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Nasa tests Aberdeenshire find for life on Mars

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posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 05:25 AM
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Scientists from space agency Nasa are testing a mineral only found in one corner of Scotland to see if it can provide clues about life on Mars.

Link to story

Quite an interesting read on the mineral Macaulayite, the mineral Researchers think could give Mars it's red surface...




posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 05:33 AM
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OOH Interesting...

I am only a few miles from there!




posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 05:37 AM
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reply to post by chillpill
 



Bennachie in Aberdeenshire yeah?? you should get yaself over there and get some samples
by the looks of it, it's still speculation as to whether it is the mineral which gives the planet its red colour.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 05:52 AM
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Might head up there this weekend - it's very accessible..great for walking..

Frightened I might bump into an alien now!



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:03 AM
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Ooo, that's near where I live
- and the hunt is on!

I'm gonna be wondering now whether the folks I see there are ATS'ers

We should have a code system - say "deny" and if they say "ignorance" back then we can recognise each other
- although I reckon the average person will be freaked out when I run up to them and shout "Deny!" lol

[edit on 8/12/09 by XHellcatX]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:06 AM
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This is very interesting...I've never heard of this before now. It's kinda weird too...there are two peaks in north east Scotland that are very visible, even out to sea on a clear day. One is Bennachie and the other is Clachnaben, near where I live, and even although I've never been brave enough to sit out in the dark near Clachnaben and look for lights or craft or anything that might show up, now I'm wondering if I should....


Chillpill...maybe we should plan an expedition to one or other place and take a video camera....I''ve often felt that these two mountains could be beacons, or portals even. Maybe they would recognise the mineral content...? I don't know why, but if they're so visible...why not? I'm babbling rubbish now.......but I'm curious....



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:14 AM
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reply to post by XHellcatX
 



"Deny Deny" people will think your nuts, would be very funny though


@caitlinfae:

Good idea, post the vid up hear on the thread if you do sort it out...

What I'm interested in is the fact up until now the scientists always maintained the surface was basalt, covered by a fine layer of iron oxide dust that has the consistency of talcum powder. It's this iron oxide dust they say gives it it's colour...



[edit on 8-12-2009 by Majestic RNA]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 06:18 AM
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reply to post by XHellcatX
 


You're here too? How cool! It's ok....we don't need a password....I would recognise those long pointy ears anywhere....


We should wait for a clear night or two...we have some coming up soon I think, if the weather forecast is to be trusted, so it could well be very interesting. Clachnaben is right at the bottom of my garden, so I would try that one first I think.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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How scary - three ATSers within a harisbreadth of each other goegraphically.

Maybe we should do an 'outing'!




posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by chillpill
 



Do it! if I lived near to this place I'd be out there looking


Unfortunately I'll be 150 miles away in Newcastle over the Xmas period, too far for an ATS meet



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 08:44 AM
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I would so be up for an 'outing' of Scottie ATS'ers - I wonder how many more of us there are up near here. I work during the week but have a few holidays coming up soon so I'm thinking maybe it would be fesible for us all to go have a gander at the weird martian soil
although I have no idea what we'd be looking for and it sure is cold just now and I don't have transport although if I mention aliens and UFOs my other half might tag along.

An ATS 'meet' - an interesting idea



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 08:56 AM
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V quick reply her....I gotta go work...but count me in...will mail later and see what we can arrange...and we can go fetch soil samples and pics and stuff for people here....not a clue why....but I think we should....


More later.....Cait out.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by Majestic RNA
 




What I'm interested in is the fact up until now the scientists always maintained the surface was basalt, covered by a fine layer of iron oxide dust that has the consistency of talcum powder. It's this iron oxide dust they say gives it it's colour...

They have? A lot of basalt, yes. But not exclusively.

December 2000:

Sedimentary Mars

science.nasa.gov...

From Pathfinder in 1997

The rocks analyzed by Pathfinder, however, are not basalts. If they are volcanic — as suggested by their pitted surface texture, presumably formed when gases trapped during cooling left small holes in the rock — their silicon content classifies them as andesites.

mars.jpl.nasa.gov...

2005

But close inspection reveals a host of rock types, from primitive volcanic material like olivine-rich basalts to highly processed silica-rich rocks such as granite, the study found. The diversity implies that the surface rocks have been reconstituted many times over an extended period of time, perhaps into the present era.

www.space.com...

BTW, macaulayite is thought to have a layered structure with one of the layers being composed partly of hematite (Fe203)...iron oxide. So it would seem that weathering macaulayite could indeed produce a red dust.


[edit on 12/8/2009 by Phage]



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 10:55 AM
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What I dont really understand is why it is seemingly unique to the area?

Why would it only occur in this region?

Any friendly geologists out there want to enlighten us?



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by Majestic RNA
 




What I'm interested in is the fact up until now the scientists always maintained the surface was basalt, covered by a fine layer of iron oxide dust that has the consistency of talcum powder. It's this iron oxide dust they say gives it it's colour...

They have? A lot of basalt, yes. But not exclusively.

December 2000:

Sedimentary Mars

science.nasa.gov...

From Pathfinder in 1997

The rocks analyzed by Pathfinder, however, are not basalts. If they are volcanic — as suggested by their pitted surface texture, presumably formed when gases trapped during cooling left small holes in the rock — their silicon content classifies them as andesites.

mars.jpl.nasa.gov...

2005

But close inspection reveals a host of rock types, from primitive volcanic material like olivine-rich basalts to highly processed silica-rich rocks such as granite, the study found. The diversity implies that the surface rocks have been reconstituted many times over an extended period of time, perhaps into the present era.

www.space.com...

BTW, macaulayite is thought to have a layered structure with one of the layers being composed partly of hematite (Fe203)...iron oxide. So it would seem that weathering macaulayite could indeed produce a red dust.


[edit on 12/8/2009 by Phage]



Yes it would make sense the composition of Mars comprises of many different types of rocks, I was generalizing, thanks for all the info btw, let's see what comes of the tests NASA do on the Scottish macaulayite.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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Are there any geologists who can help me with this question:

Does macaulayite contain water, or can it be completely dry and only needs to form in the presence of water? The little information I can find on this mineral seems to suggest that it contains water.



posted on Dec, 8 2009 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Hi Soylent Green Is People, I’m no geologist, and like you can only find limited information on the formation of Macaulayite, the few things I have found:

"It is exciting because this particular mineral contains water. It's a very fine grain mineral and water is bound to the inner surfaces”

Link

Hear it would suggest that yes it does indeed form in water, but the word thought pops up in this paper so I couldn’t tell you for sure:

“The Mineral, which occurs as clay size particles, is thought to have originated from siliceous ferrihydrite, a poorly crystalline product commonly formed by rapid oxidation of FE(11) in drainage waters”

Link

I hope this helps.



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