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No. 9: Winter 1979

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A Chilly Martian Night

Viking Lander 2 photographed frost on Mars in September 1977 during the Martian winter. A planet-wide dust storm had just subsided, and the theory evolved that both water and carbon-dioxide ice had frozen on dust particles in the atmosphere. Such particles were heavy enough to fall and give the scene around Viking a snow-like coating. However, frost was again photographed in 1979 (one Martian winter later) without the benefit of a dust storm. So, Mars theorists are in a quandary -- no dust, then no frost theory is reasonable.

(Anonymous; "Viking, Three Years Later," Eos, 60:635, 1979.)

Comment. Evidently, frost cannot form directly on the Martian surface as it does on earth due to the very low vapor pressure of water on the planet.

From Science Frontiers #9, Winter 1979. 1979-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987