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"Slam-dunk" 100% proof that water used to flow on Mars

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posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 09:41 AM
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There has been a lot of circumstantial evidence showing there was once water on Mars: various fissures, troughs, formations, chemicals. This most recent discovery is 100%, without-doubt, a "slam-dunk" that water indeed flowed on the red planet.

"This color view of a mineral vein called 'Homestake' comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The vein is about the width of a thumb and about 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU"


Science Daily

The vein examined most closely by Opportunity is about the width of a human thumb (0.4 to 0.8 inch, or 1 to 2 centimeters), 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 centimeters) long, and protrudes slightly higher than the bedrock on either side of it. Observations by the durable rover reveal this vein and others like it within an apron surrounding a segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. None like it were seen in the 20 miles (33 kilometers) of crater-pocked plains that Opportunity explored for 90 months before it reached Endeavour, nor in the higher ground of the rim.

Last month, researchers used the Microscopic Imager and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the rover's arm and multiple filters of the Panoramic Camera on the rover's mast to examine the vein, which is informally named "Homestake." The spectrometer identified plentiful calcium and sulfur, in a ratio pointing to relatively pure calcium sulfate.



"This tells a slam-dunk story that water flowed through underground fractures in the rock," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for Opportunity. "This stuff is a fairly pure chemical deposit that formed in place right where we see it. That can't be said for other gypsum seen on Mars or for other water-related minerals Opportunity has found."


Homestake and similar-looking veins appear in a zone where the sulfate-rich sedimentary bedrock of the plains meets older, volcanic bedrock exposed at the rim of Endeavour. That location may offer a clue about their origin.

...

"We want to understand why these veins are in the apron but not out on the plains," said the mission's deputy principal investigator, Ray Arvidson, of Washington University in St. Louis. "The answer may be that rising groundwater coming from the ancient crust moved through material adjacent to Cape York and deposited gypsum, because this material would be relatively insoluble compared with either magnesium or iron sulfates."


It's looked for quite a while that there was water on Mars. Nice to see more absolute proof on the subject.

I for one am really excited about what we can learn by exploring Mars - was there intelligent life there, how recently, can we trust the images and meme we've been given so far?



edit on 8-12-2011 by Thermo Klein because: added source




posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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I think there were photos examined by NASA which they mentioned confirmed that there once was water on the surface of Mars. NASA is actually not denying that water once was abundant on the surface of Mars.



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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double post
edit on 8-12-2011 by wavemaker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by wavemaker
 


I agree. The evidence has definitely been leaning that way. I doubt many people even question the idea - just nice to have absolute proof (even if it's been alleged and accepted before this).



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 10:43 AM
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Yes but water and intelligent life can be a difference of 3.2 billion years so its kind of a leap to imagine a race of an intelligent civilization ever to have evolved on Mars because of signatures of water ever existing there. Should Curiosity greater confirm a time period or span water flowed on the surface of Mars and actually uncover organic deposits of fossilized complex life forms then all we really have is a molecular bind of two of the most abundant elements in the Universe including oxygen that readily wants to bind with most anything.

I'm not trying to dampen the study conclusions, just pointing out water is not rare, and its presence doesn't guarantee life, let alone complex intelligent life, thats all.

Without an earth-sized moon the Martian tectonic activity would have been relatively constant providing any microbial life that may have ever existed not much reason to evolve. The genesis of evolution is life's adaptability to environmental change for the most part, if a life doesn't adapt to environmental change it dies off, what lives beyond are the life forms that have adapted. So if my thinking is grossly in error I welcome any counter debate. Our Moon has a lot to do with the genesis and evolution of life on Earth, and that much is relatively proven and in fact necessary for the very spark that facilitated mineral to become organic to begin with, due largely to the volatile living flexing earth.

There is the possibility that Jupiter may have been closer to Mars in the distant past and could have applied enough tidal force to warm Mars more internally, after all, Jupiter formed first and sort of regulated in part the development of the entire planetary system, and that is one of the mission goals of spacecraft JUNO, to unlock some of the Jupiter related roles in the creation of the Sun's planets from accretion.

Exciting times.



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 11:24 AM
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That dunk has been slammed long ago, but it's always nice to see evidence surfacing: Water and Life on Mars



posted on Dec, 8 2011 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
Without an earth-sized moon the Martian tectonic activity would have been relatively constant providing any microbial life that may have ever existed not much reason to evolve. The genesis of evolution is life's adaptability to environmental change for the most part, if a life doesn't adapt to environmental change it dies off, what lives beyond are the life forms that have adapted. So if my thinking is grossly in error I welcome any counter debate. Our Moon has a lot to do with the genesis and evolution of life on Earth, and that much is relatively proven and in fact necessary for the very spark that facilitated mineral to become organic to begin with, due largely to the volatile living flexing earth.



Everything does not die out or degenerate by evolutionary dictat. You could say that a planet like earth has different dynamics according to where that life is. Deep ocean creatures, many still unknown, live in a much more even enviroment than on the surface or land. Remember the prehistorc coelacanth rediscovered in the thirties and unchanged. Then there is 'survival of the fittest' where we like to think that humans are at the top of the tree, and the reality is that we are more vunerable to extreme natural events, than the 'lower' forms of life. I suppose though that evolution is a working theory that cannot explain everything.



posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 02:57 AM
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reply to post by Thermo Klein
 


So you are going to use the fact they gave out information to say you can't trust them to give out information. Interesting.



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