Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mars hooray, Mercury meh?

I'm amused at the lack of attention that the discovery of water on Mercury is getting. Oh, and did I mention there's also evidence of organic compounds?

Let me put this in perspective. There was an excited rumor about ten days ago when John Grotzinger said, in a rather off-handed manner, that there had been a history-making discovery on Mars. Everyone, myself included, was in a tizzy to know what it was. Had they found life? Had they found organic compounds? Whoopee! But then NASA tamped down the rumor. Nothing to see here; move along.

And then, hardly a week later, we discovered organic compounds and water on Mercury...and no one cares.

Duh. This is the same discovery we were holding our breath and hoping to see on Mars. And if organic compounds had been found, the teevee would have lit up and the pundits would have roared, "This must mean there is or was life on Mars, and therefore life is everywhere! Hooray!!!"

We found what we were looking for, but on another planet. But since it's not the correct planet, hardly anyone cares. People, there might be life on Mercury! Wake up and enjoy the news.