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Martian blah blah:

Mars according to CNES:

This page is a collection of some inept comments and awkward statements which you can find in the presentation of planet Mars by CNES, the French counterpart of NASA, which they propose to the public on their site web site, 06.12.2001.

While there is no need to contradict or dispute most of the published data, on the other end, there is a strange manner of presenting them to the general public and a curious tone, with misplaced irony, which caused my irritation:

CNES says: My comments:
Mars, burned out

"Planet Mars is surrounded by a very thin atmosphere. Its color reddish - brownish color comes from the presence of small particles of dust in suspension. © NASA."

Mars uncolorized

If you did not take note yet of the problem of the colorization of the planet Mars in red, which is one of the most irritating traditions practiced by NASA, this is the time to learn about it. It seems in any case that the reddening of Mars is not Obviously, reddened NASA pictures of Mars were not red enough for the taste of CNES...

Particularly amusing, you can perfectly distinguish on this picture, curiously selected by the CNES, the atmospheric layer of Mars, which appears quite blue on all the beautiful photographs published by the team of the Hubble space telescope (Above, © Hubble.).

"Mars and the Martians, the famous little green men, are a part of the collective conscience of our civilization."

It seems to me as for the small green men in question are only famous in the strangely non scientific unconscious of a certain type of researchers who can never help themselves to put forth such comments in a completely inappropriate manner and context. Indeed, outside this small group, there has never been any known civilization to which some small green men has been part of their collective unconscious.

"The Martian soil is chemically very active and would be unsuitable for life."

This is why the CNES holds sample return workshops at this very moment...

"The debate on the Martian life was started again in August 1996, when NASA announced to have found remainders fossil of extraterrestrial micro-organisms in a meteorite Martian (ALH84001), fallen in the ices of the Antarctic. Since then, scientists in the whole world did not cease to study the rock, to try to confirm or dismiss this sensational discovery. Today, passions are have put to rest, and the essential part of the scientific community says that the meteorite probably underwent a terrestrial contamination while it stayed in the Antarctic."

On the contrary, passions never rested. Actually, there was an immediate and strong "quasi opposition" to the idea that the meteorite would contain nonterrestrial microfossils, whereas this assumption at has been reinforced little by little since then, up to the point where it acquired a statute of near certainty for research team. CNES is right, however concerning to the acceptance of this work by the broad scientific community: it stays practically as null as five minutes after the original NASA announcement.

"Slightly heated by the Sun, without notable greenhouse effect, the atmosphere offers only low temperatures which vary between -140°C (the night, in winter, at the polar caps) and 20°C (the day, in summer, at the equator)."

It should be noted that when a possible current life in Mars is discussed, we promptly are told that the Martian temperature "never exceeds -5°C."

"Mars is a solid "ball", of incredible sterility: no liquid extent, no vegetation, no trace of even rudimentary life. A true desert!"

O tempora, o mores.

"The interest for the planet Mars expressed by the "exobiology" group at the time of the Futurology conference in Arcachon in March 1998 relates to two principal points which are the detection of prebiotic molecules and the possibility of presence of currently alive bacteria in the Martians samples."


"The yellow - orange color is due to the presence of iron oxides."


The original picture of NASA shows an astonishing lack of iron oxide!

To learn more on this topic visit the Mars section of this site. A visit to this section will possibibly allow you to better understand and maybe share my irritation.

For those demanding references:

While my mailbox is full with appreciative comments about my opinion that the Martian sky is bluer than claimed and the ground not that terrible red, some readers seem to understand that I am colorizing the pictures. No. NASA does, not me.

So here is an additional page with all the references, original pictures links, quotes of NASA, Hubble and JPL personal with the links to check their authenticity.

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This page was last updated on October 19, 2001.