The Russian neutron-shooting instrument DAN (Dynamic Albedo of Neutrons) installed on the Curiosity Mars rover has measured the water contents in the Mars soil in 25 different parts of the Gale Crater 58 times. In some places the water content exceeds 4%, experts of the Institute of Space Research at the Russian Academy of Sciences told journalists on Tuesday.
The scientists hope that after analyzing all the data they would be able to determine all details of the Gale Crater evolution for the whole period of its existence and find out if the crater’s natural environment could have been favourable for primitive forms of extraterrestrial life.
The DAN neutron detector is an entirely Russian product and part of the Curiosity rover’s equipment.
Voice of Russia, TASS
Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by drakus
Not much. 4% moisture on Earth represents pretty severe desert conditions.
But DAN is not necessarily recording moisture. At least part of what is being detected is water (hydrogen more accurately) which is locked in minerals. Water which was present when those minerals formed.
www.exploremars.org...edit on 12/5/2012 by Phage because: (no reason given)
I wouldn't know but the hypothesis is that Gale Crater was actually a lake (or sea).
Are those ratios (the 4%) consistent with the hypothesis of Gale Crater once being a region with flowing water?