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  • -= Mercurious Chat =- (yingst2004 Chat Log)Hosted by Dr. Aileen Yingst of Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium

    steve Duerst - Chat Guest at Tiffany Creek Elem. from Boyceville, WI asks:
    Water is obviously an important ingredient for life to appear on a planet. How many and what are the other characteristics a planet has to have for it to have the capacity to support life?

    We aren't sure about all of the things that are required for life as we know it to evolve and be supported, because life is too complex for us to have all of those answers yet. We know that water appears to be very necessary, as does a planet that has an atmosphere (to protect from meteors and other space flotsam as well as to breathe) and a stable environment (if the entire crust overturns every 500 million years, as it may on Venus, life would have a tough time surviving).

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    What minerals have Spirit and Opportunity identified that may be surprising to us?

    So far we haven't found any minerals that we didn't plan for, but we're very happy to have confirmed the presence of several minerals that are formed in an aqueous (water-rich) environment.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    What is the most common element on the Moon?

    Hm. The most common mineral on the surface is called plagioclase, which we also see on Earth.

    Laura Batt - Chat Guest at from Needham, MA asks:
    How are mountains on Mars similar to and different from mountains on Earth?

    Mountains on Mars are often formed by volcanic activity. We have volcanoes on Earth, but we also have mountains form through the process of plate tectonics, which doesn't occur on Mars.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Room opened by Moderator on 09/29/04 at 10:30.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    is it cold in space

    Yes, it's cold in space - it's about three degrees above absolute zero.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    have you ben to pluto

    No - in fact, we've never even sent a spacecraft to Pluto.

    neetika - Chat Guest at new english school from mumbai, maharashtra asks:
    Can supernova be the factor for origination of universe?

    No, because you have to have a star to have a supernova, and you have to have a universe to have a star....It's a problem of which came first, the chicken or egg.

    Anthony Marinelli - Guest Teacher at Willoughby Middle School from Willoughby, Ohio asks:
    We (8th grade Earth Science students at Willoughby Middle School in Willoughby, Ohio) are currently studying the rock cycle. What evidence is available that suggests that sedimentary rocks and/or minerals from water exist on Mars?

    We have found rocks that contain water-rich minerals, which must have formed in a water-rich environment. We have also seen sedimentary structures in rocks - layers that were formed as water flowed and deposited sediment.

    Graicine - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, A.R asks:
    has an asternot ever landed on the moon

    Yes, in fact 12 astronauts have walked on the surface of the Moon.

    Anjel - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Does Mars have any moons?

    Two moons, Phobos and Deimos, essentially asteroid-like bodies.

    Briana - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Have you ever been to the moon and put the flag in the dirt?

    No, 12 men have been to the Moon, but no women yet.

    chris - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    is mars round

    Yup, Mars is round.

    Kathleen - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    I've been watching the moon for this entire month. Early in the month I couldn't see the moon until very late at night or early in the morning. Now the moon is visible as early as 5:00 pm. Please explain why the moon's appearance is timed so differently.

    It takes 28 days for the Moon to go around the Earth once, so within that 28-day cycle the Moon will appear in different points in the sky as it changes position around the Earth.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    have you been to jupiter

    Nope, no one has been to Jupiter, but we've sent several spacecraft, including Voyager 1 and 2 and Galileo.

    Anjel - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Would you like to go to the moon?

    Yes, definitely.

    chris - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    WHAT COLER IS THE MOON

    The Moon is grey in most places.

    Eleisha - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Spings, AR asks:
    Do you think there is life on Mars?

    I'm not sure - if there is life, it is the most basic life, less complex than microbial life.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    is there any sighns of water on mars

    yes, several signs, including water-rich minerals, sedimentary rocks and geologic formations called gullies that form when subsurface ice melts and the land above it collapses.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    how are the craters formed

    Craters are formed when a rock or some other body from space impacts into another, leaving a big hole in the ground.

    Taylor - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Do You Love Your Job?

    I do love my job - I spend my time studying places that no human has ever seen before!

    John - Chat Guest at Langston from HOT SPRINGS, Arcansall asks:
    How old are you

    I'm 35.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    WHAT IS IT LIKE IN SPACE

    It's cold and there's no air to breathe.

    Briana - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Is there wetlands on the moon?

    Nope, because there's no water on the Moon.

    Laura Batt - Chat Guest at from Needham, MA asks:
    How do scientists study what might be below the surface of Mars? What do scientists think Mars looks like under the surface?

    Scientists use information from marsquakes (the same way we use earthquakes on Earth). As the quake waves pass through the planet, they change speed, reflect off various layers and in general tell us a lot about a planet's interior.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    When was Mars discovered?

    We've always been able to see Mars using the naked eye, so I suppose the first human was the one that discovered Mars.

    Tannariel - Chat Guest at Langston from Hotspring, AR asks:
    is there a lot of rock on Mars?

    Well, it's more appropriate to say that Mars is made of rock.

    Gini - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    How meany women been space?

    I'm not sure how many women have been in space, but there have been many, especially since the Space Shuttle.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    Are there hurricanes on Jupiter or Mars?

    No hurricanes on Mars, but there are violent storms on Jupiter that would put Earth's hurricanes to shame.

    Drake - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Is Mars really red?

    Yes, Mars is really red. The surface is covered with a dust that has iron in it, and that iron has rusted.

    Pierce - Chat Guest at mount elementary from , asks:
    how long does it take to get to mars?

    It depends on how fast you're going. It took the Mars Exploration rovers months to get to Mars.

    Taylor - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Do You Love Mars

    Yup, I love Mars.

    Amit - Chat Guest at from , NY asks:
    Are you sending any more rovers to Mars?

    There are several Mars missions that NASA has planned, though right now none of them have rovers.

    Branden - Chat Guest at mount elementry from , asks:
    do you think we will ever be able to go to mars?

    If you mean can humans go to Mars, yes, I think we could go now, if we were willing to spend the money it would take to get there.

    Drake - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    Does the moon have holes?

    No, it has craters, but no holes through the Moon.

    Julia - Chat Guest at W.S. Mount from stonybrook, New York asks:
    Have any humans been to Mars yet?

    No, we've never sent humans to Mars.

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    Brandon: Is the storm on Jupiter active all year?

    Yes, there's a huge, red storm on Jupiter that is active all the time - in fact it's been active for over 400 years!

    Sonic - Chat Guest at mount from stony brook, New York asks:
    How does rust form on mars when there in no water???

    Water is not the only thing that can cause iron to rust. "Rust" is just another word for a chemical reaction called "reduction", which can occur in other ways besides through water action.

    Lynn Williams - Chat Guest at from Birmingham, AL asks:
    What are the problems associated with terraforming Mars? And are there species of plants, algae or lichen that might be of interest? We have plenty of Kudzu to send.

    The major problem with terraforming Mars is thickening the current atmosphere by a whole lot. A thick atmosphere means a warmer planet, air to breathe and protection from meteors.

    Ariel - Chat Guest at W.S. Mount elementary from Stony Brook, new york asks:
    are there any volcanoes on Mars?

    Yes, there are many - most of the surface has been covered at one point or another with lava. There are volcanoes that are three times the height of Mt. Everest!

    Jean Durrett - Teacher at Maedgen Elementary School from Lubbock, Texas asks:
    If you could visit any planet, which one would it be?

    Besides Earth? Either Mars or the Moon - Mars because it is so geologically interesting and the Moon because I've been looking up at it every night and have always wanted to go!

    chris - Chat Guest at Mount Elementary from , New York asks:
    how long is it going to be before a human is on mars

    That's a good question; I don't know. It depends on whether we decide to invest in the technology.

    Judy Forman - Teacher at Haddonfield Middle School from Haddonfield, New Jersey asks:
    When we walk on the surface of Mars some day, will it be similar to walking on the moon? Dusty, sticky, dry, etc.

    We don't know exactly what it will be like, but we have a clue from watching the rovers drive on the surface - it will probably be dusty, a lot like walking in the sand-poor deserts of the American Southwest.

    kristina - Chat Guest at w.s. mount elementary from stony brook, ny asks:
    Is there anything special about the dust on the moon?

    Well, it's very, very dry and very, very fine-grained. It's been formed completely by impacts grinding the surface to a powder, which I think is pretty special.

    Ariel - Chat Guest at W.S. Mount elementary from Stony Brook, new york asks:
    have we sent a rover to pluto?

    No, we've never sent any spacecraft to Pluto.

    Chyra - Chat Guest at Langston from HotSprings, AR asks:
    Do you have any idas for expiments for the KC 135

    No, but I've worked with students who have done experiments on the KC-135.

    Julia - Chat Guest at W.S. Mount from stonybrook, New York asks:
    Why is there craters on the moon?

    For the same reason there are craters on Earth - there are objects in space that occasionally hit us and leave a mark.

    Shelly Clark - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    How is Spirit doing since the day it wouldn't wake up??

    It's doing great - rolling across the surface, still taking pictures and sending back information. In fact, both rovers have had their missions extended for a second time.

    chris - Chat Guest at Mount Elementary from , New York asks:
    are you considered a rocket scientist

    Yes, I'm a rocket scientist.

    nick - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Is Mras the only planet that has rust?

    Well, Earth is a planet, so no.

    tim - Chat Guest at Mount from , Newyork asks:
    have we sent anything to the sun

    We've sent spacecraft to orbit and study the Sun, but you couldn't land on the surface.

    Carolyn - Chat Guest at Mount Elementary School from Stony Brook, New York asks:
    How many rovers have been on Mars?

    Three rovers have been on Mars - Sojourner, Spirit and Opportunity.

    Amit - Chat Guest at from , NY asks:
    Can the rovers on Mars break down?

    You bet they can. That's why the engineers who built them worked so hard to do it right and think about all of the things that could happen to the rovers, and how the rovers could avoid any problems. There are no repair stations on Mars.

    kristina - Chat Guest at w.s. mount elementary from stony brook, ny asks:
    In the future will there be more planets in our solar systems?

    Probably not. The only way to get a new planet is for one to be captured, and space is very, very empty. There aren't planets drifting through space waiting to be captured.

    andrew .a - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    what is the range of rock sizes on mars?

    From as small to as big as you want. We've taken pictures of rocks the size of houses, and we know there are particles smaller than dust grains.

    Ech - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    Is it true that there is 0 gravity on Mars?

    No, every planet has gravity. Mars' gravity is about 2/3 that of Earth.

    Emily - Chat Guest at Mount from Stonybrook, N.Y, asks:
    Are there any mountins on the moon bigger than Mt.Everest?

    No, there are no mountains that big, but there are mountains as big as some mountains ranges on Earth.

    Gell - Chat Guest at mount elm. from stoony brook, new york asks:
    how many rovers have been sent to saturn

    No rovers have been sent to Saturn, but there have been several orbiters.

    kristina - Chat Guest at w.s. mount elementary from stony brook, ny asks:
    Why arent there any rovers on other planets besides mars?

    Because we haven't sent any. Building a rover and flying it to another planet is expensive, so we have to send things only to those places we most want to go.

    Sonya - Chat Guest at Mount from Stony Brook, New York asks:
    What is your favorite part about mars?

    My favorite thing about Mars is the fact that I might be able to go there someday!

    Jennifer - Chat Guest at Mount Elementerary from Stony Brook, New York asks:
    Is there any Toxic Waste in space?

    No, there's no toxic waste in space that I know of. And space is pretty big, so I don't think it would be much of a danger if there was.

    nick - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    are there any mountains on Mars if so, how tall is it and what is its name

    There are many mountains on Mars, at a range of sizes, just like on Earth. Some are much taller than those on Earth.

    Megan - Chat Guest at mount elementary from stony brook, new York asks:
    What does a rover do when it lands on mars

    That depends on what the scientists want to learn about Mars. Usually it takes a lot of pictures, and drives around to rocks and other features that scientists want to know about.

    Branden - Chat Guest at mount elementry from , asks:
    how come it's so cold in space and so hot on mars?

    The main reason it's colder in space than on Mars is because Mars has an atmosphere. But the average temperature on Mars is very cold - sometimes hundreds of degrees below zero. Mars is colder than Earth because we have a much, much thicker atmosphere.

    Amit - Chat Guest at from , NY asks:
    Where is NASA?

    NASA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but it has centers all over the country.

    Anna - Chat Guest at Mount from Stony Brook, N. Y. asks:
    Is there any planet with no moon

    Yes, Mercury and Venus have no moons.

    Shelly Clark - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    We are applying to do some experiments on the KC-135 (DC-9 now). Do you have any suggestions or ideas to help us?

    My suggestion would be to design an experiment that you are interested in the results of. What questions do you have about what happens in microgravity? Those are the ones you should try to design an experiment to try to address. That is what a scientiest tries to do.

    chris - Chat Guest at Mount Elementary from , New York asks:
    is it hard to become a rocket scientist

    It takes a lot of work, but I wouldn't call it hard.

    Pierce - Chat Guest at mount elementary from , asks:
    why don't we try to put water on mars or the moon?

    Because transporting all of that water would be much too expensive. It makes more sence to try to figure out ways to manufacture water once you are on the surface.

    Amit - Chat Guest at from , NY asks:
    Do u think that as technology improves, humans will be able to live on Mars?

    We actually have the technology to do this right now, it is just really expensive and takes a lot of time.

    Anna - Chat Guest at Mount from Stony Brook, N. Y. asks:
    How are rovers made?

    That's a complex question. Rovers are designed by a large group of scientist and engineers to answer specific questions about the planet it is going to. So the process is different every time.

    christopher - Chat Guest at from , asks:
    why is there no oxygen in space

    There is oxygen is space, it just happens to be concentrated in stars and planets.

    Coltenn - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot springs, AR asks:
    Is pluto smaler than a house.

    No, it is about the diameter of the United States.

    Leigh - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, AR asks:
    can you tell time in space

    Only if you have a watch. :o)

    Frank - Chat Guest at Mount from , asks:
    If rovers go onto Mars, wouldn't it rust?

    Rovers are not made of iron alloy, so they won't rust.

    Frank - Chat Guest at Mount Elementary School from Stony Brook, New York asks:
    Have any meteors hit Mars yet?

    YES - there are many many craters on Mars, which proves that many meteors have hit mars.

    Elizabeth - Chat Guest at mount elementary from stony brook, new York asks:
    What would your opinion be if we wanted to become rocket scientists, too?

    My opinion would be...great!

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    The chat room will be closing in approximately five minutes. At this time, we would like to thank everyone for joining us for this special event. We would especially like to thank Dr. Aileen Yingst for being our chat host today.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Please join us again next month for a chat with former astronaut Col. Mark Lee. Lee will chat about his spaceflight and related experiences from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. (central time) on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2004.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    For the most up to date and complete listing of future chat events, please check out http://www.space-explorers.com/internal/communications/chats.html . We look forward to seeing you all again!!!

    Knuckles - Chat Guest at mount elementary from stony brook, new york asks:
    When scientists say there are "gas" planets, does that mean that a spacecraft would go right through them?

    No, because gas giants are extremely large and so their interiors are under a great deal of pressure. The pressure is so great, you would get crushed when you would go through.

    Graicine - Chat Guest at Langston from Hot Springs, A.R asks:
    IS THER A TIME DIFFIRENT IN SPACE THAN ON EARTH

    Time passes at the same rate everywhere. But when we say what time is it, we mean what time of day in a 24 hour period because that's how long it takes the Earth to rotate once. If you were on another planet, say Mars, the length of you day would be different. So you would have a clock that kept a longer day.

    evan frohman - Chat Guest at W.S. from , asks:
    is the moon like a giant trampoline

    Well no, but the gravity on the moon is much less, so you can jump higher.

    Amit - Chat Guest at from , NY asks:
    Are there meteors thatn are bigger then Earth?

    If something is bigger than Earth, we would typically call it a planet, not a meteor.

    Mr. Daniels - Chat Guest at KBeach Elementary from Soldotna, Alaska asks:
    Are earthquakes the same on Mars as they are on Earth? Mr. D

    Marsquakes are caused usually by an impact, or crustal cooling and contraction. Earthquakes are typically caused by crustal movements due to plate tectonics.

    Chris Holzer - Teacher at Langston Aerospace Environ from Hot Springs, Arkansas asks:
    Courtney wants to know why Mars looks like a star in the sky.

    Mars looks like a star because it is so far away.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    Thank you for all or your good questions. Dr. Yingst wishes your all luck in your studies.

    Kerrie Brandt - Moderator at Space Explorers, Inc. from De Pere, Wisconsin comments:
    9/29/2004 11:37:16 AM - Room closed by Moderator. Thank you for your participation.

     
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