Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Mars Journal: Free to Everyone!

Nothing says "World Peace" quite like shared scientific knowledge. Open-source is the wave of the future because our global society is now dependent on global cooperation.

David A. Paige, The Mars Journal chief editor, wrote a nice little editorial explaining what the journal is and why it is needed. But essentially, the group seeks to unite what Paige calls the "four groups in the Mars community" or put more simply, scientists, students, media and the general public. Paige also notes, the planet currently has three orbiting probes and two surface probes providing data, with many more in development. Since a permanent human settlement on Mars seems only a matter of time, getting a head start on collating and organizing this information could prove essential to its success.

Their first paper has a title only a planetary scientist's mother could love: "The sedimentary rocks of Sinus Meridiani: Five key observations from data acquired by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey orbiters." Written by Kenneth S. Edgett, published Nov. 02, 2005. It offers stunning insight into the fact, despite the success and longevity of the Martian rover, Opportunity, it has covered less than 1 percent of a very large, exposed layer of sedimentary rock.
Sedimentary rock is an exciting place for geologists to look on Earth. Fossils, records of topographical formation, all sorts of cool stuff lurks in those layers. Eventually scientists will know what secrets those rocks yield. And when they do, you will be able to read about it in The Mars Journal.

And on SpaceBlog Alpha!

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