Monday, September 28, 2015

It May Not Be Intelligent  Life,  But It Sure Makes Dandy Fireworks

Has photochemical perchlorate from Silver Lake reservoir percolated into the water coolers and brain juice of The Los Angeles Times
Fact-checkers there should consult the warning labels on the ferociously reactive ( think rocket motors and match heads) salts in the Red Planet's briny ooze :

Salty water still flows on Mars -- what does it mean for life?

Some of NASA’s top scientists... from Georgia Tech, NASA Ames Research Center and elsewhere explain that an instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted telltale signs of hydrated salts in several locations on the surface of the Red Planet.
Using data collected by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Marsinstrument, the team members concluded that salts are deposited on the slopes of several craters and canyons. 
These salts —
including magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate
 – appear to have been carried there recently by flowing water...Finding liquid water flowing on Mars would make the planet much more Earth-like, and potentially increase the likelihood of Martian life