Mars Rover Curiosity finds evidence of ancient lake in Gale Crater!

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posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 04:35 AM
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A lake or a river in the Gale Crater. NASA's Curiosity Rover has uncovered evidence of what may have once been a lake at the bottom of a crater on Mars, scientists say. So, the "luckiest" (ironically) Nasa'Rover walk on the bottom of an ancient Lake. This mean only one thing: FOSSILS!


Curiosity found widespread evidence for flowing water in the highly diverse, rocky scenery shown in this photo mosaic from the edge of Yellowknife Bay on Sol 157 (Jan 14, 2013). The rover will soon conduct 1st Martian rock drilling operation at flat, light toned rocks at the outcrop called “John Klein”, at center. ‘John Klein’ drill site and ‘Sheep Bed’ outcrop ledges to right of rover arm are filled with numerous mineral veins and spherical concretions which strongly suggest precipitation of minerals from liquid water. ‘Snake River’ rock formation is the linear chain of rocks protruding up from the Martian sand near rover wheel. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ken Kremer/Marco Di Lorenzo


Read more: www.universetoday.com...


NASA's Curiosity Rover has uncovered evidence of what may have once been a lake at the bottom of a crater on Mars.

The Rover's spectrometer picked up traces of clay and carbonate minerals in the layered, flat rocks at the bottom of the crater, suggesting that there was once water there.

Scientists believe that groundwater may have collected in the McLaughlin Crater, which is almost 60 miles in diameter and 1.4 miles deep.

The new evidence supports the hypothesis that Mars may once have had a wet underground environment which could have supported life

www.itv.com...

Curiosity also found many berry-shaped spherules that scientists say are sedimentary concretions that formed in water. One expert said, “Basically these rocks were saturated with water,” adding that Yellowknife Bay represents “a jackpot unit.”

Mars Rover Finds "Jackpot"!


edit on 22-1-2013 by Arken because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 04:50 AM
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Great news but, will anything actually come out of this? Like all the other discoveries NASA seems to claim? As usual, I predict NASA will go ahead with more questions then they have answers.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 04:50 AM
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reply to post by Arken
 




So, the luckiest Nasa'Rover walk on the bottom of an ancient Lake. This mean only one thing: FOSSILS!


That's optimistic but there could very well be nothing.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:03 AM
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Originally posted by WaterBottle
reply to post by Arken
 




So, the luckiest Nasa'Rover walk on the bottom of an ancient Lake. This mean only one thing: FOSSILS!


That's optimistic but there could very well be nothing.


No. This is not optimistic. This is the "Occam Razor".

Lakes mean Life.

Dry lakes mean Fossils.

And of course, Curiosity is not lucky at all, because there is presence of water everywhere on Mars...
Groundwater activity on Mars


By the time eukaryotic life or photosynthesis evolved on Earth, the martian surface had become extremely inhospitable, but the subsurface of Mars could potentially have contained a vast microbial biosphere. Crustal fluids may have welled up from the subsurface to alter and cement surface sediments, potentially preserving clues to subsurface habitability. Here we present a conceptual model of subsurface habitability of Mars and evaluate evidence for groundwater upwelling in deep basins. Many ancient, deep basins lack evidence for groundwater activity. However, McLaughlin Crater, one of the deepest craters on Mars, contains evidence for Mg–Fe-bearing clays and carbonates that probably formed in an alkaline, groundwater-fed lacustrine setting. This environment strongly contrasts with the acidic, water-limited environments implied by the presence of sulphate deposits that have previously been suggested to form owing to groundwater upwelling. Deposits formed as a result of groundwater upwelling on Mars, such as those in McLaughlin Crater, could preserve critical evidence of a deep biosphere on Mars. We suggest that groundwater upwelling on Mars may have occurred sporadically on local scales, rather than at regional or global scales.




The new information comes from researchers analyzing spectrometer data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which looked down on the floor of McLaughlin Crater. The Martian crater is 57 miles (92 kilometers) in diameter and 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) deep. McLaughlin's depth apparently once allowed underground water, which otherwise would have stayed hidden, to flow into the crater's interior.

[...]"A number of studies using CRISM data have shown rocks exhumed from the subsurface by meteor impact were altered early in Martian history, most likely by hydrothermal fluids," Michalski said. "These fluids trapped in the subsurface could have periodically breached the surface in deep basins such as McLaughlin Crater, possibly carrying clues to subsurface habitability."

Read more at: phys.org...


McLaughlin Crater, is right behind the corner from GALE CRATER...
edit on 22-1-2013 by Arken because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 06:18 AM
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The drlll bit is very short, a little less than 2 inches, so it, too, has to be lucky to get just the right sample. It may be easier, given the rock breakage evident on the thread about "White rocks on Mars", for the Rover itself to just go crush a few stones or gouge a hole in the top layers by running back and forth and digging in, like a moose. I wish they had designed the drill to be longer, but maybe this was the limit for assuring non-breakage. Are there replacement drill bits that can be set into place if the first drill bit breaks at some point?
edit on 22-1-2013 by Aleister because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 06:25 AM
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reply to post by Arken
 





No. This is not optimistic. This is the "Occam Razor". Lakes mean Life.


Yes......on earth........but there are many lakes on many planets and moons across our solar system.......and they dont all hold life.........

Occams Razor is true, the simplest answer is usually correct..........my guess is theres nothing there........


Common sense and cautious optimism should be exercised..........



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 06:35 AM
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reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 




Yes......on earth........but there are many lakes on many planets and moons across our solar system.......and they dont all hold life.........


Have you gone on Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, Callisto or Titan?



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by The0nlytruth
 


My guess its a Curiosity , hence the name and funny how its finding so much ,even if its lame , overall this is sure one mission full of curiosity . I remember watching the landing and hoping they would find life there, so far it seems like theres a chance but even if there was life chances are we won't know till the "right" time.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by Arken
 


This was posted days ago already but since you never look before you post here you go.

Ancient River on Mars



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by Arken
reply to post by ManBehindTheMask
 




Yes......on earth........but there are many lakes on many planets and moons across our solar system.......and they dont all hold life.........


Have you gone on Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, Callisto or Titan?


Of course I havent........but if youre going to believe an article from the scientific community then you must also concede that the scientific community and indeed people who look at these planets and measure any of the number of gasses and other emission that are present in an atmosphere of worlds, populated with biological life also say that many of these places with water on them dont contain life.......

Of course some we absolutely have no idea if they contain life or not because the lakes are under ice.......

But to say that lake=life on a totally different planet, and claim that YOU know this........is just as ignorant......

you dont know that its going to contain life any more then I know that Callisto or Titan do not......

The point is im not claiming to know.............

You are.........

Again.....its important to maintain perspective and cautious optimism......



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 08:52 AM
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reply to post by Arken
 


Wait...

NASA was reasonably confident that Gale Crater was once a very wet place even BEFORE Curiosity got there. In fact, Gale Crater was specifically chosen as the landing site because NASA felt that it possibly was the site of an ancient lake. Also Mt. Sharp is there in the crater, and geologists feel Mount Sharp may have had a watery past.

Here are the reasons NASA scientists felt confident beforehand that Gale Crater was once very watery, and probably even held a lake:

1. Orbital analysis of the soils indicated clays and sulfates. Clays are known only to form in very wet environments and standing water.

2. Symmetrical cemented sediments. This type of sediment usually forms under water and is laid down by water.

3. Mount Sharp (now known as Aeolis Mons). Orbital analysis of Aeolis Mons shows it to be a mountain built totally from sediment -- maybe even sediment laid down by deep water (although also possibly laid down by wind or volcanic activity)....

NASA feels it is possible that after Gale Crater was formed it was totally covered by deep water. Over many years, sediment from that water may have filled Gale Crater to the top and beyond. Under this hypothesis, after Mars lost its water, billions of years of wind erosion blew away much of that sediment in Gale Crater, exposing the crater, but leaving some of the sediment behind as Aeolis Mons (Mt. Sharp).

Investigating the exposed strata on the sides of Aelois Mons is one of the primary missions of Curiostity. There are canyons along the sides of the mountain by which Curiosity could do a detailed analysis of those sedimentary layers.

So it's not really a surprise that Curiosity confirmed the existence of clays and ancient water that NASA already believed existed in Gale Crater -- Gale Crater was CHOSEN for that reason.


By the way, water does not necessarily mean fossils, but NASA isn't closed minded to the idea (although they aren't necessarily "expecting" to find fossils, either). NASA geologist Matthew Golombek was once asked "In his wildest dreams" what he hoped Curiosity would find in the strata layers of Mt. Sharp/Aeolis Mons. He answered that "in his wildest dreams" he hoped to find fossils indicating past life, but he qualified that by saying that he didn't necessarily expect it...

NASA scientists have lofty dreams, too, and aren't afraid to think big.

edit on 1/22/2013 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by mblahnikluver
reply to post by Arken
 


This was posted days ago already but since you never look before you post here you go.

Ancient River on Mars


Another confirm. Thx.

Stars.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 11:15 AM
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The "Ancient River on Mars" was a different piece of news about a different location.

But they are coming quick and hot. JPL just posted this: www.jpl.nasa.gov...

Martian Crater May Once Have Held Groundwater-Fed Lake



"A NASA spacecraft is providing new evidence of a wet underground environment on Mars that adds to an increasingly complex picture of the Red Planet's early evolution.

The new information comes from researchers analyzing spectrometer data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which looked down on the floor of McLaughlin Crater. The Martian crater is 57 miles (92 kilometers) in diameter and 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) deep. McLaughlin's depth apparently once allowed underground water, which otherwise would have stayed hidden, to flow into the crater's interior.

Layered, flat rocks at the bottom of the crater contain carbonate and clay minerals that form in the presence of water. McLaughlin lacks large inflow channels, and small channels originating within the crater wall end near a level that could have marked the surface of a lake.

Together, these new observations suggest the formation of the carbonates and clay in a groundwater-fed lake within the closed basin of the crater. Some researchers propose the crater interior catching the water and the underground zone contributing the water could have been wet environments and potential habitats. The findings are published in Sunday's online edition of Nature Geoscience."



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 03:23 AM
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Originally posted by Arken
So, the "luckiest" (ironically) Nasa'Rover walk on the bottom of an ancient Lake. This mean only one thing: FOSSILS!

That's not true even on Earth, as for fossils to be created some conditions are needed, it's not a question of "just add water".


But things are looking good for new information, although probably not as exciting as many people would like.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by Arken

No. This is not optimistic. This is the "Occam Razor".

Lakes mean Life.

Dry lakes mean Fossils.



Once again Arken jumps to conclusions lakes MEAN water and a possibility of life not a certainty and fossils can only be there if life happened and conditions were right to create fossils so lets wait and see.

Also we know why Curiosity was sent there.


Scientists chose Gale Crater as the landing site for Curiosity because it has many signs that water was present over its history. Water is a key ingredient of life as we know it



An unusual feature of Gale is an enormous mound of "sedimentary debris"around its central peak



The origin of this mound is not known with certainty, but research suggests it is the eroded remnant of sedimentary layers that once filled the crater completely, possibly originally deposited on a lake bed


So they are not even certain if it was a lake at anytime!



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


Only one question ArMaP: exactly on which field you are Subject Matter Expert?


edit on 23-1-2013 by Arken because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 07:43 AM
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reply to post by Arken
 


Just click on the "Subject Matter Expert" banner on my profile to see.


Why do you ask?



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


Curiosity...





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