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In images below is some more interesting objects which i have not handled in main article. Sol 2, the Bunny case. MOC 2012 image: interesting square, size 2x2 kilometers ( link to original). About the square: It is nice to speculate how far life proceeded on Mars. Did it reach intelligence? This issue I have on purpose avoided in this article, but i handle it somehow in Appendix D: Fermi paradox.
Fig.17.1. Click here to get high resolution picture.
Sol 305: Note the blue color of the stones and note how the soil close to these stones has same color. The Opportunity Sol 4382 microscopic imager image of revealed underground soil has several interesting objects.
Fig.17.2 Click here to get high resolution picture.
Sol 1065: Fresh meteor impact? On Opportunity 2005-10-18 image there is similar. Spirit Sol 822 (image by Dr.L.W.Small): White fungi?
Click here to get high resolution picture.
Sol 901 object has 2 similar objects, A - large one, and B - similar smaller one. Sol 640: Nice green surface and holes in a probable iron meteor.
Click here to get high resolution picture.
Here I tell details how i process Curiosity and Opportunity images to get the natural colors. Dr. Lyall Winston Small, who is a real master in this area, told me how to do these.
The Gimp image processing software is free: https://www.gimp.org/
The major improvement to Curiosity images comes from this: In Gimp "Color" tab select "Automatic" -> White balance. This very simple action returns natural colors. The same blue sky colors that NASA has used in some press release images. And this operation gives more details.
Fig.17.4.Colors in Curiosity images. Note also that in the MRO HiRISE image, targeted on Curiosity, the colors match the upper row.
For Opportunity and Spirit images the free software "ImageJ" is excellent: http://imagej.net/
You can produce natural color images from the black and white archive images taken with blue, green and red filters. The file names of the originals have L2, L5, L7 or R2, R5, R7 included. 2 is red filter, 5 is green filter and 7 is blue. In imageJ: First Open one by one the 3 images. In "Image" tab select "Color" and then "Merge channels". Then opens a tab where you select the red, green and blue original files. Then "OK" and you get final color result. Then "File"-> save as jpeg. For the final fine tuning I use Microsoft office picture manager. And if there is some dark areas in image and only those should be made brighter, then Windows live photo gallery has very good tone balancing for it.
Fig.17.5.Opportunity and Spirit images.
To search candidates for past or current life in Mars rover images, the following guidelines can be given as a summary:
Finding one interesting looking object is a good beginning. But finding second or more similar objects allows classification and confirmation that the object class may really be something interesting.
Think about possible Earth analogs for discoveries: If life on Mars and Earth base to same DNA and evolution has followed same kind of tracks, then the discoveries may have similarities with past or current Earth life.
Fermi paradox is: "If our galaxy has several civilizations, capable of interstellar space travel, why we dont have frequent alien visitors here on Earth?".
Latest Drake equation estimate for number of civilizations developing technology in our galaxy is about 5000 civilizations, by Claudio Maccone.
Let's consider following possibility as a solution to the Fermi paradox:
In adult human body on Earth there is over 1 kg of microbes, bacteria which we need . We can not exist without them. Same kind of symbiosis with their own home planet microbes probably exist with alien species, especially if alien life bases to same DNA molecule as ours.
Statement 1: The macroscopic life on Earth is in balance with its microbes.
Statement 2: The macroscopic life on other distant alien planet is in balance with its own microbes.
If alien species would visit us and make a physical contact, then the microbial life of the aliens is spread and mixed to Earth. And also the aliens are infected by Earth microbes. And the end result can be:
Result 1: Both the aliens and humans are killed by the exchanged microbes.
Result 2: Only the other one is killed.
Result 3: No harm from microbes, both survive. Because of panspermia mechanism [105,106], the microbes between habitable planets in our galaxy are exchanged all the time. A kind of interstellar vaccination.
So this could be a planetary protection issue. If the first case is the probable result, then intelligent alien species would be wise enough to avoid direct physical contact. Or at least perform extensive biological tests before the contact. "Use gloves when shaking hand with the alien."
In Breakthrough initiatives there is the Starshot project where the plan is to send small ultra-light nanocrafts to the nearest star Alpha Centauri, to get images of recently discovered Earth-like planet Proxima b. The nanocrafts should be sterilized extremely well. Just in case.. Something to think about for the Breakthrough initiatives board: Yuri Milner and Mark Zuckerberg. When we send nanocrafts to Proxima b, then we are the aliens to possible habitants of Proxima b. But are we wise?
One possibility is that the basic assumption of Fermi paradox is completely wrong and we have been visited. About 3 billion years after big bang (10 billion years ago) the massive stars had produced enough heavy elements by supernova explosions to make emergence of DNA based life possible. Civilizations with capability to interstellar space travel could have developed much before our solar system was born 4.6 billion years ago. If so we can ask: Have all habitable environments in our Milky Way galaxy already been habited? We Earthlings may be latecomers. Interesting related issue is also the Zoo hypothesis , and evolution biologists William D. Hamilton's ideas about it: New York Times, Robert Wright , December 2016: Can Evolution Have a ‘Higher Purpose’?
Fig.17.6. Model for birth of life on Milky Way galaxy based on panspermia mechanism.
Another solution to Fermi paradox, The Great Filter, is handled by Patrick Rowan in January 2017 Skywatch: Can narcissism explain the Fermi paradox?. Related writing is also by Tim Urban 2014: The Fermi Paradox. The idea in Great Filter solution is that when a civilization develops science and technology, it may reach a point of self-destruction. As one example is development of nuclear weapons, and a global war with these weapons. And see Professor Nick Bostrom of Oxford University explaining the relation of The Great Filter solution of Fermi Paradox and the discovery of Life on Mars, 2008: WHERE ARE THEY?. Dr. Bostrom writes well. But there is one basic problem in his assumptions of probabilities. The panspermia mechanism increases the probabilities for life in our galaxy. Life does not have to be born from scratch again in every new planet. Instead microbial life spreads relatively fast from planet to planet in our galaxy with microbes traveling inside meteorites and comets. Dr. Bostrom is the director of Future of Humanity Institute and director of Strategic Artificial Intelligence Research Center.
My own hypothesis is that there are in our Milky Way galaxy civilizations, which have been wise enough and passed The Great Filter billions of years ago. And they would be capable to interstellar travel and capable to habit other habitable planets. We humans have just started to dream of these same steps and we have started to take the first steps. And I see the Zoo hypothesis as a valid alternative, and also Dr.Bostrom says in his article: "I don’t see how we can conclusively rule out this possibility. ". There is hope to pass the Great Filter. But first we must learn to protect our own planet Earth. We must handle the climate change and the risk of using nuclear weapons. And the world leaders should be intelligent enough to handle these global issues. But to make it clear once more: The NASA plan to bring Martian microbes, alien life, directly to Earth on 2030 decade may be the most potential Great Filter coming closer to us.
The Alcubierre drive is interesting possibility for fast interstellar space travel for advanced civilizations. If there would be frequent alien visitors on Earth, then the planetary protection rules possibly could be relaxed. In that case microbes from several other planets of our galaxy would already have been mixed to Earth biosphere.
In May 2017 I got invitation by Dr. Kelly Smith to participate the conference: Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology in University of Nevada, Reno USA, in 13th-15th of April 2018. Dr. Smith is Professor of Philosophy & Biological Sciences in Clemson University. Read also interesting article by Smith, May 2016: Do no harm to life on Mars? Ethical limits of Prime Directive. In the SoCIA meeting there was participants from several universities, NASA and SETI institute.
On 25th of October 2017 my abstract was approved to SoCIA 2018. Below is the title slide of my presentation on 14th of April. Totally I had 44 slides, where I present the key issues of my Life on Mars web site. The full slide set is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/s9E8EcVGMrRbFmtj2.
All the Abstracts of SoCIA 2018 are available: in the program select "PDF version of the program" to see them. I recommend to read excellent abstract by Margaret Race from SETI institute, on page 19. My abstract is on same page. Margaret writes: As SoCia researchers analyze Astrobiology from varied theoretical perspectives and non-science disciplines, they can come face to face with extreme situations and concerns that are no longer the realm of science fiction. Also her last statement is absolutely correct: The specific examples will include global catastrophic hazards and existential risks; long duration human missions beyond Earth orbit; and analysis of risks and potential biohazards posed by round trip missions to Mars. . Read also abtracts by Erik Persson(Lund University), on page 18, Linda Billings(NASA Planetary Defense office) on page 6, Barry E.DiGregorio (University of Buckingham) on page 8, Brian Green (Santa Clara University ) on page 9, Jacob Haqq-Misra (Blue Marble Space Institute) on page 9 and Michael Waltemathe (Ruhr University) on page 21. The abstract by these scientist handle issues which are important considering planetary protection.
Read also NASA event information about the meeting: Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology (SOCIA 2018). Direct quote: ..we are on the brink of one of the most important discoveries in human history. Should this come to pass, we will immediately confront a series of extremely complex challenges that cannot be resolved without strong input from disciplines other than the sciences.
Below is part of the program. There was 2 presentations going on all the time.
My presentation in Socia conference went well. It was great to have Dr. Margaret Race from SETI institute in the audience. The discussion afterwards and established contacts are valuable.
General view of scientists was that we should not send humans to Mars. We must first solve ecological problems here on earth before we colonialize and mess up other planets. This was brought up also by great presentations by Lori Marino and Brian Green. In Reno I had an unforgettable discussion with Dr. Race concerning planetary protection regarding Mars and Earth. The next Socia meeting will be in Mississippi 2020, and there is a preliminary plan to have Socia 2022 in Finland.
In discussions it was brought up that NASA takes planetary protection seriously. The problem is that the rules by COSPAR are recommendations, and there are no international laws which would force all space agencies and private companies to fully take into account the planetary protection. That is why it is difficult to control player like SpaceX. This leads of course to a dangerous situation in future.
On 12th of November 2018 I presented my study in Helsinki Observatory, Finland. The event was the autumn meeting by Friends of the Observatory. Thanks for M.Voipio and M.Af Heurlin for the invitation. Link to Finnish language slideset. The new slideset is an improved version of the presentation in SoCIA 2018 in University of Nevada( slideset ). The title "Astrobiologiaa Marsista ja seuraukset planeettojen suojelulle" can be translated as "Astrobiology from Mars and implications to planetary protection".
Interesting conference is on November 2019: Mars Extant Life: What’s Next?. It is kept in National Cave and Karst Research Institute, Carlsbad, New Mexico. My abstract, LPI Contrib. No. 2108, Visual identification of Extant Martian life was approved on the agenda of this NASA organized conference. Among the presenters and abstrat authors are several astrobiologists, whose work I refer here: Beaty, Schulze-Makuch, Eigenbrode, Lanza, Des Marais, Levin, DiGregorio, …. Nice to see even word paleontology among the abstract titles. One purpose of the conference is to plan the future MARS exploration for investigating extant life. One alternative could be to send a rover with better instruments back to Gale crater. The benefit would be that you don’t have to search candidates for life again in another location. You could drive the rover directly to places which have candidates for life, for example back to John Klein site (Curiosity Sol 186,270). The conference conveners are:
David Beaty Mars Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech.
Michael Meyer NASA Headquarters
Penelope Boston NASA Astrobiology Institute
Mary Voytek NASA Headquarters
Brandi Carrier Mars Program Office, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech
Few days after the abstract approval a series of strange events started. On september 24th my abstract had dissappeared from the agenda of the conference. I contacted the conference organizers and they did not know the reason. They promised to arrance it back on the web site agenda.
Then I got information from the organizers that an outsider person had removed my abstract and presentation from the meeting. Very dirty and hostile action by the outsider. I had to cancel my participation and flights and I suffered major financial losses because of the action by the outsider. My poster presentation would have based on this material(link to photo folder) .
Later it came to my knowledge that the person who removed me from the conference is the director of a certain well known institute (3 letters, begins with L) in USA. I had an email conversation with her and I demanded her to pay back the economical damage caused to me and my family by her rude action.
Update 8th of October 2019: The person who removed my abstract from the Mars Extant Life: What’s Next? conference is the director of the LPI, L.Prockter. How did she suddenly got the idea to reject it long time after approval? Currently I am having an email conversation with her and I demand her to pay back the economic damage caused to me and my family by her rude action. During the communication we have now also directly observed how emails are blocked between certain persons and institutions. My emails went through to the director of the institute, but her replies and attempts to send email to me we rejected instantly by mail server. A phenomena which I have suspected several times last years in this Life on Mars study area. There was a workaround for a while, for communication between me and the director.
All the dirty games and threats against scientists and citizens which I describe in the chapter Colors in Mars , got once again confirmation. I had planned in the conference to give the whole 7 years of study results on a USB memory stick, 7 GB of data containing 4000 grouped and classified interesting images, for free to NASA Mars program office. The memory stick content is at least 10 times more than is presented on this Mars web site. But Prockter prevented this happening.
Summary of events: On 16th of September 2019 I got early indication in a mail from one of the orginizers, working on NASA Mars program office, that my abstract will be approved. On 19th of September my abstract was visible on meeting program web site. On 20th of September I booked and payed fligths(Helsinki-London-Dallas-Carlsbad) and hotels(Carlsbad and Dallas). On 24th of September Procter, who was not organizing the meeting, removed my abstract, without telling the organizers or me. The dates above are for time zone of Finland.
Fig.17.7. Martian Blueberry soup!
Same in Finnish language:
Miltä maistuisi Marsin Sinimarjakeitto?
Resepti:Keitä Sinimarjat hyvin Marsin suolaisessa vedessä jotta myrkyt poistuvat ja mikrobit kuolevat. Ylimääräisiä mausteita ei tarvita. Älä maista ennen tarjoilua.
Tarjoilu: Kohteliaisuuden vuoksi tarjoa keitto ensin Mars tukikohdan komentajalle. Jos kaikki on hyvin 5 minuutin jälkeen anna muidenkin nauttia keitosta!
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