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The Mars Mystery
am 28. Juni 2000
The search for life on Mars has fascinated generations of astronomers and stargazers etc. The announcement that NASA scientists may have located evidence of liquid water on the surface of the red planet is only the latest chapter in the exploration of Mars. As much as the public craves proof of little green men, the focus of the scientific search has been to uncover evidence of the conditions necessary for life. NASA researchers described their approach as "follow the water". Water is critical for the development of life and if the presence of liquid water - at or near the surface of Mars - can be confirmed, scientists will be steps closer to piecing the life-on-Mars puzzle.
Mars is the fourth major planet from the Sun, named after the Roman god of war because of its reddish colour. Mars has an elliptical orbit, and so its distance from the Earth varies considerably. Its mean distance from the Sun is 228 million km, about half as far again as is the Earth. A Martian day, or sol, is 24.6 Earth hours, and the Martian year is approximately 687 Earth days. The planet has two small satellites, Phobos and Deimos. Like the Earth, Mars has seasons because of an oblique axis of rotation and the presence of an atmosphere. It is, however, much colder: the mean surface atmospheric temperature is only -23o C. Mars is a small planet, having a mean diameter of 6,790 km, approximately half that of the Earth. Also, its density, 3.933 grams per cubic centimetre, is lower than that of Earth. Mars' thin atmosphere is composed predominantly of carbon dioxide, with some nitrogen and argon. Traces of water vapour have also been detected. The perennial part of the ice caps consists of water ice and the seasonal parts of frozen carbon dioxide.
Water is a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. Water is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds. It is vital to life, participating in virtually every process that occurs in plants and animals. Water is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless liquid at room temperature. It's able to dissolve many other substances. The versatility of water as a solvent is essential to living organisms.
In this book, Hancock states that there's an intriguing possibility that ancient Martian has been communicating with our ancestors and points out that there maybe a connection bewteen the remarkable structures of Egypt, say for example, sphinxs and those of Mars. And if we prove that there once has been water on Mars, will Earth have the same fate, or else we can protect the Earth from extinction? The book is written in a precise and neat way. Very interesting and exiciting.