Saturday, June 20, 2009

Scientists Admit Lightning Exists On Mars

University of Michigan: First direct evidence of lightning on Mars detected.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—For the first time, direct evidence of lightning has been detected on Mars, say University of Michigan researchers who found signs of electrical discharges during dust storms on the Red Planet.

The bolts were dry lightning, says Chris Ruf, a professor in the departments of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences and Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

"What we saw on Mars was a series of huge and sudden electrical discharges caused by a large dust storm," Ruf said. "Clearly, there was no rain associated with the electrical discharges on Mars. However, the implied possibilities are exciting."

Electric activity in Martian dust storms has important implications for Mars science, the researchers say.

"It affects atmospheric chemistry, habitability and preparations for human exploration. It might even have implications for the origin of life, as suggested by experiments in the 1950s," said Nilton Renno, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences.

The findings are based on observations made using an innovative microwave detector developed at the U-M Space Physics Research Laboratory. The kurtosis detector, which is capable of differentiating between thermal and non-thermal radiation, took measurements of microwave emissions from Mars for approximately five hours a day for 12 days between May 22 and June 16, 2006.

On June 8, 2006 both an unusual pattern of non-thermal radiation and an intense Martian dust storm occurred, the only time that non-thermal radiation was detected. Non-thermal radiation would suggest the presence of lightning.

The researchers reviewed the data to determine the strength, duration and frequency of the non-thermal activity, as well as the possibility of other sources. But each test led to the conclusion that the dust storm likely caused dry lightning.

This work confirms soil measurements from the Viking landers 30 years ago, and it challenges 2006 experiments that suggested otherwise.

Data from the Viking landers raised the possibility that Martian dust storms might be electrically active like Earth's thunderstorms and thus, might be a source of reactive chemistry. But the hypothesis was untestable. In 2006, using theoretical modeling, laboratory experiments and field studies on Earth, a group of planetary scientists suggested that there was no direct evidence that lightning occurred on Mars. This new research refutes those findings.

"Mars continues to amaze us. Every new look at the planet gives us new insights," said Michael Sanders, manager of the exploration systems and technology office at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a researchers involved in this study.

The new finding will be published in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters. The paper is called "The Emission of Non-Thermal Microwave Radiation by a Martian Dust Storm."


Jeffery Keown said...


Those damned scientists. Always finding new stuff about the Universe by... looking for it. How dare they. Good thing we have you around to decode their double talk about evidence and observation and repeatable experimentation.

Louis Hissink said...

All this discovery does is confirm The Plasma Model. The Martian dust storms are electrically generated vortices.

OilIsMastery said...


"Always finding new stuff about the Universe by... looking for it."

Electricity is only "new" because fundamentalist scientists have been blind to it for at least the past 2000 years.

"The observers come in now with the belief that we live in a Big Bang universe and therefore all of their ways of understanding things are tailored to that and they don't come in with the possibility that there are alternatives, that this or any other [alternative] for that matter is right, and really do it in an open minded way. And of course what goes along with that is that observers who would like to test this way find it very hard to get observing time and so on. I mean this relates to the whole issue of the complete lack of balance in the way the observational programs and the funding are conducted. There's no question about that. I don't think that anyone would argue about it." -- Geoffrey Burbridge, astrophysicist, 2003

"Any time you [mainstream scientists] point a telescope at the sky now you're only going to find what you already know is up there." -- Fred Hoyle, cosmologist, 2001

"Good thing we have you around to decode their double talk about evidence and observation and repeatable experimentation."

Decode this:

"It is the theory that determines what can be observed." -- Albert Einstein, mathematician, 1926

OilIsMastery said...


Very well said. I added the quote to the sidebar...=)

Fungus FitzJuggler III said...

Well, now scientists know that wherever they find dust and wind they will find lightning..... and there is no wind in space, even if it is there, all the charges are balanced so no electricity there.... it only occurs on planets.
It would never occur to these "scientists" that electricity is everywhere and drives everything. They are told what they can say and read and think. And that is all they do. Robots in human form. Filling in grant applications and hitting all the fashionable and acceptable topics and causes and suppressing anything "original". Peer review. Group think. Political correctness. AGW rules until crops fail in summer....