Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has finally spotted rocks on the Red Planet that bear carbonate minerals.
It turns out that this crucial mineral was discovered at the Nili Fossae, named for - you guessed it - The Nile River:
The ingredients needed to make the rocks are very evident, so their absence had been a major puzzle.The rocks' identification now shows these harsh waters have not dominated all parts of Mars - and that is good news for the search for life.
The results were presented Thursday at an American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco and will appear Friday in the journal Science.
Scientists planning the next Mars landing — the Mars Science Laboratory — initially considered Nili Fossae as a potential landing site, but it did not make the final cut.- APSo this was announced on Thursday the 18th, which is the 388th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth, in which the rugged shores of Massachusetts were made safe for European corporate power. And how were the sacrifices of those brave and dedicated Christian pilgrims commemorated?
Why, with an obelisk, of course!
Bonus factoid: Nova Caesarea achieved statehood on December 18th.
UPDATE: Correction- two obelisks! One in England and one in Provincetown, Mass. The Pilgrim Monument was, um, erected by the Freemasons and the cornerstone was, um, laid by none other than Teddy Roosevelt.
“In the name of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts I now proclaim that the corner stone of the structure to be here erected has this day been found square, level, and plumb, true and trusty, and laid according to the old customs by the Grand Master of Masons,” with these words on August 20, 1907 Grand Marshal Melvin M. Johnson declared the formal ceremony to lay the cornerstone for the Pilgrim Monument was complete.
Eight battleships and the Presidential yacht showing up for an explicitly Masonic ritual? Pretty impressive, even by today's standards. Why exactly this was done in the Dog Days of August when the Mayflower landed in Provincetown in November 1620 is a mystery to me.
The carefully planned ceremony had begun early in the morning of August 20, 1907 when the presidential yacht Mayflower, with President Theodore Roosevelt aboard, sailed into Provincetown Harbor around 10 o’clock. As it rounded Long Point and entered the harbor, it passed down a passage created by eight battleships composed of two squadrons. The president received a twenty-one-gun salute from each battleship as he passed.
And guess what else happened on August 2o? Well, in 1975 the Viking Mars Probe was launched. And in 1977 the Voyager was sent on its way to Saturn and the outer planets. The Viking was the probe that first photographed the plains of Cydonia, and the Voyager went on to star in the first Star Trek movie. Voyager would later lend its name to Star Trek: Voyager, which featured the voluptuous Jeri Ryan, whose 1999 divorce complaint would help put Barack Obama in the US Senate.
Is anyone sensing a pattern here?
Now, any reason why August 20 should be so significant? Well, in the Ancient Egyptian Festival Calendar, it was the day the 3rd day of the month sacred to Ptah, god of craftsmen (who later became the "Oscar" statuette). It was also the day the Eye of Horus was healed by Thoth, so a fairly significant day in the Egyptian ritual calendar.
So I guess we shouldn't be too surprised it's also significant to the Freemasons and to NASA.
UPDATE II: For more on the Mars/Egypt/NASA connection, click here.
PS - Maybe NASA can rename the Nili Fossae the "Fossett Fossae" in honor of the late daredevil aviator Steve Fossett, who was also a member of the (Masonic) Order of the Arrow while he was in the (Masonic) Eagle Scouts. Fosett was also a brother in the powerful Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. SAE's pledge manual is called The Phoenix.