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Curiosity uncovers mysterious minerals in Martian drillholes

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posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 03:29 PM
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Just read this article and found it very interesting.






The first manned mission to Mars is still a goal for the future, so the best we can do to explore the Red Planet is to send robots. Curiosity has proven itself to be a good stand-in for boots on the ground, though. After rolling farther than any rover before it, Curiosity has found something new on Mars — silica. There’s silica everywhere on Earth, but we haven’t seen much of it on Mars before no, and that’s what makes this find so important...

...It was the presence of silica in the sample that got scientists so excited. That sample analyzed by Curiosity showed concentrations of up to 90 percent silica, which is a big change from seeing only traces of silica in all previous samples. Curiosity spent the next four months checking various areas around Marias Pass, which is where two different sediment layers converge, to see how extensive the silica enrichment was. It turns out, pretty extensive...

The presence of silica is important because it points to the presence of water in Mars’ geologic past. Of course, we now know that Mars has a little flowing water now, and that it had large lakes and flowing rivers in the past. Curiosity has found the dried lake and river beds, after all. All those dry lake beds only tell us there was water, not whether or not it would have been suitable for life. The water could have been too salty or acidic for live to develop, and it’s hard to know what conditions were like millions of years ago. A high concentration of silica could, however, help us make draw some conclusions about the nature of Martian water from ages ago.

Silica in these concentrations would probably end up there because of other minerals dissolving (acidic environment) or deposition of silica (neutral pH). Silica precipitates out of water at pH 7 or 8, so the layer of strata in Marias Pass and surrounding areas could have been ideal for living organisms. Scientists are still examining the data from Curiosity’s stop-off in Marias Pass in hopes of determining how the silica got there, which might change the way we imagine an ancient Martian environment.

Source

So, it looks like a 'win' for another sign for a life-sustaining environment (as we know it) on Mars. I can't wait for more discoveries to come!
edit on 21/12/15 by Ghost147 because: typo




posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 03:53 PM
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It's a rock planet, so they are probably in Mars' version of silicone valley.

Quick, let's set up a company and try to get up there. We'll sell it to the Russians and see what they come up with, Appleski?



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147

The only thing I can see with this is it was found on a planet(place) we've never been to....so "mysterious" is kind of the wrong word. Imagine anything we will continue to find there will...in essence...be different, unknown, unexpected perhaps.... but this was given a pre-determination as to what it was..a definable known substance.

Perhaps in an unusual location, composition, quanity, proportion...but turned out not so "mysterious" at all...so it will be real intersting to see what developes over time. Especially as we continue discovering things there and elsewhere.

And the fact that its a form of silica or silica itself....is pretty darn interesting considering what we use it for here on Earth!

Thanks!



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 04:28 PM
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Very interesting. More to come of course. Love this stuff.

I'll also say it first for the skeptics to put everyone at ease. "It's a rock!"



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 05:32 PM
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"Curiosity has found something new on Mars — silica."


I think they are talking about the concentrations of silica in certain areas as being significant.

www.jpl.nasa.gov...
edit on 21-12-2015 by smurfy because: Text.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 05:39 PM
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originally posted by: smurfy
"Curiosity has found something new on Mars — silica."


I think they are talking about the concentrations of silica in certain areas as being significant.

www.jpl.nasa.gov...


The next sentence after the one you quoted states that "we haven't found much silica on Mars, it's the concentration that's significant"



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 05:42 PM
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Here's a tiny little silica nodule I found last year a while back. Oddly ridged and symmetrical.
There wasn't a lot of it noticable at the time, which is why it caught my eye. Interesting that there is more of it these days:



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 06:49 PM
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At least for now, we couldn't find any structure, building or any other evidence to confirm that there is or was life in Mars (fossil bacteria and similar don't count).

Maybe because ET knows there is nothing to harvest in Mars and we've been labeled as space morons thanks to NASA.

Maybe NASA only shares with us the boring stuff.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 06:50 PM
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originally posted by: Ghost147

originally posted by: smurfy
"Curiosity has found something new on Mars — silica."


I think they are talking about the concentrations of silica in certain areas as being significant.

www.jpl.nasa.gov...


The next sentence after the one you quoted states that "we haven't found much silica on Mars, it's the concentration that's significant"


I know, that's the reason I posted for clarification to include the NASA link.
But I also think..given what they have found thus far, it's possible to interpret things wrongly as Mars being a lush planet at some stage...it may have been, it might not have been, or somewhere in between.
I post this Earth water link to give some insight to what the significance of water on Mars could mean, and just that things are not so simple in comparison. I'm not knocking your post, I'm agreeing with it.
www.universetoday.com...



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 07:37 PM
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originally posted by: Trueman
At least for now, we couldn't find any structure, building or any other evidence to confirm that there is or was life in Mars


Why does the evidence of "life" require the existence of buildings? Do you consider nothing on earth "life" except humans?


originally posted by: Trueman
(fossil bacteria and similar don't count)


Why does bacteria 'not count' as life?



originally posted by: Trueman
Maybe because ET knows there is nothing to harvest in Mars and we've been labeled as space morons thanks to NASA


If intelligent life discovered humans, and their reason for rejecting us is because they don't consider us an intelligent species, it would be because many individuals within our species don't consider things like 'bacteria' as a form of life.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 07:59 PM
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...(fossil bacteria and similar don't count)...

If bacterial/microbial life was found on mars, and it was shown to be different enough from Earth life that it must have had its own genesis independent of Earth life (i.e., was not related to Earth life), then that would be huge huge news.

If life started independently on two neighboring planets in the sames solar system, then life would almost certainly be ubiquitous throughout the universe.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:44 PM
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I wonder how silica is tested in the lab on Curiosity. If it is confirmed at a micro level then I don't see why Curiosity couldn't discover microbic life even thought NASA states the instruments don't look for life.



posted on Dec, 21 2015 @ 10:59 PM
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originally posted by: game over man
I wonder how silica is tested in the lab on Curiosity. If it is confirmed at a micro level then I don't see why Curiosity couldn't discover microbic life even thought NASA states the instruments don't look for life.


To really test for life, you would at least need a SEM, among other equipment I am sure. I always wondered why that was not one of the science packages on Curiosity, but I know little of the size and weight requirements for something like this. It always seemed to me that you would try to get the most bang for your buck if you consider what it took to get that machine on Mars in the first place.

I am sure that others, familiar with Curiosity hardware and it's limitations, would know why this was not included.



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 07:50 AM
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a reply to: Ghost147

Talking about intelligent life of course. I don't need NASA to tell me that there is life in other planets and I think we agree on that. In the moment I accept the fact that there are other civilizations with advanced technology, bacteria or any other non intelligent forms of life in other planets results so obvious. Looking for bacteria in other planet is like looking for ET pooh to confirm ET exist. Wasting my taxes.

I don't like to mention it to often for reasons you can guess, but take my comments from someone who had 3rd and 4th kind experiences. Laugh if you want.

Space investigation shouldn't focus in alien bacteria or alien minerals. But I think that is determined for the same people ruining this planet. They see this more like a business than something to help and give benefits for the whole mankind.



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 09:07 AM
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My tin foil hat nearly fell off reading ,
NO INSTRUMENT ONBOARD TO CHECK FOR SIGNS OF LIFE !
I can smell the bs tainted air from the uk .

I'm surprised they took a camera ,
edit on 22-12-2015 by Denoli because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 02:02 PM
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originally posted by: Trueman
a reply to: Ghost147
Talking about intelligent life of course.


It's best to clarify that, in the future. It's all too common for some ATS members to truly believe what was interpreted.


originally posted by: Trueman
a reply to: Ghost147
I don't need NASA to tell me that there is life in other planets and I think we agree on that. In the moment I accept the fact that there are other civilizations with advanced technology, bacteria or any other non intelligent forms of life in other planets results so obvious. Looking for bacteria in other planet is like looking for ET pooh to confirm ET exist. Wasting my taxes.


This is not how science functions. There aren't any preconceived assumptions made before attempting to prove the existence of something far more advanced than the base form of whatever phenomena is being studied. Science only attempts to explain the functionality of observations made in nature.

It would be both irrational, and irresponsible for scientists to simple assume that other intelligent lifeforms exist before actually definitively proving that life exists at all outside of our planet, no matter how obvious the answer would appear to be.


originally posted by: Trueman
a reply to: Ghost147
I don't like to mention it to often for reasons you can guess, but take my comments from someone who had 3rd and 4th kind experiences. Laugh if you want.


Unverifiable, subjective personal experience does not count as evidence in science. Sorry, but whatever experiences you've had does not actually definitively prove anything in the realm of scientific conclusions until it is cross verified through a vigorous system that attempts to confirm or reject the original hypothesis.

Personal experiences also tend to be one of the least reliable sources of valid evidence.


originally posted by: Trueman
a reply to: Ghost147
Space investigation shouldn't focus in alien bacteria or alien minerals. But I think that is determined for the same people ruining this planet. They see this more like a business than something to help and give benefits for the whole mankind.


You do realize that 'Space investigation' doesn't exist solely for the purpose of finding other life? We have space exploration to help us understand the universe around us as a whole, and to discover new things, and to potentially expand (perhaps even save) the human race on other celestial bodies, to find and use valuable resources, and to simply advance our technology (many medical discoveries have been made due to space exploration).

So I would say our taxes are doing their job as intended.



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 03:32 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147


Exactly the kind of answers I expected.



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: Trueman

Answers that Nasa has given, or answers that I responded with?



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 03:55 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147


You of course, unless you work for NASA. Hehe....



Everything is find brother. I have no authority to judge your opinion.



posted on Dec, 22 2015 @ 04:17 PM
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a reply to: Trueman

My comment wasn't of opinion, it's how science actually functions. Your original comment is disapproving of NASA's actions, when your argument is based on a false premise.
edit on 22/12/15 by Ghost147 because: (no reason given)



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