Feeds

Boffin retracts martian water claims

No puddles on Mars, after all

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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? ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN Kickstarter push breaks TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS
That's right, folks, you've stumped up OVER 9000 beer tokens - and counting
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
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.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.