Pharyngula

It’s snowing on Mars.

Comments

  1. #1 skyotter
    September 30, 2008

    yeah, but can you see Russia from Mars?

  2. #2 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    To be fair, the snow wasn’t making it to the ground…

  3. #3 E.V.
    September 30, 2008

    Yeah, I’m sure we can raise a few dollars to send a certain Alaskan family there.

  4. #4 E.V.
    September 30, 2008

    Jared:
    (Shhhhhh. don’t. tell. the. martians.)

  5. #5 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    E.V., come on now, we can all live on this planet peacefully even if said Alaskan family thinks this planet we live on was made by a celestial version of Henry Moore, only slightly less creative…

  6. #6 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    Note, in my previous statement, I was forgetting their brains are currently already located on said red planet, thus making shipping them there much cheaper. Forgive the error.

  7. #7 JM Inc.
    September 30, 2008

    Absolutely ridiculous. I’ve been waiting for it to snow here in Ontario since it last snowed here! Way too long!

  8. #8 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    I’m too much of a Cajun to appreciate snow… If the temperature gets below 50F, I run inside to the nearest fireplace…

  9. #9 Desert Son
    September 30, 2008

    PZ Myers posted:

    It’s snowing on Mars.

    And Mars without plows.

    No kings,

    Robert

  10. #10 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    One has to wonder, if there is enough water condensation for snow, where is said water evaporating from?

  11. #11 Patricia
    September 30, 2008

    Just wait. Some complete ass will show up and claim to see Jezus in one of the pictures.

  12. #12 marilove
    September 30, 2008

    Having grown up in the middle of the mojave & sonoran deserts (near Lake Havasu) and having been living in Phoenix for the last 8 years, I have no idea what this thing you call snow is.

  13. #13 LisaJ
    September 30, 2008

    JM Inc., no hoping for snow, please! I can’t take any more talk about the potential of snow here… yesterday was my first day without shorts, that’s enough of a drastic change for now. Micheal Kuss just told me (through my TV) that there is a chance of flurries in Central Ontario tonight.

  14. #14 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    marilove @ 12
    I had to look it up also, apparently it’s small crystals of water which freeze at temperatures below 32F and fall to the ground. Having never witnessed this phenomenon, I was certain it was a bad joke, but upon a google image search, I found photos. It’s seems to be a brilliant white color, but this is due to refracting the light from the sun. Not wanting to be anywhere that has a temperature below 40F, however, I think I shall have to avoid places with said “snow.”

  15. #15 Marc Abian
    September 30, 2008

    Snow always makes me happy. It’s so wonderful and pure, and reminds me of cocaine.

  16. #16 Mercurious
    September 30, 2008

    I’ll copy the comment I made over at DailyKos last night when this was wrote about.

    Someday, humans will be able to make snow angels on Mars also. I just hope I live long enough to see it personally.

  17. #17 Ranxerox
    September 30, 2008

    Snow Rocks…er, I like snow. It is tee-shirt weather until the temp hits zero…er, water freezes. Then I put on a light jacket.

    A potential venue for the Winter Olympic, eh?

  18. #18 Ranxerox
    September 30, 2008

    Olympics.

    Just got called a spammer whilt attempting a correction. Hmm

  19. #19 Ranxerox
    September 30, 2008

    Whilst.

    That’s it. Too many errors, I am outta here

  20. #20 Holbach
    September 30, 2008

    LisaJ @ 13

    I’m no snow lover, and can tolerate the cold without it, but the current season, Autumn, is my favorite.
    The thought of snow on another planet is mind boggling, and I read that report this morning on the web.
    Anyway, here in New England, The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a long and colder winter with more snow than usual. They don’t always hit on the mark but this prediction will prove to be true. So if we are going to have a rougher winter here, than it stands to reason you will have it as rough or worse in Central Ontario. Hey, better here than a winter on Mars. Hunker down early Lisa!

  21. #21 Ranxerox
    September 30, 2008

    OK, just one more tidbit.

    I am in the middle of installing a massive external wood stove\boiler. The firebox itself is 60″H, 40″W and 72″L. I can almost standup in it to shovel out ash.

    How many bibles would that fit do you think…

    Let me do some math and get back to you.

  22. #22 Ranxerox
    September 30, 2008

    OK,

    Based on a bible size of 7″x5″x1.5″ I get about 3,291.

    I am just guessing on the book dimensions, but expect I am close to the fodder found in hotel rooms

  23. #23 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    @22
    Do you think you could film it?

  24. #24 themadlolscientist, FCD
    September 30, 2008

    Snow is a four-letter word that starts with S.

  25. #25 Holbach
    September 30, 2008

    Ranxerox @ 22

    You almost answered your own question on the amount of crap books to fill your stove. Here’s a ploy you can use to acquire a winter’s worth of bible heat. Go to a hotel in the morning when people are checking out and the maids have the doors open and the beds stripped, and then just clean out the rooms of all the Gideons that are sure to be there stinking up the rooms. Of course, have a big suitcase with you as if you are a guest so as to not arouse suspicion. You can have an inexhaustible supply of bible heat, because the Gideon morons are adamant that no room will be without a bible for future warmth!

  26. #26 Davidkevin
    September 30, 2008

    The late Robert Anton Wilson once said the solution to a bad book was to write a good book.

    Jokes about burning books aren’t funny. If it’s okay to burn Bibles, someone else will find it okay to burn biology textbooks.

    Instead of stealing Gideon Bibles for burning, the next time you rent a hotel room, I suggest leaving a good book in the drawer next to it.

  27. #27 Holbach
    September 30, 2008

    Davidkevin @ 26

    No, jokes about burning books are not funny, unless the contents of a particular book proscribes the actions similiar, but not limited to burning people or stoning them to death. A Biology book has never inferred savage treatment to people for whatever reason the act requires, and is one in which the knowledge is beneficial and enhances the understanding of the species. The bible offers no such comparable useful knowledge, but is comprised of superstitious nonsense, blatant and overt savagery in all manner of situations, and totally useless to the betterment of the human species. Burning a bible should not automatically lead to burning a Biology book (note my lower and upper case letters to denote my regard to both subjects), unless it is done by an insane adherent of the former book to the detestation of the latter. I would no more hestitate to torch a bible as I would to show what I think of moronic crackers. Anything that is done to desecrate and render ridicule to insane superstitions is worthy of my actions and respect. Burning a bible means no more significance to me than burning a pile of leaves. The residue is far more useful that the former item. And neither would I defame a useful book by placing it next to a useless bible.

  28. #28 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    Davidkevin @26
    Actually, it is ok to burn biology textbooks, doesn’t bother me. It’s also ok to burn chemistry, physics, psychology, English, biology, and other textbooks. Burning textbooks doesn’t offend me… What offends me is the nonchalance which some people dismiss what is in them. Burning them doesn’t change the information, it only destroys the book.

  29. #29 Glendon Mellow
    September 30, 2008

    Go Canada! My alma mater York University was responsible for the LIDAR that detected the snow.

    Makes sense. The Ontario snow belt is about a block away from campus. If the wind shifted a little the awkward modernist buildings were buried.

  30. #30 TrisBob92
    September 30, 2008

    Sooooo anyway, snow…

    It’s pretty cool that Nature forms perfect hexagons from frozen water?

  31. #31 Michelle
    September 30, 2008

    Now where’s MY snow? Come on Autumn, you’re too slow. Get the hell outta here and bring me my winter so I can snowshoe!

  32. #32 Noni Mausa
    September 30, 2008

    As the old song says:

    “It’s goin’ to be a looooooo-ng vinter,
    And what vill de birdies do den, de poor tings?
    They’ll fly to de barn
    To keep demselves varm,
    And hide dere heads under dere vings,
    De poor Tings!”

    ~wipes away a Minnysnowta pensively reminiscent tear~

  33. #33 cactusren
    September 30, 2008

    Jared @ 10:

    Its likely the snow isn’t water, but frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice). This is what makes up most of the ice caps in the polar regions of Mars.

  34. #34 Jared
    September 30, 2008

    cactusren @33, I know what CO2 is, what it’s called when frozen, and that it makes up much of the polar regions, thank you, but in the article, it says “‘What this is telling us is that water does rise from the ground to the atmosphere and then precipitates down,’ he said. ‘So there is a hydrological cycle on Mars, and now other experts will study the data and try to determine what it all means.’”

  35. #35 Ranxerox
    October 1, 2008

    Book burning you say… never.

    Some books are good but the ‘good book’ is not.

    Fodder, if mixed with de-hydrated bovine butt-juice and cured well, provides a generous amount of heat.

    That’s all I wuz sayin’ :)

  36. #36 Brain Hertz
    October 1, 2008

    The best part is that the snow sublimates before it hits the ground.

    Apparently Mars does have some sort of water cycle, it’s just that it’s awfully weird by terrestrial standards due to the low atmospheric pressure…

  37. #37 Tim H
    October 1, 2008

    Whose turn is it to shovel the canal?

  38. #38 ajay
    October 1, 2008

    Excellent idea. Just watched “Fargo” last night as well…

    2029. A new star grows in the Martian sky. Riding a flame of incandescent gas, a fragile little landing craft touches down on a plain of iron oxide dust. On its side, in brilliant blue, are the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: ARES ONE.

    Two spacesuited figures disembark, carrying a flag. They stand for a moment, gazing out at the frozen terrain of Kasei Vallis, overcome by the magnitude of their historical achievement.

    “Well, we landed.”
    “Oh, yah.”

    There is a pause.

    “Looks like we could be in for some snow.”
    “Uh huh.”

  39. #39 Holbach
    October 1, 2008

    ajay @ 38

    Like it!

    And as I have expressed several times on this site, we should have been on Mars years ago to enact that scenario if we were not occupied with all the violent episodes and religious crap here on Earth. Can you imagine standing there during a snowfall, on another planet? Enthralls the hell out of me!

  40. #40 varlo
    October 1, 2008

    Snow or not, it’s a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

  41. #41 Brachinus
    October 1, 2008

    You betcha!

    (I can’t believe I’m the first one to post that!)

  42. #42 Chris (in Columbus)
    October 1, 2008

    Aaahh!!! I just love Minnesota. Why would anyone want to give up Minnesota for Mars?! Boo!!!

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