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Water on Mars?


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#1    Atheist God

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 08:40 AM

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/dec/H...s_Briefing.html

Who knows what they have found speculation is running rampant on Digg where I found the article. Everything from alien life to free flowing water on it's surface.

Knowing NASA it is probably not that signifigant but who knows...

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A site I write my own articles. sw-gm check em out.

#2    Hollywood Hughes

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:00 AM

Holy hell, now I'm excited. So that's like 6pm UK time?

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#3    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:08 AM

The smart money is on liquid water seeping from underground onto the surface. It wont be free flowing in the way that rivers are free flowing. A discovery of liquid water would be significant because it would mean it is more likely that we could find microbial life there.

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#4    Raptor

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 08:10 PM

NASA Images Suggest Water Still Flows in Brief Spurts on Mars

12.06.06



   More Images:
    + Groundwater May Be Responsible
    + New Craters
    + Fresh Crater in Arabia Terra


NASA photographs have revealed bright new deposits seen in two gullies on Mars that suggest water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years.

"These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, Washington.


IPB Image\
Image: A new gully deposit in a crater  in the Centauri Montes Region.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
+ Full image and caption

Liquid water, as opposed to the water ice and water vapor known to exist at Mars, is considered necessary for life. The new findings heighten intrigue about the potential for microbial life on Mars. The Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor provided the new evidence of the deposits in images taken in 2004 and 2005.

"The shapes of these deposits are what you would expect to see if the material were carried by flowing water," said Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. "They have finger-like branches at the downhill end and easily diverted around small obstacles." Malin is principal investigator for the camera and lead author of a report about the findings published in the journal Science.

The atmosphere of Mars is so thin and the temperature so cold that liquid water cannot persist at the surface. It would rapidly evaporate or freeze. Researchers propose that water could remain liquid long enough, after breaking out from an underground source, to carry debris downslope before totally freezing. The two fresh deposits are each several hundred meters or yards long.

IPB Image\

Image: A new gully deposit in a crater in Terra Sirenum. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
+ Full image and caption

The light tone of the deposits could be from surface frost continuously replenished by ice within the body of the deposit. Another possibility is a salty crust, which would be a sign of water's effects in concentrating the salts. If the deposits had resulted from dry dust slipping down the slope, they would likely be dark, based on the dark tones of dust freshly disturbed by rover tracks, dust devils and fresh craters on Mars.

Mars Global Surveyor has discovered tens of thousands of gullies on slopes inside craters and other depressions on Mars. Most gullies are at latitudes of 30 degrees or higher. Malin and his team first reported the discovery of the gullies in 2000. To look for changes that might indicate present-day flow of water, his camera team repeatedly imaged hundreds of the sites. One pair of images showed a gully that appeared after mid-2002. That site was on a sand dune, and the gully-cutting process was interpreted as a dry flow of sand.

IPB Image\

Image: A colorized view of a new crater on the upper north flank of the Martian volcano Ulysses Patera. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems
+ Full image and caption

Today's announcement is the first to reveal newly deposited material apparently carried by fluids after earlier imaging of the same gullies. The two sites are inside craters in the Terra Sirenum and the Centauri Montes regions of southern Mars.

"These fresh deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water is emerging from beneath the ground and briefly flowing down the slopes. This possibility raises questions about how the water would stay melted below ground, how widespread it might be, and whether there's a below-ground wet habitat conducive to life. Future missions may provide the answers," said Malin.

Besides looking for changes in gullies, the orbiter's camera team assessed the rate at which new impact craters appear. The camera photographed approximately 98 percent of Mars in 1999 and approximately 30 percent of the planet was photographed again in 2006. The newer images show 20 fresh impact craters, ranging in diameter from 7 feet (2 meters) to 486 feet (148 meters) that were not present approximately seven years earlier. These results have important implications for determining the ages of features on the surface of Mars. These results also approximately match predictions and imply that Martian terrain with few craters is truly young.

Mars Global Surveyor began orbiting Mars in 1997. The spacecraft is responsible for many important discoveries. NASA has not heard from the spacecraft since early November. Attempts to contact it continue. Its unprecedented longevity has allowed monitoring Mars for over several years past its projected lifetime.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, manages the Mars Global Surveyor mission for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:  

Nasa

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I wonder how much more there is?


#5    CASEY yyyy

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 09:53 PM

nasa HAS found flowing water on mars'it said this morning' thay thing there may be life on mars {chanc'ers are high'er'}erand thay also think humans could live on mars {chances are high'er}.


#6    Chauncy

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:04 PM

Here's a link to the NASA announcement.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/mars/new...s-20061206.html

Quote

"These fresh deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water is emerging from beneath the ground and briefly flowing down the slopes. This possibility raises questions about how the water would stay melted below ground, how widespread it might be, and whether there's a below-ground wet habitat conducive to life. Future missions may provide the answers," said Malin


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#7    Raptor

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:08 PM

Welcome to the forum Casey,

I made a thread about this here with the original article from NASA included. thumbsup.gif


#8    joc

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:41 PM

I don't think it is water...I think it is ethane.

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#9    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 10:55 PM

Quote


I don't think it is water...I think it is ethane.


It can't be ethane. Ethane would be a gas on Mars. It is possible that it is liquid CO2 but Mars is just simply too warm for liquid ethane.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#10    joc

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Posted 06 December 2006 - 11:03 PM

Quote


It can't be ethane. Ethane would be a gas on Mars. It is possible that it is liquid CO2 but Mars is just simply too warm for liquid ethane.



...But Elton said it was cold as hell...in fact

...do you know for sure what the temperature is in the region where they are talking about?  Martian temperature is anywhere from around 80 F to -225F.

Edited by joc, 06 December 2006 - 11:22 PM.

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#11    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 03:57 AM

Quote


...do you know for sure what the temperature is in the region where they are talking about?  Martian temperature is anywhere from around 80 F to -225F.


Do you know anything about boiling points, atmospheric pressure and the properties of ethane? Clearly not.

The lower the atmospheric pressure the lower the boiling point of a liquid. Ethane boils at -89C (-128F) at 1 atmosphere. Given the fact that the atmospheric pressure at the surface of Mars is extremely low  (approx 0.1 atmosphere) then the boiling point of ethane will also be much lower. Also, given that water (b.p. 100C, 212F at 1 atmosphere) evaporates very rapidly on the Martian surface where it has a boiling point of about 3C (37F), then it also follows that liquid ethane can not exist on the surface of Mars.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 07 December 2006 - 04:04 AM.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#12    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:09 AM

More news and images associated with this story can be found on the Exploration Of Mars thread, starting with this post.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#13    joc

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 04:19 AM

Quote

Do you know anything about boiling points, atmospheric pressure and the properties of ethane? Clearly not.


Uh...no...that's why I was asking.  No need to get snippy about it.

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#14    Leonardo

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 09:49 AM

I must admit, while the potential here is exciting my first thought was "What if it isn't water?"

I thought, as Waspie pointed out, that CO2 could be the culprit. Guess we'll have to wait for some hard evidence as to what caused the 'wash'. I do think it's a bit premature of NASA to be stating it's water unless they already have this evidence?

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