backtop


Print 36 comment(s) - last by Visual.. on Dec 13 at 7:15 AM


Image courtesy NASA
The photographs taken by the Mars Global Surveyor has scientists excited about the possibility of water on Mars

A new study of photographs have revealed that bright new deposits observed in gullies on the planet Mars may prove that water carried sediment through them sometime recently, according to NASA.  The U.S. space agency believes it has found "compelling" evidence that liquid water once existed on the surface of Mars.

The recent images were taken by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor space probe.  The discovery is important because it might help prove that the Red Planet has an environment that is favorable for living beings.  Just trying to find remote signs of liquid water on Mars has been a goal among scientists around the world for a number of years.  

The cameras on the Mars Global Surveyor were the first to take images that initially suggested water once flowed on Mars.  Scientists then went and searched valleys in search for conclusive evidence of water flow.  Just like most reports regarding Mars, there is some debate as to whether or not it really was liquid water -- some scientists claim that liquid carbon dioxide may have cut the gullies.

The findings by researchers were published today in the journal Science – NASA held a news conference to announce the results of the study.  The idea that water recently flowed on Mars is another piece of the puzzle that NASA is trying to put together about the still very foreign Red Planet.


Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Terraform
By Serifan on 12/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: Terraform
By Hypernova on 12/7/2006 3:04:11 AM , Rating: 1
And destroy the water supply? AFAIK only ice can stay on Mars since it doesn't have the gravity to retain a atmosphere thick enough. Due to the low pressure liquid water will boil immediatly and be lost to space (Again due to low gravity). The current water on Mars is probably only a very small fraction of what was there origionally.


RE: Terraform
By Serifan on 12/7/2006 4:23:48 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe but if they slowly melted the ice capes it would then turn to water and water turn into vapour which will help kill most of the CO2 and help revive the planet. while the remander will flood across the planet.


RE: Terraform
By copiedright on 12/7/2006 5:01:40 AM , Rating: 2
Mars, unlike earth, does not have a magnetic field. This would make any attempt to pressurise the atmosphere useless as it would be stripped away from the planet by the solar wind. Mars is simply too old and too small!

Our only hope to colonize another earth like planet is to jump across to a cooler Venus in about 500 million years.


RE: Terraform
By Blood Simple on 12/7/2006 5:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Mars, unlike earth, does not have a magnetic field. This would make any attempt to pressurise the atmosphere useless as it would be stripped away from the planet by the solar wind. Mars is simply too old and too small!


Ding ding ding, we have a winner. No magnetic field = any attempt at terra forming would be moot. The Atmosphere would just get stripped off into space again. Not to mention Solar radiation is quite lethal when no magnetic field is present to block it. The same fate would befall earth should it lose its field.

Mars had a magnetic field at one point, along with liquid water and an atmosphere. But once its Core cooled and turned solid, field go bye bye. Earth is massive enough that it will be eons before we lose our core and we will have long since destroyed the planet by other means.


RE: Terraform
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2006 10:11:50 AM , Rating: 2
> "Ding ding ding, we have a winner. No magnetic field = any attempt at terra forming would be moot. The Atmosphere would just get stripped off into space again..."

Err, thats a very slow process. The solar wind is estimated to complete the stripping of the Martian atmosphere in the next one hundred million years. A denser atmosphere would loss mass faster...but its still not a problem for human lifetimes.

The solar wind isn't a terrible problem for human colonization of Mars (or Luna, for that matter, where the flux is much higher).



RE: Terraform
By fk49 on 12/7/2006 4:24:12 PM , Rating: 2
Well actually, solar wind could be a very terrible problem on Mars. It has stripped much of the atmosphere and delivers lethal doses of radiation and plasma since the protective magnetosphere is no longer generated by Mars' core.

However, Mars seems to have 'plates' that are permanently magnetized, and provide a protective field over that area. These spots are relatively safe compared to the rest of unshielded Mars and show potential for further research and perhaps colonization.


RE: Terraform
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2006 5:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
The solar wind isn't the real problem, its solar flares that are dangerous. However, the radiation from them is easily blocked by lightweight materials. All colonists would need to do is stay inside during solar "bad weather", and they've negated nearly all the risk.

And, as you point out, there are areas of the Martian surface magnetized enough to provide some shielding effect.


RE: Terraform
By Spoelie on 12/7/2006 5:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
Venus doesn't have a decent magnetosphere as well, and it's day is approximately as long as its year. Also, vulcanic activity is actually making it hotter than cooling it down.


RE: Terraform
By copiedright on 12/8/2006 2:44:47 AM , Rating: 2
WHY THE HELL DID I GET RATED DOWN FOR THAT ONE?

I wish we could see who votes for each post.


RE: Terraform
By masher2 (blog) on 12/8/2006 9:06:01 AM , Rating: 1
Possibly because your posting was incorrect? :p


RE: Terraform
By copiedright on 12/8/2006 4:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well I have checked my sources and my posting was correct. What I cant understand is why I got voted down for that one, but didn't get voted down for the previous one.


RE: Terraform
By masher2 (blog) on 12/9/2006 12:44:54 PM , Rating: 1
You were correct in that Mars is not protected from the solar wind, but incorrect in the conclusion that this would make any attempt to terraform an atmosphere futile. Atmospheric loss is a very slow process that takes hundreds of millions of years.

Fill a car tire with air, and even the best sealed ones will go flat within a few decades. Yet we don't consider filling tires a "useless" endeavor...we simply add more air as needed. In the case of Mars, topping off would only be required every few million years. Not exactly a problem to be feared, assuming one can generate the atmosphere in the first place.


RE: Terraform
By timmiser on 12/8/2006 3:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you need to have another cup of coffee.


RE: Terraform
By Nemisisorama on 12/10/2006 9:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
Oh sure, because the human race is still going to be around in 500 million years time. Mars,aside from our own moon, is the closest, and most viable option for our next step into our solar system. We should be focusing our efforts on what we can achieve, rather than what we cannot achieve. Unfortunately, everybody is an expert from the comfort of their computer chair......


RE: Terraform
By fishmonger12 on 12/7/2006 1:36:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Maybe but if they slowly melted the ice capes it would then turn to water and water turn into vapor which will help kill most of the CO2 and help revive the planet.


Yeah. I've got a reaction for it right here:

H2O + CO2 + BIG FIGHT ->(H+) H2O WINS NO CO2!


RE: Terraform
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2006 9:57:47 AM , Rating: 1
> "AFAIK only ice can stay on Mars since it doesn't have the gravity to retain a atmosphere thick enough. Due to the low pressure liquid water will boil immediatly and be lost to space (Again due to low gravity). "

True...however it would take several hundred to several thousand years to do so, so it would be a short-term solution. Diverting an ice-based comet to strike Mars has been one of the many terraforming suggestions.


RE: Terraform
By Visual on 12/7/2006 6:02:22 AM , Rating: 2
as others said terraforming mars would hardly work at all. and even if it does, it will surely not be as simple as melting its poles. and even if it were that simple, that's still way out of our capabilities.

we'll have much more luck with building a dome, probably the poles would be a good place so we can use the ice available for aquiring water and oxygen. thats how i imagine our first colonies.


RE: Terraform
By KaiserCSS on 12/7/2006 9:53:07 AM , Rating: 1
You guys are forgetting one minor detail regarding Mars:

Gravity.

Mars has only 38% the amount of gravity on Earth. No one quite knows what the long-term effects of such reduced gravity might be on a living organism from Earth. Forget Mission to Mars and Red Planet, which shows astronauts cavorting about on the surface of Mars as though it's gravity were equal to Earth's.


No water ever
By ElJefe69 on 12/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: No water ever
By Visual on 12/7/2006 5:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
in case you're wondering why you've been voted down - they have found frozen water in the polar ice caps as well as in the soil, and trace amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere. just no liquid water, which is understandable - none can exists on the surface at these pressure and temperature. there may turn out to be liquid water underground though.


RE: No water ever
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2006 10:00:51 AM , Rating: 2
> "just no liquid water, which is understandable - none can exists on the surface at these pressure and temperature..."

Actually, the purpose of this announcement was just that-- to show they have found liquid water flowing on Mars.


RE: No water ever
By Visual on 12/13/2006 7:15:11 AM , Rating: 2
point. i should've been more priceise and said "none can remain for long on the surface at these pressure and temperature".


RE: No water ever
By Xavian on 12/7/2006 9:12:34 AM , Rating: 2
there's no water in the sahara too!!

...

Oh wait, what about those wells that tap into underground rivers... welcome to mars :)


realy
By TonyB on 12/7/2006 2:03:19 AM , Rating: 1
lets drive those mars rover there and check it out




RE: realy
By peternelson on 12/7/2006 3:19:13 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I thought, but it could be half way around the planet like thousands of miles, and over impassable mountain terrain and craters at SLOW speed, assuming they have enough battery/solar, and assuming the tyres don't wear out.

I think they would likely need to send a new probe from earth and target it to land in the valley line region.

I did think that an autonomous well-driller hole boring tool on the rover would let us see if there is any watertable or secrets underground. Also ground penetrating radar to do geological surveys.


RE: realy
By cunning plan on 12/7/2006 5:10:34 AM , Rating: 2
The rover might be a few meters away but cant get closer to take some pictures because it fell into a ocean..


By rushfan2006 on 12/7/2006 8:34:17 AM , Rating: 3
Getting the popcorn ready as all the "Average Joe" Poster's slam ideas and speak about what "they" (you know life long NASA engineers, astrophycists, astronomers, and other such career scientists who have spent their whole professional lives on stuff like this) should do.

;)





By zsdersw on 12/7/2006 9:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
No, that's not what they're saying at all. No one says that presence of water = life. All they're saying is that it makes the possibility of life significantly less remote.


sweet
By djkrypplephite on 12/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: sweet
By masher2 (blog) on 12/7/2006 2:49:37 PM , Rating: 4
Do you feel that there's something immoral in warming a lifeless hunk of rock? Or do you just believe that anything man does is inherently evil?

I thought the Luddites died out long ago...sad to see the philosophy is still alive and well.


What The?
By cheetah2k on 12/7/2006 2:35:41 AM , Rating: 1
Looks like Martian pee (theres no trees) ;-)




RE: What The?
By halomaster2004 on 12/7/2006 5:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
LETS PUSH THE ASTEROID BELT INTO MARS!!!!!!!
that would create a stronger gravitational field and be easy, ok well not really, but perhaps we should worry about not colonizing mars, but start to look into faster ways of travel and other solar systems, if something happens to earth, mars isnt to far off.


I can do that with Photoshop
By vaasa on 12/7/06, Rating: 0
By rushfan2006 on 12/7/2006 8:36:51 AM , Rating: 2
I know you are kidding....but I'm sure just like a certain segment of the population thinks we never really landed on the moon, some folks probably immediately had that thought race through there head -- except unlike you...they aren't joking....

Sad how some folks see a controversy in everything...


“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls











botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki