think so. put that figure quite high! You know something we don't?


dx Author Profile Page

Posts: 1661

Reply: 29

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 12:42 PM 


...clarification for 28, please.

...if something exists at the sub-atomic level, well, I'm just not interested at all.

thank you.


hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

Posts: 3465

Reply: 30

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 12:45 PM 

"3D" comparison detail sol 6-19 under the lander:

with a link to the full "3D".

The "3D" is in quotes because the camera perspective changed only a couple of pixels -- but enough, for example, to show the displaced dead pixels in different locations.

There was a lot of heavy duty processing on this image, but total information content used to produce the images works out to about 160 KB / MegaPixel which is equivalent to a JPG compression of 6.3

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

Posts: 3465

Reply: 31

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 12:51 PM 

Ooops. sorry. posted to wrong topic?

er, sub-atomic level??? You need a machine the size of LHC to see sub-atomic...

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

Posts: 3465

Reply: 32

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 12:56 PM 

Here is a sample 4 micron x 4 micron from the AFM

LWS Author Profile Page

Posts: 3062

Reply: 33

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 1:20 PM 

Hi dx

re. your #28, I don't know anything more than any of us regulars on the marsroverblog, but I think that Levin found life in the Viking LR experiments and I'm just extrapolating from there.

Re. the putative water borne squigglees, the OM images were not in an aqueous medium and hence the image could not equate to that of almost any soil that you could put under your microscope on Earth. That soil would be filled with nematodes, etc, that would be immediately obvious through their morphology and perhaps movement depending on the medium you placed the soil in. Here, the situation is quite different.


RW Author Profile Page

Posts: 60

Reply: 34

PostPosted: June 15, 2008 3:17 PM 

Highlighted close up of three interesting items in [microscopic view.] Interesting minerals, these little ["bits and pieces."] Cool

Happy birthday beacons ...

dx Author Profile Page

Posts: 1661

Reply: 35

PostPosted: June 16, 2008 11:15 AM 


Got goofed up a bit with the typing...certainly did not mean 'sub-atomic'...but did mean the next level of microscopy to be used.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention.


dx Author Profile Page

Posts: 1661

Reply: 36

PostPosted: June 18, 2008 9:21 AM 


this soil slump looks much better as a real test should look like and what we understand for concrete slumps on Earth.


hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

Posts: 3465

Reply: 37

PostPosted: June 24, 2008 6:14 PM 

1/3 through a nominal mission and only two OM sequences ( other than the sol 4 test )???

Since there are 10 sets of 6 substrates then one OM sequence per sol will bave to be performed for the rest of the nominal mission!

This is a use it or lose it situation.

(* gathering his toga praetexta about him, our protagonist enters the curia formum in pachydermal splendor and trumpets *)

qua es exemplar officina!


Posts: 161

Reply: 38

PostPosted: June 25, 2008 2:12 AM 

they seemed to have sprinkled some soil onto the om sol 26

INTEROP: Sprinkle onto OM (with SSI & RAC doc) 131B 3 3

from here


maybe some images soon?

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

Posts: 3465

Reply: 39

PostPosted: July 5, 2008 4:51 PM 


Hadn't checked the offical NASA Phoenix site for a while...

Where are the raw OMs?

hortonheardawho Author Profile Page

Posts: 3465

Reply: 40

PostPosted: July 5, 2008 5:44 PM 

OK, I see a pattern emerging:

  • No raw OMs
  • Release of OMs as press images on NASA site only
  • No 2X releases
  • No TIFF releases on NASA Photojournal site
  • Limited OM science results
  • No mention of AFM activities AT ALL
  • Chirping crickets

Guys, we ain't gonn'a see the OM or AFM results until the big NASA "press conference" with Griffin chairing the group.

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