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March 2, 2004

Water on Mars. Oliver Morton, author of Mapping Mars, has the straight dope on what’s ho-hum and what’s actually kinda cool about today’s much-ballyhooed announcement.

Indeed, Oliver’s Mainly Martian weblog is good reading all the time, and if you think unmanned Mars exploration is all just dry science free of the sweep and stagger of human folly, you haven’t read this post and followed its eye-opening links. Whew. [08:10 PM]

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Comments on Water on Mars.:

Melissa Singer ::: (view all by) ::: March 03, 2004, 12:19 PM:

All I can tell you is that to some children, at least (okay, at least one child), this was a wonderfully eye-popping announcement that revved up all her "Space is cool!" engines. Of course, my daughter, not quite 8, appears to be a geek-in-training.

At any rate, when I picked the kid up from school yesterday and told her about the water, I hadn't even gotten to the point of explaining that we didn't know how much water or where it was, and the kid was already dancing around and yelling, "Water! Water! That means there was life! Aliens! There are aliens!"

To which I responded, "Maybe microscopic ones," but she refused to be dimmed.

What really impressed me was that she went from "there was water" to "there might have been life" in about 2 seconds flat, without any input from me.

I haven't shown her the pictures of the black hole eating the star yet, but she's been asking all kinds of questions about black holes lately, so I must do that next, and perhaps it's time at last to see the planetarium show at the Museum of Natural History . . . .