Confirmed: Mars Has Water Ice!

June 19th, 2008 Matt Jones 1 comment

Confirmed: Mars Has Water Ice!In news today, “Bright Chunks at Phoenix Lander’s Mars Site Must Have Been Ice” (!!) This is big news! It was known that water ice exists on Mars, but now there is direct evidence for it. The image at right shows “sublimation of ice in the trench informally called “Dodo-Goldilocks” over the course of four days.”

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The white stuff we see on Mars’ polar regions many people think of as being ice. Well that is correct, but not water ice. The white we see is carbon dioxide ice (dry ice). It was assumed that there was a layer of water ice underneath the dirt and carbon dioxide, but until now it had been unproved. The image shows a region that had been un-earthed (un-marsed?) by the Phoenix’s scoop. Initially there were some white chunks that could have been either salt or water ice. A few days later the same spot was imaged and the spots were gone indicating that the ice had sublimed (which salt cannot do). Because carbon dioxide and dihydrogen oxide sublime at different pressures and temperatures, they know that it is water.

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Pretty awesome, eh?

Phoenix Mars Mission @ The University of Arizona: Bright Chunks At Phoenix Lander’s Mars Site Must Have Been Ice
Phoenix Mars Lander @ NASA: Disappearing Ice
Two cool twitter posts: “Are you ready to celebrate? Well, get ready: We have ICE!!!!! Yes, ICE, *WATER ICE* on Mars! w00t!!! Best day ever!!” and “Whoohoo! Was keeping my eye on some chunks of bright stuff & they disappeared! Sublimated! So it can’t be salt, it’s ice.

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Categories: Science

A Mosaic Meme

June 7th, 2008 Matt Jones No comments

To mix things up a bit, I thought I would do something I don’t often do: a meme. I stole this from Cori, no, I am not original.

The Instructions:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Can you figure out what my answers were (before looking below the picture)?

A Mosaic of Me

1. Rannie and Matt - A wordpress guy.
2. New York Steak
3. Gig Harbor High School
4. Dark Blue Night
5. The Office: Jenna Fischer
6. Special Fashion Week Cherry Coke design
7. Massa Lubrense and Vesuvio
8. chocolate cheese cake
9. Still Life For Teacher
10. In God’s Country
11. Tender Love and Care - cheesy much?
12. Project 365 - Day 137 - I guess “mattithyahu” doesn’t show up that often, my pictures were the only ones there!

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Categories: Daily Life, Photoblog

A Trip to Mount St. Helens

June 1st, 2008 Matt Jones 1 comment

Last Friday I braved a field trip to Mount St. Helens with 300 8th graders! I have been finishing the year by filling in for an 8th grade teacher who went on medical leave. One of her projects (that she adores) is an all grade field trip up the volcano. I’ll have to admit, it was a tiring project, but was a good experience. Luckily the teacher was still able to do a bunch of the work (like make the packets and decide on group), but taking care of everything at the school was quite involved. It is nice to be over with it. That being said, it really was an awesome field trip. I definitely hope the kids learned a bunch, I know I did!

We first went to Coldwater Lake Recreation area and walked their interpretive trail. Coldwater Lake was created after the 1980 eruption and all the debris it ejected.

After that we walked the Hummocks Trail (2.5 miles). The Hummocks Trail walks through the 1980 eruption avalanche area (a 5.1 magnitude earth quake triggered an avalanche that traveled 13 miles down the Toutle River). The hike is fairly easy (even for 8th graders) and is filled with gorgeous views, giant (and numerous) hummocks, and extremely interesting information about that fateful day. Yes, learning can be fun! :) The view of the Toutle River Valley is quite interesting because the river has been slowly eroding all the deposited material left by the eruption.

Finally we made it up to Johnston Ridge Observatory. Let me tell you, the day was perfect. You never know what will happen at JRO. Johnston Ridge looks directly into the north wall opening into the crater but on cloudy days (of which there are plenty) you can’t see too much. But Friday was completely clear and offered absolutely gorgeous views! Their video presentation opened up to a perfectly clear view of the growing volcano! I was amazed how much the crater has grown in the last few years. The south wall, the whaleback, has especially had some tremendous growth.

You should read the Wikipedia article on the 1980 eruption, it is pretty informative and offers links to other good sites.

See below for a few more images or check out my Flickr set for more pictures from our day: A Trip to Mount St. Helens.
Read more…

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Categories: Blogging

First images back from the Phoenix Mars Lander!

May 25th, 2008 Matt Jones 2 comments

Categories: Science

The Phoenix Lander on Mars! The Phoenix has landed!

May 25th, 2008 Matt Jones No comments

Well, today is the day! In about 45 minutes, the Phoenix Mars Lander will be touching down on Mars. Specifically, it will be landing in the ice rich northern polar region. Check out the Phoenix Mars Lander @ NASA and at JPL for additional information. Here is a cool animation of the Phoenix Mars Lander mission. The actual event times are 15 minutes prior to the given times as it takes the radio signal about that much time to reach Earth from Mars.

I will attempt to update this as things are happening, but you should also go read the Phoenix Landing Blog for updates and you should also be watching NASA TV for live coverage from mission control at JPL!

The live blogging:
Read more…

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Categories: Science

On Happiness

May 16th, 2008 Matt Jones No comments

Summarize your life in a six word memoir, with optional photo illustration.

I was asked this over at Vox and thought I would post it here too.

Happiness is only real when shared.

-Chris McCandless

\"There\'s a dead man in the bus at Sushana River.\"

It is truly tragedy that Chris didn’t figure that out until it was too late.

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Categories: Blogging

On Being Twenty-nine

May 12th, 2008 Matt Jones 3 comments

Well, the big day happened. As of Saturday night at 10:44pm I have entered the last year of my 20s. How old do I feel right now?

I’m still young though, right? RIGHT? Really though, I am feeling pretty good about things. Yeah, I am a little late getting a career started… I am still in grad school… massively in debt… and no dates on the horizon… humm.

I brought in the new year by visiting the family down in southern Washington for a birthday/Mother’s day weekend. It was a very relaxing and fun weekend filled with a wonderful family, tasty food, amazing gifts, and, of course, shopping at Powells Books. On Saturday night Erin and I drove down to Portland to see the Lonely Forest play a show, it rocked and I got wished happy birthday from on stage, so that was cool.

All-in-all I am looking forward to this year. I am sure it will be as blessed as all my previous 10595 days have been.

Gifts are still being accepted. ;)

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Categories: Daily Life

The Word: How the Bible Came About

May 8th, 2008 Matt Jones 3 comments

I thought I would post this PowerPoint presentation I used last night in a talk I gave as part of a trilogy of talks about the Bible at a UCF Pizza Theology. The presentation doesn’t stand very well on its own; it is best accompanied by a good explanation… which you don’t really have here. Feel free to ask me any questions about what I have to say. It is also somewhat similar to a talk I gave in a Bible study a while back. Also, for the bloggers out there, I was able to embed a powerpoint (or many other files actually) directly into the post using (my profile there), you might want to check it out.

The Word: How the Bible Came About
The Canon and the Community of God
Text and Translation
(download: 4.9 MB)

The Word

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Categories: Apologetics, Religion, Theology