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NASA probe finds opals in Martian crevices

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posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 09:44 AM
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NASA probe finds opals in Martian crevices


www.theregister.co.uk

A NASA space probe orbiting Mars has discovered deposits of opals in the mighty Valles Marineris canyon system* east of Tharsis. Opals aren't valuable enough to justify interplanetary trade, but the discovery is significant as it suggests that liquid water existed on Mars a billion years more recently than had been thought.

NASA orbital pic showing the Martian opal deposits

The opal mines of the Valles Marineris.

"This is an exciting discovery because it extends the time range for liquid water on Mars, and the places where it might have supported life," said Scott Murchie of Johns Hopkins University, in charge of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's spectrometer scope.

"The identification of opaline silica tells us that water may have existed as recently as 2 billion years ago."

Until lately, Mars boffins had reckoned that the last liquid water disappeared from the Red Planet's surface at least three billion years ago. This was based on discoveries of "clay-like" phyllosilicates and hydrated sulphates. But the new opal finds have caused NASA to revise the date of the Great Drying forward by a billion years.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 09:44 AM
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Opals hmmm.... While that's not necessarily surprising it is interesting. Actually I didn't know that water was needed to make opals.

I think we will find that life is as common in the universe as grains of sand... even if it is only in the microbiological form... but oddly that does not necessarily mean small... after all the largest microbe ever found was found in a tidal pool in Zambia... it is the size of a period, it can be seen with the naked eye.

When you find life miles below the surface in hot rock or growing in volcanic vents and supheric pools the only thing that can be said is...

What if the hoochie Koochie is what its all about?

The universe wiggles and squrims with life.

www.theregister.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 10:48 AM
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I thought it was the "hokey kokey"?

And is something you can see with the naked eye really a microbe?

I'm full of questions today!



posted on Oct, 30 2008 @ 10:52 AM
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