About Me // Marco De Marco
Hey there! I am Marco, an amateur astronomer, with 40+ years of experience in the field of astronomy in general, and especially in planetology and exobiology. I had begun my career with as chief interest to research possible life outside of our Earth. Shortly after starting this research, I stumbled upon one planet that later revealed to become one of my greatest loves: namely, the planet Mars. Therefore, my mission is to investigate in depth, in a professional and academic fashion, the presence of liquid water and life on Mars, as well as of course other aspects of the planet so as to bring you, the reader, a clear and scientifically reliable product. This is the chief goal of the platform, where the possibility of commenting is always available for the audience, because it makes the journey that we are embarking together less uni-lateral as well as it helps achieve interesting discussions and exploring other possibilities. It also is very important for people that could require a simpler explanation, or just further clarification. So I will invite you to put your comments under every post I will make, even, and especially, if you disagree with my own opinion, as long as you remain polite, respectful and reasonably open minded; so, feel very free to ask or leave your view!
Given that my work experience retains mostly image processing positions, specifically in the medical, topographic and most importantly astronomical field. My other main activity regarding the Red Planet on this platform, is to provide on an almost daily basis, updates from the martian rovers, landers and orbiters in the form of images, that I personally process, with the right white-balancing in order to render the colours more similar to what the human eyes would see. This makes my work stand out compared to the other similar works that you will find on the internet. Because all the others only limit themselves to post the raw version of the image obtained from the rovers, landers or orbiters. Where I, given the fact that human eyes see colours quite differently than a digital camera sensor does, take the further step to remove this gap, and to show indeed a better display for what a human would really see.
Short answer? Mars is awesome. Now, more precisely, from the point of view of an astrobiologist, Mars has always been the planet with the closest match, other than Earth, to the characteristics which compose an environment suitable for life. This, supported by many results of experiments conducted on the ISS (International Space Station), that show a lot of life forms living and prospering in a simulated Martian condition, and not just bacteria!
Another aspect that I found utterly intriguing, was the fact that the Martian polar caps follow a seasonal cycle very similar to the one on Earth. Of Course even the astronomers of the past started noticing the evolution of the polar caps, concluding that they were made possibly out of water, or at least a mix of water and dry ice. Even by only observing Mars with the use of a telescope, the ancient astronomers immediately reported some areas of the planet changing colours, also following the seasonal cycle, and that was previously considered a valid proof of life in the form of vegetation.
Of course, the question of the presence of life on Mars remains to this day unanswered; some evidence supports the positive answer to this question, like the experiments conducted by the Viking mission, however, a part of the scientific community does not deem this evidence sufficient to make a conclusive claim. That is why I am eager to conduct my studies, and to provide them to you, the audience. So as to receive valuable feedback, and discover new ideas together.