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Mars , Warmer and Wetter in First Two Billion years than Previously Thought

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posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:43 AM
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Scientists at NASA who have been studying Gale Crater have concluded the reason for the existence of Gale's Mount Sharp is due to sediments from successive lakes laid down over tens of millions of years.

Only later did winds dig out an encircling plain to expose the 5km-high peak we see today.
If true, this has major implications for past climates on the Red Planet.
It implies the world had to have been far warmer and wetter in its first two billion years than many people had previously recognised.


One tantalising consequence of this is the possibility that the planet may even have featured an ocean somewhere on its surface.
"If we have a long-standing lake for millions of years, the atmospheric humidity practically requires a standing body of water like an ocean to keep Gale from evaporating," said Dr Ashwin Vasavada, the Curiosity deputy project scientist.




But a mystery still persists...

And the notion that Mars was a lot warmer in the past is at odds with current climate models for that time.
"Even with a thicker atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases like water, sulphur dioxide or hydrogen, it's difficult in models to raise global temperatures enough. But unless you do so, any liquid water would quickly freeze," explained Dr Vasavada.
The team hopes to answer some of these questions in the coming months and years as Curiosity climbs the mountain and studies its different rock layers.
www.bbc.co.uk...


Astronomers say follow the water to find life , well the water that remains on Mars went underground so that's where we need to go next ...drill bigger , drill deeper.


edit on 9-12-2014 by gortex because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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a reply to: gortex


And the notion that Mars was a lot warmer in the past is at odds with current climate models for that time.


So they are saying that our human models don't fit with what is observed. I'm shocked and amazed !!!!

I naively thought we can't go wrong whilst modelling



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:50 AM
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So we need to drill to find life?
*picks up phone*
"GET ME BRUCE WILLIS AND BEN AFFLECK ASAP!"

you can all admit that song started playing in your head. it's ok.

Well what can we say? NASA teases about possible this/probable that every other day, maybe one day they will bring something real to the table.
That's not to say i don't believe in it's importance, it's just frustrating to hear about life on mars for 30 years and not make any progress towards finding that freakin life



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: gortex


It implies the world had to have been far warmer and wetter in its first two billion years than many people had previously recognised.


by "many people had previously recognized", they mean climate experts claimed with model research. They call it science.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:11 AM
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a reply to: MarioOnTheFly




I naively thought we can't go wrong whilst modelling



I remember as a kid in the 70s being told that Mars had no water only CO2.
I believe Mars was wetter and warmer but for longer than the current estimate of two billion years , possibly by as much as another billion , the more I read the more I believe life probably started there then came here through Panspermia.

edit on 9-12-2014 by gortex because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:16 AM
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a reply to: gortex

This is certainly an important step in Mars exploration. Knowing what things are like on ground level and seeing how this compares to orbital data from MRO (eg. mineral/izotope detection) really makes a difference.

Although the presence of vast bodies of water (incl. oceans) had often been assumed in the past, we now get to see the ground-level evidence and are able to scientifically substantiate some of what had been theorized.

So where are the fossilized remains of primitve past life? Guess we indeed might need to dig deeper or take a closer look at what's already been imaged! And then there's the mystery of high concentrations of potassium and thorium at coordinates 49°30.741'N, 21°51.734'W, but that would certainly justify a thread of its own!

edit on 9-12-2014 by jeep3r because: spelling



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:23 AM
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So i have a question.

The earth was formed roughly 4 billion years ago. So i must surmise that so was mars. Now how can life have grown and evolved in such a small window of time on mars. Even if it did leave and come to earth.

I don't think mars ever supported life as its too far away from the sun imo. Sure its close to life supportable planet, but it took at least a billion or two years to cool off enough to have liquid water on it.

If it did take 2 billions years to cool off and our solar system is only 4 billions ish years old that leaves two billion years for evolution.

Does anyone have an estimate of how long mars has been all washed up so to speak?



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: shaneslaughta




Now how can life have grown and evolved in such a small window of time on mars.

As far as i'm aware it's believed to take around 1 billion years for a planet to cool and for life to start so there would be time , especially if our current estimate of the habitability phase of Mars is on the conservative side as I believe.



I don't think mars ever supported life as its too far away from the sun imo.

With it's atmosphere close to that of Earths it would have been a good place for life , wet and warm.
I think if we had the technology to explore Venus we would find that was habitable too and likely another place where life started.


edit on 9-12-2014 by gortex because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:44 AM
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originally posted by: gortex


With it's atmosphere close to Earths it would have been a good place for life , wet and warm.
I think if we had the technology to explore Venus we would find that was habitable too and likely another place where started.




Thanks for the timely reply.

I believe its the best place to start the look for life in our solar system. That or maybe Titan.

I don't think life was ever on mars though. If there was it was only simple organisms. I only feel that way because of the short evolution periods and the fact that it looks like its been dead for a billion or so years.

That and the fact that mars surface temps are -75 in the daylight and -250 at night. Granted it has a thin atmo now days, its also a hell of a lot farther from the sun than earth and is almost out of the Goldilocks zone.

However if we did come from mars it would explain the horrible foot structure humans have. Mars being 1/3 the gravity of earth and all.
edit on 12/9/2014 by shaneslaughta because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:12 AM
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originally posted by: shaneslaughta
The earth was formed roughly 4 billion years ago. So i must surmise that so was mars. Now how can life have grown and evolved in such a small window of time on mars. Even if it did leave and come to earth.


Something to also consider when thinking about past life is the fact that (complex) life on Earth only really 'took off' with the cambrian explosion some 540 million years ago.

Some major change occured on Earth at the time while our fauna went from simple organisms to a high degree of diversification and higher complexity. So how much time does evolution really need to get to the stage we're at today? Difficult to say IMO as long as we only have our home planet for comparison ...



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: jeep3r

That's actually a great point. To be honest you have made me rethink my stance on it.

Makes me think about the stories of giants here on earth. If they came from mars that could explain the height.
Subsequent generations would have evolved shorter due to higher gravity here.

if evolution happened here is such a short time frame, then maybe it happened on mars earlier.

Being farther from the sun, i guess it would have cooled a bit faster and could have hand the evolutionary edge over earth.

I know nothing but i love wondering and questioning. I just wish i could find the answers in my all to short lifetime.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 02:07 PM
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a reply to: shaneslaughta

Actually, Martian daytime highs in the summer can reach 20 C (that's 70 F for the Yanks) in the equatorial regions...a couple of billion years ago who knows how much hotter it would have been.

quest.nasa.gov...



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 02:38 PM
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a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

It's like i've said all along Mario, our experts on everything, know everything..until they know better.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 04:52 PM
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originally posted by: MysterX
a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

It's like i've said all along Mario, our experts on everything, know everything..until they know better.



I see nothing wrong with stating our current understanding of nature based on the available data, nor do I see anything wrong with making scientific predictions based on available data.

Sure -- the available data is the variable here (i.e., we are constantly receiving more data based on scientific measurements and experimentation), but then we adjust our "current" understanding based on the new data. The data may be incomplete when attempting to develop a theory, but that shouldn't stop science from trying, based on the data the IS available.

That's what science is all about. Scientific understanding isn't necessarily supposed to be the absolute and final word on our understanding of nature. Instead, it is a self-correcting and ongoing process. No proper scientist should ever say "what we know about XYZ represents the total and absolute truth about XYZ"

For example, we have hypotheses and theories about comets, but new data gathered by Rosetta is helping to adjust those theories. We have hypotheses and theories about Mars, but probes such as Curiosity, Phoenix, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the twin Mars Exploration Rovers all help to gather more data that lets us adjust those theories.

That's simply what science does; the scientific process is in place in an attempt to constantly self-correct our current understandings of nature.



edit on 12/9/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 05:08 PM
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And just imagine. A few feet below the surface could be all of these amazing alien fossils! Imagine! It is scientifically possible, and depending on your hypothesis..probable! Amazing!



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 06:42 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

You are right in so many ways but one......every single discussion about life on Mars or anywhere else dies the moment "science" is brought into the question. What troubles me more then anything is that all too often these days Science is used to crush Curiosity and Imagination based on the simple premise that we don't have the "data" to support it.
edit on 9-12-2014 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-12-2014 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 07:51 PM
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originally posted by: Thorneblood
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

You are right in so many ways but one......every single discussion about life on Mars or anywhere else dies the moment "science" is brought into the question. What troubles me more then anything is that all too often these days Science is used to crush Curiosity and Imagination based on the simple premise that we don't have the "data" to support it.


I don't know about that. NASA astrobiologists such as Chris McKay are open to the possibility of current life on Mars. He will say there is not enough evidence of life on Mars, but he is open to the possibility. Chris McKay has also stated that feels that Titan and Enceladus may be places that life exists.

McKay has stated in the past the there are chemical imbalances in hydrocarbons and acetylene the atmospheric makeup of Titan that may possibly be explained by the presence of living organisms that eat/respirate the hydrocarbons and acetylene. He does caution that there are potentially some NON-life explanations, but without further data, he would not rule out the possibility that the imbalances are due to living organisms.

What is Consuming Hydrogen and Acetylene on Titan?

Two new papers based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan's surface. According to one theory put forth by astrobiologists, the signatures fulfill two important conditions necessary for a hypothesized "methane-based life."


Geoffrey Landis of NASA has also written a paper outlining chemical imbalances in the clouds of Venus that seem to connote possible life. Again, there may be other non-life explanations, but he says that life in the clouds of Venus cannot be ruled out.

Astrobiology: The Case for Venus
(Note: Link opens directly to a PDF file)

(Sorry if the link is giving you problems -- That's an old link of mine that I had for sometime now, and for some reason it isn't opening for me in Firefox anymore, but it opens for me in Internet Explorer)


There is some evidence that the trace-gas constituents of the Venus atmosphere are not in chemical equilibrium with each other. On Earth, the primary source of disequilibrium in the atmospheric chemistry is the activities of biological processing; could disequilibrium on Venus also be a sign of life? In 1997, David Grinspoon made the suggestion that microbes in the clouds and middle atmosphere could be the source of the disequilibrium. In 2002, Dirk Schulze-Makuch independently proposed that observations of the Venus atmosphere by space probes showed signatures of possible biological activity...


I know that at least one NASA geologist, Matt Golombek, geologist for the Mars Exploration Rover mission (Spirit and Opportunity) was once asked in a lecture I saw that "in his wildest dreams" what he hoped Curiosity would find. He stated that "in his wildest dreams" he hopes that Curiosity will find visible fossils of organisms in the rock strata of Mount Sharp.

So there are three NASA scientists right there who very openly entertain the possibility of past and current life on Mars, and current life elsewhere in the solar system.

Of course though, entertaining the possibility of life is all a scientist could do until he or she actually finds real evidence of life. They can personally feel that life may exist in Mars or elsewhere in the solar system (based on interviews I've heard with Chris McKay, I think he truly believes there is other life in the solar system -- at least that's the impression I got, although I could be wrong). However, what they personally feel and believe as curious human beings is not relevant to what they should think as scientists; what's relevant to science is data and evidence.


edit on 12/9/2014 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 02:32 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People




I see nothing wrong with stating our current understanding of nature based on the available data, nor do I see anything wrong with making scientific predictions based on available data.


Nothing wrong about it indeed, until that time when you comma knocking on my door and yelling I'm unreasonable for not trusting the "data" I've been given.



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 02:51 AM
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originally posted by: MysterX
a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

It's like i've said all along Mario, our experts on everything, know everything..until they know better.



my sentiment exactly. Every now and than, I get verbally spit on for not accepting the party line...but once the party line changes....then it's "previously recognized".



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 05:11 AM
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a reply to: MarioOnTheFly
See, you're more concerned with being right or wrong, like it's an ego kind of thing. Science just gathers data, studies it, and makes analysis / hypotheses / theories. Scientists will readily admit that they were wrong when new data comes in that contradicts their previous models. Anti-mainstream folk are only interested in being viewed as 100% right, it seems.

Science gave us spaceflight (including incredible feats such as randezvous with a comet or Pluto), advanced medicine that saves people's lives, and even that computer you're using now to make these posts. So I think science can be forgiven for telling you "no, that isn't how it works", or "no, there's not enough data to support your theory or hypothesis." If I had to chose between living in a world based on mainstream science and a world based on alternative / conspiracy / crank theories, I'd definitely chose the mainstream.

I have yet to see the non-mainstream "science" produce anything other than charlatan claims of infinite energy or metaphysical / spiritual bull#.
edit on 10-12-2014 by wildespace because: (no reason given)




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