NASA Finds Evidence Water Flowed Recently on Mars
December 6, 2006 7:25 PM
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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.
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12/7/2006 4:24:12 PM
Well actually, solar wind could be a very terrible problem on Mars. It
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.
12/7/2006 5:21:54 PM
The solar wind isn't the real problem, its solar
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.
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