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Tracks left by Spirit -- Image courtesy of NASA
Findings collected by the Mars rover Spirit gets scientists excited for what other secrets the Red Planet may hide

Scientists have conducted a lot of research to discover signs of water and possible life on Mars.  A recent discovery by a NASA rover has created excitement in the scientific community: the Mars rover Spirit collected soil samples that makes scientists strongly believe Mars was once wet. 

The rover found some Martian soil with high levels of silica, which needs water to crystalize.  Basic chemical analysis on the soil revealed the soil composition contained up to 90 percent silica.  This soil, located in Gusev Crater, is the strongest evidence that water, at some point in the planet's history, existed.

Scientists are unsure how the silica deposit in the crater originally formed.  The most likely theory is that soil mixed with acid vapors, created by volcanic activity, along with a strong presence of water.  Another popular idea is that the silica was created from water from a hot spring.

Spirit's discovery "reinforces the fact that significant amounts of water were present in Mars' past, which continues to spur the hope that we can show that Mars was once habitable and possibly supported life," said Doug McCuistion, NASA Mars exploration program director.

Oddly enough, the silica discovery happened due to a Spirit mechanical problem.  The bright patches of silica-rich soil were discovered when one of the rover's wheels dragged through the topsoil, revealing the bright colored silica-soil underneath.

Scientists are anxious to continue their research to discover what else is on the Red Planet.  Research indicates ice under the Martian surface varies in depth from location to location.
Late last year, NASA researchers used the Mars Global Surveyor to discover water flowed recently on the Red Planet.


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RE: lol
By P4blo on 5/22/2007 1:20:44 PM , Rating: 0
I see why you make these points but they seem pretty obvious to anyone who hasn't been kidnapped by dogma.

1). Life exists throughout our universe. Anyone who tries to tell me it cant is either a fool or a religious fool. (There is a slight difference).

2). I couldn't give a monkeys what the church think. During history they have repeatedly changed their stance when proven wrong. But to even mention this is paying far too much lip service to these so called institutions anyhow. They're just the recent sprouters of myths and legends that have been preached in one form or another since the dawn of man's ability to speak. We will worship anything we can, suns, cows, gods, prophets, buildings, stars, even hollywood stars.

Preachers in the modern Muslim and Christain faiths are just re-incarnations of the witchdoctors and sooth-sayers of old. "listen to the wise man's tales!" Why because he has a huge beard? Dont make me laugh.

I feel better now. Back on the science, I do get frustrated when billions gets spent on determining what we can make a pretty good guess at anyhow - life is out there. No? I would prefer to see us spending that money on colonisation or transportational efforts. Then we might find some *animated* life forms and somewhere nice to live that isn't populated by so many small minded brainwashed idiots trying to kill anyone else that doesn't happen to give a sh!t about their beloved god/idol.

/rant.


RE: lol
By dsumanik on 5/22/2007 1:53:34 PM , Rating: 2
I tihnk its great we are sending interplanetary probes out there...even if it is just to discover what may be somewhat obvious.

To much of science is based on educated guesses, mathmatecial proofs and estimations.....try asking your university astrophysics professor a question..the answer will always start with:

"we think" or "they say"

Hard physical evidence is irrefutable, and quite frankly im glad they are sending mars probes out there first to try and find water....if they can find a viable source your dream of colonization and interplanetary travel just got about a zillion times cheaper and more likely.

I wouldn't launch any major space exploration without sending some cheap probes out there first to poke around?

Man dont you watch star trek or star wars they always sendin probes out first...and let me tell you picard/vader knows whats up

peace out homeslice, and keep yo pimp walk fly....


RE: lol
By P4blo on 5/22/2007 2:55:34 PM , Rating: 1
>Hard physical evidence is irrefutable, and quite frankly >im glad they are sending mars probes out there first to >try and find water....if they can find a viable source >your dream of colonization and interplanetary travel just >got about a zillion times cheaper and more likely.

Yep, I was being a tad dismissive but finding water is clearly very important. How else am I going to cool my rig if I move out there?

>Man dont you watch star trek or star wars they always >sendin probes out first...and let me tell you picard/vader >knows whats up

Not enough obviously, hey I thought they always sent the single most important person down (the captain) when a new and potentially deadly world was discovered. Must have worked as Cap'n Kirk never got the bad news. Picard on the other hand was a lazy git he just got his space minions to 'make it so'.

>peace out homeslice, and keep yo pimp walk fly....

LOL


RE: lol
By cupocoffee on 5/22/2007 3:21:39 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I see why you make these points but they seem pretty obvious to anyone who hasn't been kidnapped by dogma.


On the contrary, you appear to have been kidnapped by your own set of dogmas. You first point that life exists throughout the universe has no support. You should read "Rare Earth" by Ward and Brownlee. These two authors seem to be fairly naturalistic as you appear to be, but argue rather convincingly that Earth is indeed rare along with its lifeforms. My point is, whether or not life exists elsewhere is an open question.

Your second point is equally emotional. The church has simply adapted throughout history. There is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake and then adjusting to accept the truth. This is how life works. You have a worldview that adapts as more information is obtained. I don't think the church would have a problem if it were found that life exists elsewhere, but that is another topic.


RE: lol
By P4blo on 5/23/2007 4:57:18 AM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry but you'll never convince me in a million years that life on earth is where it all stops. I find the notion so laughable. It's like a fish in a pond thinking his little watering hole is the end of the earth.

My objection to this kind of thinking is from the self centered and egotistical undertones that seem to support it.

Many people have heard of Ockham's Razor right? Well the very tip of that razor represents life on earth and nowhere else. Thanks but I would rather stay where the good odds are to be found.


RE: lol
By cupocoffee on 5/23/2007 5:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
I don't desire to convince you that life on Earth is the only place it exists. I do not necessarily support this myself. However, I also do not support the notion that life does exist elsewhere. My point is simply that, to be honest, we must admit that at this point we don't know. That is why we are looking for it.

quote:
My objection to this kind of thinking is from the self centered and egotistical undertones that seem to support it.


Even if it appears to be self centered, this does not mean that it is not the current state of reality.

quote:
Thanks but I would rather stay where the good odds are to be found.


If you read the book that I mentioned above, I think you would find compelling evidence that life may indeed be rare.


RE: lol
By Vanilla Thunder on 5/22/2007 5:07:19 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
During history they have repeatedly changed their stance when proven wrong.


Isn't that the natural progression of ideas? It makes you smarter to change your stance when PROVEN wrong, than to blindly fight for something you know is incorrect.

Vanilla


RE: lol
By ZoZo on 5/22/2007 8:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
But always being proven wrong takes your credibility away.


RE: lol
By P4blo on 5/23/2007 4:37:53 AM , Rating: 1
Exactly. The Church knows nothing about creation, nothing at all. Yet it seems to have a lot to say about it. The ideas it perpetuates about it are generally self serving. So when an institution like that sticks it's neck out and repeatedly gets proven wrong through history, some people are going to delight in calling them fraudsters.

The church can tell me thou shalt not this that and the other if it likes. But dont tell me Earth was knocked up in a week and evolution doesn't exist.


RE: lol
By zsdersw on 5/23/2007 6:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
Intelligent Design is their bridge between pure faith and the realities of science that are all around them.

I'm not sure what subject Intelligent Design would be most suited for in school, because it's certainly not science.. and it's not really theology or religion either. Maybe that means it shouldn't be taught at all. :)


RE: lol
By vortmax on 5/23/2007 11:39:56 AM , Rating: 3
Intelligent Design is just a politically correct term for Creationism. I wouldn't say it's a comprimise between faith and science.

Science hasn't come any closer in determining how everything came into existence. It has revealed however, based on the extreme complexity of life on Earth, pointed us even more towards an Intelligent Designer.


RE: lol
By cupocoffee on 5/23/2007 6:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Intelligent Design is just a politically correct term for Creationism.


Actually, this is not necessarily true. Intelligent Design can be used by creationists to support their views. However, the concept itself simply states that the complexity of the universe implies that someone designed it. Technically, this somebody could be an alien or it could be God. My point: Intelligent Design does not label the designer.

Think of Intelligent Design as being analogous to forensics. Forensics is based on the idea that evidence at a scene can be collected and analyzed to determine how events occurred and whether or not they were "designed" by an intelligent mind.


RE: lol
By cupocoffee on 5/23/2007 6:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not sure what subject Intelligent Design would be most suited for in school, because it's certainly not science..


Please give evidence for why you think it is not science. Common themes of Intelligent Design include irreducible complexity, fine tuning of universal natural constants, concepts of what is and is not information, and the probabilities that the above can occur through naturalistic means.

I don't see how investigations into such topics is unscientific unless if you are a hard core materialist who believes as a premise that science is most certainly naturalistic despite any proof given against that notion. I myself adhere to the empirical platform of science.


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