back to article Mars Express circles planet 5,000 times

Mars Express has completed 5,000 orbits of the red planet, just short of four years after it arrived on Christmas day, 2003. The craft has sent back marvellously detailed pictures of Mars' surface, adding to our knowledge of the planet's geological history and evolution. Clay deposits on Mars Clay deposits on Mars. Most …


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  1. Patrick

    11 m?

    Given that there are cliffs of 2 kilometers high, how can the planet be 'swamped' by an ocean of 11 meters deep?

  2. BoldMan

    I think they are using "artistic" licence

    Don't forget even our esteemed Reg Hacks are still journalists, so need occasionally to resort to simplified imagery to get the point across.

    No my coat doesn't have those nice arms that wrap around the back... no honest... no... noooooooo..

  3. BitTwister


    I'd say that having every feature on the planet which is below 11 metres becoming covered by water could reasonably be called "swamped", wouldn't you?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    11 meters ?

    78.57 linguine, you mean. Or 1.19 double-decker buses lying on the front.

    Hey, we got the converter, we're gonna use it !

  5. Sillyfellow

    where's the landing site then?

    so now there are even more craft taking detailed pictures of the lunar surface, but still no Apollo landing site pics!

    how about some pictures of the landing site where man supposedly walked on the moon then? no? i didn't think so.

    why? simple. it didn't happen.

  6. Luther Blissett

    Lots of logic

    data != knowledge, ergo

    lots of data != knowledge, ergo

    lots of data != lots of knowledge

    - unless you're infatuated with dialectics and/or fatuous marxist-leninist notions of transformation of Quantity into Quality (see also Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). Or pre-scientific.

  7. Torben Mogensen


    11 meters over what? Sea level? :-)

    I suppose what they mean is that if you could somehow make the water follow the contours of the planet, there would be enough to cover everything 11m deep. Since Mars is by no means flat, it would likely collect mainly as an ocean in the northern hemisphere -- more than 11m deep, but significantly less than the entire surface of Mars.

  8. Kenny Millar

    Maybe, just maybe

    Maybe those 2km cliffs have their base at 1989m below sea level?

  9. Patrick


    The question is: how did they calculate this? 11 metres on a flat surface?

    As we all know, Mars isn't flat. Olympus Mons is 26 km high! And the largest of the canyons (or canals in the good old days) is 4000 km long and has a maximum depth of 7 km.

    If these canyons fill up (as well as all the impact craters), how much water is left to 'swamp' the planet?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Re: Sillyfellow

    Apollo landed on the moon, these pictures are of Mars... so no of course there are no pictures of the landing site.

  11. Chris Miller

    Re: Re: Sillyfellow

    And if there were pictures, the conspiracy theorists would only argue they were fakes (just like NASA airbrushed out the 'Martian face' pyramid).

    I think the 11m depth is calculated assuming the surface of Mars to be perfectly spherical - the volume of water it contains would then be enough to cover the surface to a depth of 11m. On the same basis, water would cover the Earth's surface to a depth of several km.

  12. Mark


    11m is pretty deep water in a swamp, which usually are only a couple of metres deep.

    Take a look at the everglades for an example.

    OK, this may not be the *normal* meaning of "swamped"....

  13. Jeff


    Hey Sillyfellow- shut the fuck up. Nobody wants to hear your blather. Conspiracy nuts are irrational and will make up any excuse to believe what they want, no matter how unlikely. I have a friend who thinks McCartney is dead, Lennon is alive, the world is full of body doubles that somehow even fake out wives and parents, etc...

    And most government conspiracies fall apart by the sheer logic of:

    1. Most governments are barely capable of getting anything useful done

    2. Most conspiracies are too complicated for those governments to pull off

    3. Way too many people have to keep a secret, and there are frequently unintended witnesses to shoot holes in the story (9/11 anyone?)

    Regarding Mars, the subject here- I assume this means 11m deep on average wherever there is water. Obviously some places are deeper, some more shallow. Earth is some 70% water, and it's very deep, so from a planetary perspective, I'd say Earth is "swamped."

  14. ian


    Whose years are we talking about? Martian years or Terrestrial years? I forsee the need of a new Reg Unit! In fact, we need we need new solar orbital units for all of the planets, and for the newly demoted sub-planets. Pluto I hardly knew ye...

  15. Matt

    Where is

    Amanfrom mars.....

    well, where is he when you need an answer about his home planet?

  16. lglethal Silver badge

    Measuring the water level

    1. Take all the land mass on the moon.

    2. Squash it down till you get a sphere.

    3. Add water.

    Measurement - 11m.

    On earth this would be a much larger value as if you took all of the himalayas and dumped them in the pacific none of them would even break the surface! Earth has a lot more water!

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