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Water on Mars  (Source: Finding Dulcinea)
Studying the ratios of isotopes in Mars' carbon dioxide shows history of water on Mars

Measurements by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have determined that liquid water has had a presence throughout Mars' history. 

In 2008, the Phoenix performed measurements of stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon in the carbon dioxide of the atmosphere on Mars. These measurements were taken by the Evolved Gas Analyzer, which is part of the Phoenix's Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer (TEGA). TEGA was built at the University of Arizona and has a mass spectrometer capable of better analyses of carbon dioxide than those on NASA's Viking landers (these were the only others with instruments that could compile results on Mars' isotopic composition). To perform its task, the TEGA instrument opened a "pin-point-sized" hole while a puff of Mars' atmosphere was sucked into its chamber with a vacuum.

"We use the TEGA instrument as a crime scene investigator," said William V. Boynton, a professor at the Lunar and Planetary Lab in the UA's department of planetary sciences and co-author of the paper. "Like a chemical fingerprint, isotopes tell us what process is responsible for making the material we are studying."

Figuring out the ratios of isotopes in Mars' carbon dioxide offers new information on the complete history of volcanic activity and water on Mars' surface. Based on the measurements, liquid water has existed on Mars' surface at freezing temperatures, which means that hydrothermal systems (much like hot springs at Yellowstone National Park here on Earth) have played a small part on Mars' surface throughout the planet's history, but has been present nonetheless.

"Atmospheric carbon dioxide is like a chemical spy," said Paul Niles, a space scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and lead author of the paper. "It infiltrates every part of the surface of Mars and can indicate the presence of water and its history."

Other results from the TEGA analysis concluded that both Mars' carbon dioxide has proportions of oxygen and carbon isotopes much like the carbon dioxide found in Earth's atmosphere. The analysis noted two key clues that shows that Mars is both "geologically active" and that water has been present on the planet throughout its history. 

First, Mars has recently replenished its atmospheric carbon dioxide because an older atmosphere would contain more of the carbon-13 isotope, and Mars has seen a significant loss in this particular isotope. The results suggest that the atmosphere was replenished with carbon dioxide from volcanoes, meaning Mars is more active than previously thought.

Second, the measurements were compared to Martian meteorites that fell to the Earth after being hurled into space, and the meteorites had carbonate materials that could only form in the presence of carbon dioxide and liquid water. One meteorite in particular crystallized about 170 million years ago, which is considered recent in Mars' geological time, and contains carbonates with "isotopic proportions that match the atmospheric measurements by Phoenix." This tells us that water has been present on Mars recently and in the past, and there's enough of it to manipulate the composition of the planet's atmosphere. And for water to exist under Mars' cold and dry conditions, it has remained near its freezing point.

"The findings do not reveal specific locations or dates of liquid water and volcanic vents," said Niles. "But geologically recent occurrences of those conditions provide the best explanations for the isotope proportions we found."

The study was published in the September 10 issue of Science.

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RE: Wait for it...
By RugMuch on 9/13/2010 11:15:25 AM , Rating: 2
What type of retarded sapience is this

Perhaps, instead, Mars was used as a staging area for extrasolar sentient life in their travels and visits to and from Earth, thus drawing from the water reserves.

Right and Xenu raced across the earth in his chariot with lakes fire and ice and plopped it down on mars. Which thought of magic are you referring to the Chariots of the Gods? or Scientology?

RE: Wait for it...
By FITCamaro on 9/13/2010 12:28:53 PM , Rating: 2
So now you, the evolutionist, is denying that there might be life centuries ahead of ourselves in space travel? How do we know that aliens didn't take all the water from Mars to Earth because Mars was dying and Earth was seen as a viable planet for teraforming. Might be where the genesis story came from.

RE: Wait for it...
By JKflipflop98 on 9/14/2010 5:52:03 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Wait for it...
By MrBlastman on 9/13/2010 12:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
Retarded sapience? Do you proclaim yourself to possess infinite wisdom and in the grandeur of your illusionment proclaim freely that mankind is the sole sentient lifeform in the entire universe?

I should hope not, in fact, I do hope you don't.

Right and Xenu raced across the earth in his chariot with lakes fire and ice and plopped it down on mars. Which thought of magic are you referring to the Chariots of the Gods? or Scientology?

So basically you are saying Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Freeman Dyson and the rest of the scientific and science fiction community are all a bunch of Scientolgy crackpots? Oh wow. That is amazing. Are you that blind?

Scientology is a crock of crap but honestly, to place anyone and everyone that actually believes in extraterrestrial life (some of which whom are Christian) is absolutely unbelievable. Pick up your Bible and read it cover to cover. Then, after you do so, come and talk with me about where inside it that it says life outside of Earth cannot exist. Here's a hint: the God you yourself worship... created our gift of science!

RE: Wait for it...
By RugMuch on 9/13/2010 1:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is for both FITCamaro and MrBlastman. First, if you answered the question and not assume you know where the logical premise of the question was heading you wouldn't have to write your uninteresting diatribe. From reading MrBlastman's posts I am completely lost on whether we are misunderstanding each other or at complete different conclusions.

FITCamaro really we moved water from a dieing planet to a baren planet, you say earth, instead of moving it to say Venus second most livable planet today in our solar system?, because it has water. Also, we no longer have that technology that can move worlds of water across the solar system? I never denied aliens, and i don't, but if you read about Xenu or thought about the premise of CoG? you could determine the insanity.

Might be where the genesis story came from.

But, I do love your logic, not that we really can track any of our tales except back to Hercules/Oedipus theology this might be what happen. Should I take your comment as fluff or should I start basing all your evidence on it. I mean write a paper man that way we can laugh you out of a room. No wait we will say were giving you a nobel and gank it, then laugh and laugh.

"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton

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