Phoenix Mission Breakdown From NASA

The reason it looked like mud in the bucket is because it was mud in the bucket, WOW!
Watch the video and debate. Just on thing about the vapor change under the soil matrix, I called it. Pat, Pat, Pat, need to get me a new rubber arm,lol


Great link, Fred. Thanks.

Yes, thanks for the link.

If Phoenix "sticky soil" = "mud" then surely MER "sticky soil" = "mud" too.

The lack of nitrogen compounds is a mystery.

Why does the Earth have so much atmospheric nitrogen? Is it the ultimate "biomarker"?

I hope someone can answer that nitrogen question Hort. You are correct in the MER reference. This is one of the better MER Mud shots.

Surface frost + Salts + Solar Radiation + MER Wheel + Imager = Great mud shot

With this new information the fines may exaggerate the wash patterns at the MER site. Time to go into major rehash mode.

Image below, Fred

I think there are better "mud shots" from Endurance crater, for example:


Not bad. Let not us forget the, “Grand Daddy,” of all rover mud shots. Complete with bleed patterns.


Now even with a NASA scientist telling us that what we are seeing is what we are seeing the die-hard dust guys will not waver. Even with a dry permafrost layer here on earth with similar ground patterns for study the dust guys cling to their static charge.

Now with water, salt, pressures above 6.1MB, and temps above 0C the dust guys cling to bad science. Even the Rover documentary on NatGeo still hands out the notion that at Mars pressure water will boil instantly on Mars even though it must be +10C for this to happen. Is this a gross oversimplification or total ignorance. At sea level pressure water boils on Earth at 100C. To say if the temperature rises above 100C the water would boil instantly is simply not true. Ice water will take a long time to boil with ambient air at 100C because the water temp must be 100C not the air temp. Why does this elementary fact elude them.

Mr. McKay is a breath of fresh air. It took Steve Squires 2 years to release the thermal data showing temps at 35C on Mars. Even on the Documentary they say maximum temperatures of 21C or 70F. Not only do they look past the visible data they look past the numerical data as well.

Phoenix has shown us the water ice just below the surface. I can not believe I missed the fact that the clear or lens ice clearly visible can only form after a liquid phase, in geological time this happened a minute ago. The same thermal radiation that produces the Dust Devils allow for temperatures and pressures in the soil matrix to produce liquid brine today. Just because they could not verify with the conduction instrument does not negate the visible data.


This is the image and the visible data I missed. The image compares ice from sol 20 to 24. We see a transition to clear lens ice. This type of ice can not form without liquid phase water, no if, and’s, or buts.


I think we have to remember that these pictures are under less than our gravity.

Less atmospheric pressure,temp,open to
solar intensity,a near vacuum??

In regard mars mud,,,very hard and also fluffy shaped or frozen hard edges??


well see here folks>>>

...mud was slung around in the Forum years ago with the exact make-up you have in Fred's 4 mystery at all...we were on the right track[tic]and pun intended!!!


Mud was indeed slung on this forum years ago. It was met with great resistance as it should have been.

The battle between the, “dust fines,” and, “mud,” guys has been raging for a long time. In retrospect a lot of feeling were hurt in the passion of debate that digressed to argument and disrespect on both sides.

I wonder if Mr. McKay’s presentation got any attention on UMSF, bet not. I guess the bulk of interested minds are relegated to lurking status. Glad to see you are still reading Stu.

Phoenix may be dead but you never can tell. Some clearing and a mild spell is not out of the question in late summer. That is a forecast. They will continue to Ping and hope for a response.

This is an exciting time to study Mars. The secrets of the layered deposits in the polar regions are just starting to reveal their secrets. My observation of vapor release between the layers and Dana’s observation of Solar influence and heat distribution on surface layer interaction was priceless.

The truth is Mars is cold as hell but it warms up at high noon. There is lots of dust, ice, salt, and sometimes a little mud. What kind of life could or would develop on any scale is still left to the imagination. We must reconcile the visible data and make it fit, Mars must make sense. If we can not understand the mud on Mars we can never understand the oceans of Europa or the wet lands of Titan.


The data will take years to really sift through and yes when I first mentioned mud here one reply said talcum powder spread with a pallet knife would look like mud suggesting a dry powdery Mars. Other posts have referred to clay at the bottom of craters and that suggests moisture; if you have 10 minutes or so this is a worthwhile round up of the Phoenix Mission:


Thanks for the link. Do not grow weary of the dust guys. I spent many year arguing with them. It is hard to understand a world like Mars.

A lot of the features we see are the result of. “Fines,” just like on the Moon. Trying to reconcile the visible data is hard sometime. Sometime it is simple.

This is an image of a dry flow.

This is an image of a wet flow.

Most of the time Mars is dry. Sometimes Mars is a muddy mess. Can you tell the difference? I hope so, it aint rocket science.


Image 2 looks like a volcanic mud slide I do recognise the dust slide images from HiRise and the other orbiters and the canyons that show evidence of catastrophic flooding no question this place was wet. Is it dank or wet today? I think so at certain times in certain places brines etc. but as you see glass ice has to be water first and we have seen this.

I think the million dollar question is how long these features could survive?

We know that global dust storms rage every 3-5 years on Mars. We know the wind blows. This would suggest to me that these features are recent in geological time. Mars can test the most avid enthusiast with more questions than answers.

Most interesting in the wet flow is the change in surface characteristics in the crater. The official verbiage is volatiles. Translation is water.


These features are recent as I am sure everything from the wind to dust devils are shaping things and sand falls are occuring everyday somewhere on Mars. We have seen the ice avalanche earlier this year and what appears to have been a stream of liquid emerge from a crater wall. The wet flow could have been caused by ice being melted by a Lava flow mixing mud water gas and Lava in a down hill torrent the crater floof being the lowest and last stop. There is a large tongue shape in the middle where the main collapse occured on the leading edge are some very weird patterns indeed!

There are more questions than answers for sure

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