Feeds

Boffin retracts martian water claims

No puddles on Mars, after all

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Gosh darn it, there are no puddles on Mars after all.

The researcher responsible for announcing the discovery of standing water on the Martian surface has retracted his claims (see full piece on New Scientist's news blog), after readers of the August publication pointed out that the spot the "water" was standing on was not flat, but part of a sloping crater.

Rob Levin had based his analysis of the image on the assumption that the region was flat, or at least horizontal. He then identified the substance in the channels as water, based on the fact that all the edges of the surface are "in a plane and all at the same altitude".

But put the surface on a slope, and the analysis falls apart.

Levin says "I am sorry we made such a large mistake".

New Scientist, for its part, has decided to retract the original story. Space editor Maggie McKee writes: "We work extremely hard to publish accurate, timely, and interesting stories, so we regret the confusion this story has caused".

Say it isn't so, NS. The scientist's error is not the journalist's mistake. What was reported was accurate: boffin claims to have seen water on Mars, scientific community is sceptical. That is all still true, isn't it? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.