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Giant Ocean on Mars

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posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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Here is an article about an ocean that could have covered Northern Mars:


www.dailymail.co.uk...




A vast ocean once covered a third of Mars, scientists believe.
Such a stunning prospect greatly increases the chances of life having existed on the Red Planet, the fourth from the Sun in our solar system.
Researchers have come to the conclusion after using new software to analyse images of the surface. As a result, they have managed to find dozens of valleys to build up the most detailed map to date.



"The areas marked in red show where scientists believe valleys were caused by a network of rivers feeding into the ocean. This area is twice that mapped by earlier research" (bottom picture):









The valleys, first spotted in 1971, were caused by a network of rivers more than twice as extensive as previously mapped. The water channels were in a belt between the equator and mid-southern latitudes.
The experts from Northern Illinois University and Nasa believe they mark the paths of rivers that once flowed from the planet's southern highlands into a huge ocean in the north.



"The area in blue shows where the ocean would have been. The yellow, red and green belt below it is where scientists found the valleys. They believe these were caused by water running from the south towards the ocean in the north":




All the above quotes and pictures are taken from the Daily Mail article.


Here is an article (different source) with quotes and illustration from a year ago:

spacefellowship.com...




University of Arizona) – An international team of scientists who analyzed data from the Gamma Ray Spectrometer onboard NASA’s Mars Odyssey reports new evidence for the controversial idea that oceans once covered about a third of ancient Mars.

“We compared Gamma Ray Spectrometer data on potassium, thorium and iron above and below a shoreline believed to mark an ancient ocean that covered a third of Mars’ surface, and an inner shoreline believed to mark a younger, smaller ocean,” said University of Arizona planetary geologist James M. Dohm, who led the international investigation.

“Our investigation posed the question, Might we see a greater concentration of these elements within the ancient shorelines because water and rock containing the elements moved from the highlands to the lowlands, where they eventually ponded as large water bodies?” Dohm said.



"This illustration shows the location of theTharsis volcanic region and Valles Marineris in the context of the hypothesized larger, ancient ocean and smaller, more recent ocean in Mars’ northern lowland planes. Victor Baker and others have long argued that Tharsis volcanism unleashed great floods that carved large outflow channels and deposited sediment carried from the southern cratered highlands to the northern lowland plains, where water formed lakes and oceans and changed climate for thousands of years":




I have only posted a small selection from each article.

[edit on 23-11-2009 by berenike]

 
Mod Note: External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.

[edit on Mon Nov 23 2009 by Jbird]




posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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Great post, star and flag!

I always suspected Early Mars had water, and it's possible life evolved there.

In fact since we've found Mars rocks on Earth with possible traces of life, it's even possible that life on Earth first started on Mars and was transferred here by such a rock. Mars would have been capable of supporting life much earlier than the Earth as the Earth took far longer to cool.

That does look a lot like a network of old rivers so they could be right about the ocean.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 
And who knows? There could still be some life there.



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 08:35 PM
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Here are a few more articles:

www.sciencedaily.com...

peoplemagazinedaily.com...

www.space.com...

[edit on 23-11-2009 by berenike]



posted on Nov, 23 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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S&F! The only thing I don't get... Scientists keep claiming that there were massive oceans / rain etc... But where did all of that water go? It can't just float away into space or absorb into the ground (Because I'm pretty sure earth would be toast) I'm not questioning the fact of the water formerly being there, I would just like to know where the professionals think all of that water (possibly life) went?



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by Solar.Absolution
 

It can "just float away into space". Mars lacks a planetary magnetic field. It has no significant magnetosphere. The means that the solar wind comes into direct contact with the upper atmosphere. There is evidence that it did once have a magnetic field but the loss of the field could allow the solar wind to strip away most of the atmosphere (including water vapor).

But there still is some water on Mars, in the form of water vapor and ice. It is also possible that there is liquid water sealed underground, protected from evaporating into the thin atmosphere on the surface.


[edit on 11/24/2009 by Phage]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 12:22 AM
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Originally posted by technical difficulties
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 
And who knows? There could still be some life there.


Indeed that's possible, We've seen extremophiles living in harsh conditions on Earth perhaps almost comparable to Mars conditions, but they tend to be simple life forms, and not complex. But simple life forms certainly seem possible on Mars, or perhaps under the surface a bit would be more likely, which is why our life searching experiments need to dig a little bit.


Originally posted by Solar.Absolution
S&F! The only thing I don't get... Scientists keep claiming that there were massive oceans / rain etc... But where did all of that water go? It can't just float away into space or absorb into the ground (Because I'm pretty sure earth would be toast)


Yes the water can blow away in the solar wind. Not only does the Earth have stronger gravity to make it harder for the atmosphere to blow away, but perhaps more importantly, the molten core creates a magnetic "shield" around the Earth that prevents solar wind from stripping away the atmosphere.

We suspect Mars had a molten core at one time too, and perhaps its own shield against the solar wind, but partly because Mars is smaller, and perhaps due to compositional differences (maybe not as much heat generating radioactivity as Earth) Mars lost it's molten core and therefore its magnetic shield against the solar wind, which is probably what doomed it's atmosphere and allowed that and the water vapor to be largely stripped from the planet by solar wind.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 01:31 AM
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Originally posted by technical difficulties
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 
And who knows? There could still be some life there.



If mars is as envisioned, as a lush watered planet with thriving life on it, and has become what it is now, it doesn't give us here much hope really.

If eden can become a desolate barren rock due to time and the hostility of space, earth with humans attacking it at every angle is doomed.

ahh hehe must be one of those morbid days for me... 8/



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:25 AM
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the title should read "giant ocean USED to be on mars"



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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Originally posted by Ha`la`tha
ahh hehe must be one of those morbid days for me... 8/


You've got to stop listening to that Pink Floyd music. It'll do it to you every time mate


Yes, I often think about the image of Mars and what it might portend for us.

Now you've got me feeling dark!



[edit on 24-11-2009 by mckyle]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur


In fact since we've found Mars rocks on Earth with possible traces of life, -snip-


And how do they know where a meteorite comes from anyhow...have a little M stamped on it?

The process of how they determine where meteors is almost laughable...funny read really, really eye opening as basically you have to dismiss every possibility at the beginning, decide where you want it to come from, and then make up reasons why (oh..theres less formed crystals, therefore its a earthlike planet in size, and therefore since venus is too atmospheric it has to be mars).

Meteorite determination is hardly a science (especially considering we havent done a ton of soil sample tests on the ground of said planets...)



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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A great article OP.

I always get a laugh when I read these articles because much of what science gets exicted about as a discovery I find myself thinking "I kinda figured that already". The possiblity of cross pollination between Mars and Earth is a speculation I play with in my head from time to time and every new discovery seems to point toward this. Its ashame that Mar's is in its current state because if life was clearly present then much of our worldview as Humans would be different. Imagine how much more we would know...

Martian: We have studied your DNA, you are clearly of Martian decent!
Human: No, We have studied your DNA and you are clearly of Earth decent!
Martian: Stupid Monkey!
Human: Stupid Mollusk!

well maybe we are better off as things are...



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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With an ocean as large as this, there must have been some pretty serious life that inhabited it!

Imagine what we'll find when we start digging, and turn up fossilized remains! I can just picture the remains of ancient Martian dinosaurs standing tall (or short) next to our own in museums around the world.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by Ha`la`tha
If mars is as envisioned, as a lush watered planet with thriving life on it, and has become what it is now, it doesn't give us here much hope really.

If eden can become a desolate barren rock due to time and the hostility of space, earth with humans attacking it at every angle is doomed.


The only hope we have of not meeting the same fate as the dinosaurs is to establish some colonies first off this planet, like perhaps Mars, and eventually in another solar system since eventually no planet in this solar system will be inhabitable.

The Earth's history is fascinating, it went from an entirely molten ball of lava on which nothing could live, all the way to a complete snowball where every square inch was covered by ice (according to some theories), to the green place we see today. But it too will end up like Mars, as our sun expands into a red giant first our atmosphere will burn away too and then the sun's heat will turn the Earth back to what it started out as, a giant ball of molten rock.

But long before that happens in a few billion years, we will probably get hit by another planet killer impact which seems to happen every 100 or 200 million years, the last one that killed the Dinosaurs was 65 million years ago. It's not a question of IF that is going to happen again, it's only a question of when. And we may or may not have the technology to stop it depending on the size of the object, how far in advance we discover it, etc.

Becoming a 2 planet species would do a lot to help ensure our survival, so even when the next planet killer impact hits Earth, at least some humans might survive on Mars if we have colonies there.And if life on Earth really originated on Mars as some theories suggest may be possible (with possible further support from the OP story), then we would be just going back to the home of our ancestors by colonizing Mars, kind of an interesting thought.

[edit on 24-11-2009 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
Great post, star and flag!

I always suspected Early Mars had water, and it's possible life evolved there.

In fact since we've found Mars rocks on Earth with possible traces of life, it's even possible that life on Earth first started on Mars and was transferred here by such a rock. Mars would have been capable of supporting life much earlier than the Earth as the Earth took far longer to cool.

That does look a lot like a network of old rivers so they could be right about the ocean.


I'm no Scientist but i said that myself a few years ago about a rock hitting Earth with Micro-Organisms on it which produced.... us!

The idea came to me after i no longer believed in the Adam & Eve Theory or the 'Ape Ancestry' Theory....

I also said that there was once life on Mars but something terrible happened to the breathable Atmosphere....

TO THE OP.... GREAT POST! S+F FROM MOI



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX

Originally posted by Arbitrageur


In fact since we've found Mars rocks on Earth with possible traces of life, -snip-


And how do they know where a meteorite comes from anyhow...have a little M stamped on it?

The process of how they determine where meteors is almost laughable...funny read really, really eye opening as basically you have to dismiss every possibility at the beginning, decide where you want it to come from, and then make up reasons why (oh..theres less formed crystals, therefore its a earthlike planet in size, and therefore since venus is too atmospheric it has to be mars).

Meteorite determination is hardly a science (especially considering we havent done a ton of soil sample tests on the ground of said planets...)


When they crack open the rocks in controlled environments, they can analyze the gases that are released. Many of them are identical to the Martian atmosphere.
No little M's needed, lol.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:58 AM
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I wonder if it's going to be possible in the future to steer a comet or two such that they hit Mars and create a couple of seas in the process, plus probably release gas to make the atmosphere thicker.



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by SaturnFX

Originally posted by Arbitrageur
In fact since we've found Mars rocks on Earth with possible traces of life, -snip-

And how do they know where a meteorite comes from anyhow...have a little M stamped on it?

The process of how they determine where meteors is almost laughable..


The reason I like your comment is that I had exactly the same thought as you when I first heard that story. I didn't see how they could know it was from Mars. But after I researched it, I became convinced that it may as well have had a little "M" stamped on it based on what they discovered about it:

nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov...

How do we know the meteorite came from Mars?

Meteorite ALH84001 is a softball-sized igneous rock weighing 1.9 kilograms (4.2 pounds). It is one of twelve meteorites discovered on Earth which are thought to be from Mars. Most meteorites formed early in the history of the solar system, some 4.6 billion years ago. Eleven of the twelve martian meteorites have ages less than 1.3 billion years, ALH84001 at 4.5 billion years old being the only exception. All twelve are igneous rocks crystallized from molten magma in a way which suggests they formed in a planetary-sized body, not an asteroid. They have similar oxygen isotope characteristics to each other and higher concentrations of ferric iron, water, and other volatiles than other meteorites. All twelve also show evidence of shock heating, presumably as a result of the impact which ejected them into space. Gas bubbles trapped in one meteorite, EETA79001, have a composition which matches the current martian atmosphere as measured by the Viking Landers, compelling evidence that this meteorite and by association the others, including ALH84001, came from Mars.


So if these 12 rocks aren't from Mars, why would the trapped gas bubbles match the martian atmosphere and oxygen isotope concentrations match those on Mars? It's not 100% proof but it's very compelling evidence nonetheless.




[edit on 24-11-2009 by Arbitrageur]



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 12:01 PM
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I think we will find microbial life on Mars. Hopefully it will be in my lifetime, i am pretty positive of that. Over the past decade or so scientists have been shocked again and again in regards to finding life here on earth that was once thought impossible. Will be a great day when i turn on the news to see ET life discovered. Will open up alot of possibilities. Do scientists even have any estimates as to how much water could possibly be trapped under the surface?



posted on Nov, 24 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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This site may help to answer some of the questions about water and possible life on Mars, although it seems to be quite an old one:

marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov...



After Earth, Mars is the planet with the most hospitable climate in the solar system. So hospitable that it may once have harbored primitive, bacteria-like life. Outflow channels and other geologic features provide ample evidence that billions of years ago liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars. Although liquid water may still exist deep below the surface of Mars, currently the temperature is too low and the atmosphere too thin for liquid water to exist at the surface.
What caused the change in Mars' climate? Were the conditions necessary for life to originate ever present on Mars? Could there be bacteria in the subsurface alive today? These are the questions that lead us to explore Mars. The climate of Mars has obviously cooled dramatically. By studying the reasons for climate change on Mars, which lacks the complications of oceans, a biosphere, and industrial contaminants, we may begin to understand the forces driving climate change on Earth. As we begin to explore the universe and search for planets in other solar systems, we must first ask the question 'Did life occur on another planet in our own solar system?' and 'What are the minimal conditions necessary for the formation of life?'



Some speculation about life originating on Mars - again, quite an old site:

www.arachnoid.com...

[edit on 24-11-2009 by berenike]



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