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What Happened To the Martian Ocean and Magnetic Field? ( 137

schwit1 writes with this story at The Atlantic that explores what may have destroyed the Martian atmosphere and ocean. The question of whether there is life on Mars is woven into a much larger thatch of mysteries. Among them: What happened to the ancient ocean that once covered a quarter of the planet's surface? And, relatedly, what made Mars's magnetosphere fade away? Why did a planet that may have looked something like Earth turn into a dry red husk? “We see magnetized rocks on the Mars surface,” said Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator of the InSight mission to Mars, which is set to launch in March. “And so we know Mars had a magnetic field at one time, but it doesn't today. We would like to know the history—when that magnetic field started, when it may have shut down.”

Comment Re:16:9? (Score 1) 178

pro-tip: dual external monitors.

One landscape, one rotated for portrait.

I am studying at university. Portrait is great for viewing most documents for print except when book chapters from the library are scanned in landscape in 2-page view. Landscape is fine for web pages that wrap text horizontally but not so much when they have fixed width margins for ads on the side.

Comment Re:Ban cars (Score 1) 278

When I was hiking around Lake Louise, Alberta the owner at the lodge I was staying at gave me a canister of pepper spray. In 5 days I didn't see a single bear and one of the locals said it was extremely rare to sight one and that I should feel privileged to meet one rather than spraying capsicum in her eyes.

So yeah, I'm all for arming bears if it means they don't get fumigated by witless tourists.

Understanding is always the understanding of a smaller problem in relation to a bigger problem. -- P.D. Ouspensky