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Evidence For Liquid Water On a Frozen Early Mars

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-sounds-all-wet dept.

Mars 63

Matt_dk writes "NASA scientists modeled freezing conditions on Mars to test whether liquid water could have been present to form the surface features of the Martian landscape. Evidence suggests flowing water formed the rivers and gullies on the Mars surface, even though surface temperatures were below freezing. Dissolved minerals in liquid water may be the reason."

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DAN QUALYE (0, Offtopic)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122199)

Dan Qualye is having the last laugh.

Re:DAN QUALYE (0, Offtopic)

b0ttle (1332811) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122445)

Douglas Quaid too.

MOD PARENT UP ANYWAY...PLEASE! (1)

helpacoder (1555737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28130719)

I was thinking of TOTAL RECALL (1990) the instant I saw this story.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Recall [wikipedia.org]

Moderators, please cut posters some slack if they make a post with the tiniest of on topic content.

I actually got a chuckle out of the parent post when I saw it. :D

Re:DAN QUALYE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127391)

No he's not. He's at home slycing potatoes. Just kidding. I liked Dan Quayle. But what's he got to do with this story?

Re:DAN QUALYE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28162385)

> I liked Dan Quayle. But what's he
> got to do with this story?

"Mars is essentially in the same orbit... Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

Dan Quayle,
08/11/89

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/526.html

Briny rivers (0)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122221)

Here on earth we have so much water. Where did this water come from? The magical water comet?

No! Water is a naturally occurring compound, like basalt and methane. So water can exist anywhere the conditions are right for it. And Mars is right for it.

We don't need to see the crystallized mineral deposits on the riverbeds to understand there was water running. There were riverbeds!

But if there was salt in the water, there was probably also life in that water. Life living in the salty water making it saltier by pissing in it every single day.

Re:Briny rivers (3, Interesting)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122825)

But if there was salt in the water, there was probably also life in that water. Life living in the salty water making it saltier by pissing in it every single day.

The thinking that brines may keep the water on Mars from freezing is not a new conclusion-- here ( http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/abs/10.1089/153110701753198927?cookieSet=1&journalCode=ast [liebertonline.com] ) is a discussion of the concept from a few years back.

And, of course, the fact that the Opportunity rover found the Meridiani Planum site to be covered with evaporite deposits (mostly sulfate salts) contributes a lot...

The magical comet? Umm , yes actually (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124119)

The current theory is that a lot if not most of the water on earth came from water comets bombarding it after it had solidifed and cooled enough so that the water didn't just boil away out of the atmosphere.

Re:Briny rivers (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140283)

Where is the salt that life is pissing into the water coming from? Pretty sure it would come from the salty water as well. This would mean the water would not get saltier as more life pisses into the water. Not saying the rest of your statement is wrong, but the life making water saltier seems to be circular logic.

However, someone else made the point that the current theory is that Earth received much of its water from "magical" water comets. I seem to recall that many of them are made of ice, now what does ice melt into again?

Re:Briny rivers (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#28146211)

Not saying you're wrong, but where does the water in the comets come from? If it can form in comets, isn't it also possible that water is a common compound which can form anywhere conditions allow (i.e. the presence of hydrogen and oxygen and a catalyst to fuse them)?

The comet theory is interesting, but it also begs the question.

As for the salts, the additional minerals would come from the metabolic processes of the life. The life grows by absorbing sunlight (or something) and ingesting the riverbed minerals. The minerals are then released into the water as the lifeforms rid themselves of waste. It isn't a closed system.

Re:Briny rivers (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28169783)

My understanding is that water is a relatively common compound, but the problem is that oxygen and hydrogen (esp. hydrogen) are light and therefore less likely to survive the creation of a rocky inner planet. A planet is formed from the outcasts of matter from a forming star. The heavier elements converge toward the center and the lighter ones get pushed out. Any water that is not blown away from the rocky planet by solar winds and such are boiled away by the hot, forming planet. These less-dense materials get pushed further out and freeze. They eventually form into ice-comets that over billions of years crash back into the now-cooling planets, helping to form the atmosphere and oceans of inner rocky planets.

I would have thought the absorption of water-soluble salts and minerals by the water itself would have more of an impact on saltiness than life ingesting the minerals and then releasing them. Then again, I am not a biologist so maybe there are some salts produced by living things that do not occur otherwise. I would think in this case that there would be no freshwater lakes as they are teaming with life. Maybe I am misunderstanding though.

Whatever happened to... (2)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122229)

Whatever happened to the "looks-like-a-liquid" that was evaporating from the soil where one of the rovers was scraping?

Re:Whatever happened to... (5, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122331)

Still valid, but this is not the question. They are trying to determine wether big bodies of water existed on Mars. About Mars having huge quantities of water ice, we know it from several years, we even have pictures [esa.int] of it and even a map [blogspot.com] of Mars' aquifers.

Re:Whatever happened to... (3, Informative)

b0ttle (1332811) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122513)

Researchers did an experiment simulating the temperature and pressure conditions on Mars, and found that liquid water is possible because of the perchlorates Phoenix found on the soil.
http://www.universetoday.com/2009/05/26/more-researchers-say-liquid-water-present-on-mars-now/ [universetoday.com]

Re:Whatever happened to... (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123247)

It's been suggested recently that the perchlorates invalidated the micro-oven experiments, Apparently when heated they release large amounts of oxygen that would incerate any organics. Since I only have a vauge idea of what a perchlorate is, I have no idea if that's a valid criticisim. But given the possibility of ground water I think the methane hots spots [google.com.au] are worth a closer look.

Re:Whatever happened to... (1)

Rene S. Hollan (1943) | more than 5 years ago | (#28132117)

The perclorate ion is Cl04-.

And yes, when heated, it releases a good deal of oxygen:

KCl04 --> KCl + 2O2

no where left to hide (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28122269)

never a better time to pause, & think about being kinder to, & taking better care of, each other. that might cool things down a bit?

Quaaaaaid... (-1, Offtopic)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122303)

Quaaaaaaid... free Maaaaars...

Warmer? (2, Interesting)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122375)

Is it possible that mars was warmer at a time? Either with a high level of CO2 or some other greenhouse gas that would have warmed the surface enough for running water? Maybe a little more dramatic but maybe even a slightly closer orbit?

Re:Warmer? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122933)

If Mars had a significant amount of water it almost certainly also had an atmosphere, which retained heat.

Re:Warmer? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122977)

Ding ding! Look at Venus for example, its atmosphere makes it hotter than Mercury even though its farther from the sun...

Re:Warmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28124351)

Ding ding! Look at Venus for example, its atmosphere makes it hotter than Mercury even though its farther from the sun...

Serves 'em right for driving all those SUVs and not paying attention to their carbon footprint.

Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (4, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122959)

Is it possible that mars was warmer at a time? Either with a high level of CO2 or some other greenhouse gas that would have warmed the surface enough for running water?

Yes, that's a good summary of the current scientific thinking. The Viking orbital images show a lot of the surface is sculpted by water-carved features, and the belief is that Mars originally has a much thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere, which provided a significant amount of greenhouse warming (*). With the loss of Mars' magnetic field, this thick atmosphere was slowly eroded away by the solar wind to the very thin atmosphere we see today.

Maybe a little more dramatic but maybe even a slightly closer orbit?

No, that's quite unlikely. Planets are hard to move.

-----
*Footnote: The media likes to pretend that there is some controversy about the fact that carbon dioxide produces greenhouse effect warming (because controversy sells newspapers), but in the science community studying planetary atmosphere, there is no controversy whatsoever. It is just physics.

If you search hard enough, you can find somebody who disagrees, and quote them, and say, "look, not all scientists agree!" And since this is /. I'm sure somebody's about to do that: the miracle of the internet is that these fringe thinkers have just as loud a voice as people who have actually stufied the subject. But nevertheless, the greenhouse effect is just physics. And relatively simple physics.

Re:Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28125769)

No, that's quite unlikely. Planets are hard to move.

Not so fast. :-) We have to look at the orbital decay to figure that one out. If Mars has to much velocity for its orbit, it'll work farther out. If it has too little velocity, it'll fall in.

Combine that with tidal forces of the planets and the asteroid belt, and you might have a measurable affect.

The key to moving mountains (and the planets they are on) is a very small force, over millions or billions of years.

---
*Footnote: The greenhouse effect is well documented in the lab under ideal conditions (in sealed environments). The controversy lies with how much it affects Earth's unsealed atmosphere, its many layers and natural processes of climatic and seasonal variability. And more specifically, how much of that is the fault of human activity. That much is left to science to work out. Where it gets emotional and personal is when we start to engineer human policy. Do we prevent pre-industrialized nations from using fossil fuel, when every nation has needed it to become industrial? Do we make people live in poverty because our energy policy power remains expensive? Whatever we do, I ask that we keep science as science, and not let emotions cloud the science (no pun or global warming intended)

Re:Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28126221)

No, that's quite unlikely. Planets are hard to move.

Not so fast. :-) We have to look at the orbital decay to figure that one out. If Mars has to much velocity for its orbit, it'll work farther out. If it has too little velocity, it'll fall in.

Well, sort of. It won't "work its way out": if a planet has too much velocity for a circular orbit it will be in an elliptical orbit (it won't "work its way" into an elliptical orbit-- it will be in an elliptical orbit). However, if you work out how much energy that takes to move the planet, the number is, uh, extremely large. Planets are hard to move.

Combine that with tidal forces of the planets and the asteroid belt, and you might have a measurable affect.

Indeed, you "might." Turns out, however, that the perturbations do add up, but they don't add up enough to a large enough effect to significantly affect the semimajor axis.

The key to moving mountains (and the planets they are on) is a very small force, over millions or billions of years.

--- *Footnote: The greenhouse effect is well documented in the lab under ideal conditions (in sealed environments). The controversy lies with how much it affects Earth's unsealed atmosphere, its many layers and natural processes of climatic and seasonal variability. And more specifically, how much of that is the fault of human activity. That much is left to science to work out. Where it gets emotional and personal is when we start to engineer human policy. Do we prevent pre-industrialized nations from using fossil fuel, when every nation has needed it to become industrial? Do we make people live in poverty because our energy policy power remains expensive? Whatever we do, I ask that we keep science as science, and not let emotions cloud the science (no pun or global warming intended)

Precisely. In terms of the science, there is no controversy. Anthropogenic greenhouse warming may have been controversial fifteen years ago, but it no longer is.

In terms of the policy, indeed, there is quite reasonable grounds for disagreement. There are a wide number of possible policy choices-- one of which is "do nothing"-- and there is no question that the debate is, as of the moment, inconclusive. The problem, though, is that a small group of people who disagree with (possible future) policy decisions decided to attack the policy by trying to pretend that the science is inconclusive, and make an entirely imaginary case that greenhouse science is unclear, unsettled, and consists of nothing more than opinions put forth for political purposes. This is incorrect.

Re:Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127713)

My frost-bit annuals, planted well after the last-frost date for this location, beg to differ...

There is plenty of controversy, except among those taking funds from govt's, companies, etc who have a vested interest in global warming. Throw out all those studies, and we can talk. Trouble is, there's so much $$'s flooding both sides there is no way to tell which way things are going, or who's to blame. When anyone states "It is settled" or "there is no controversy", science has turned into religion.

Re:Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (2, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28129337)

My frost-bit annuals, planted well after the last-frost date for this location, beg to differ...

Yeah, this is exactly the kind of irrelevent arguments you tend to hear. To be fair, the idiotic media hype makes it seem as if this really is the argument for global warming: one warmer-than-average summer, and the headlines read "Global warming is here," and one worse-than-average hurricane season and headlines say "Global warming! Hurricanes are getting worse!"

Global warming is a long-term average rise of temperature over time scales of decades. One warm winter, even a handful of warm winters, has nothing to do with it. Temperatures still fluctuate-- climate change doesn't negate the existence of changes in the weather. And we're talking about the average heat balance of the globe-- any particular spot may still be warmer, or cooler, or unchanged.

The rule for northeast Ohio is, don't plant your tomatoes until the end of May. I planted mine at the end of April. Guess what? They're doing fine. Has global warming moved the growing season up by a month? No, you can't conclude that-- one season, one place, that's not relevant. Global warming is about averages, and about time scales of decades. Got that? Averages. Decades.

There is plenty of controversy, except among those taking funds from govt's, companies, etc who have a vested interest in global warming.

Yes, that's an amazing argument that just can't be refuted: just say that all the science that disagrees with your opinion is biased. You don't need to prove it, you can just assert it, and repeat it over and over until people get tired of arguing. It's such a great argument that you can use it to disprove anything, refute any amount of evidence, no matter how much there is. Evolution? The science establishment has a vested interest in saying it's established science! Did we really land on the moon? The science establishment vested interest in saying we did! UFOs in Roswell? The science establishment has a vested interest in pretending that they invented all that technology we stole from crashed saucers! Tesla invented free power and the oil companies had him killed? The science establishment has a vested interest!

Throw out all those studies, and we can talk.

Yep, that's the argument of the AWG deniers, all right. Throw out all the science. Exactly.

Re:Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#28140683)

I think the problem is that many people think the controversy is whether or not global warming is happening. The answer is that it is happening, the global average temperature is climbing. This is based on hard evidence obtained by measuring. Arguing that it isn't is like arguing that the world is flat. The real question and controversy is whether or not our past and present actions are having a measurable effect. All scientists can do is run small controlled experiments, and eventually come up with a theory that can predict. However, there are so many variables that by the time a well-tested theory can be made, it might be too late. The other problem is that there are people with agendas on both sides of the issue, that pay for experiments with results that skew thinking in the direction they want. Our space program seems to be waning, and it will be a long way off before we can have viable colonies that do not depend on Earth. If we don't at least try to curb our production of greenhouse gasses, we might be the cause of Earth's next big extinction.

Re:Early Mars was warmer [Re:Warmer?] (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28142175)

I think the problem is that many people think the controversy is whether or not global warming is happening. The answer is that it is happening, the global average temperature is climbing. This is based on hard evidence obtained by measuring. Arguing that it isn't is like arguing that the world is flat. The real question and controversy is whether or not our past and present actions are having a measurable effect.

Yes, that's the problem-- if you listen to the media, you would indeed think that this is a "controversy."

It is not a controversy. It is a settled question. There are vast amounts of data, extremely detailed computer models, vertical temperature profiles, satellite measurements. The "controversy" does not exist. The controversy is entirely manufactured by people pushing a "there is no global warming so we don't have to do anything" agenda.

Back fifteen years ago, when the finite-element global climate models only had a few hundred nodes or so, there was some legitimate controversy. But the models, and the computers they run on, have gotten vastly better. The data have gotten better. The measurement techniques have gotten better. Real scientists have spent vast amounts of time looking at the question, and looking at the data, and looking at the models, and looking at the critiques of the models, and finding the errors and making better models.

It's very odd. All through the 70s, any textbook on atmospheric science you might look at would mention the effect of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on global temperature, but since they said that it wouldn't be really a measurable amount until the next century, it wasn't at all controversial. All through the 80s, the same, and it wasn't controversial. All through the 90s, the same (although now "the 21st century" didn't look quite so far away...) but all off a sudden, in the 2000s, when it actually can be measured-- and is measured-- suddenly it's "controversial." The data have all gotten better, but suddenly they're "controversial." The models have gotten better, but suddenly they're "controversial."

It is, basically, a conspiracy theory of science, in which tens of thousands of scientists are all wrong, or stupid, or misguided, or paid off, and are just unwilling to correct the errors in their models that make them incorrectly predict that the atmosphere is doing exactly what the simple physics suggests it would be doing. But conspiracy theories are amusing in the movies, not in real life.

Re:Warmer? (2, Interesting)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122999)

The atmospheric composition of Mars is predominantly CO2 (95%). If you take some eco-nut stance, the warming is linear, if you take a better-modeled stance you'll find it is less than that. (Diminishes logarithmically)

The real question is one of geology. Was Mars' inner core capable of producing a protective magnetic should like the Earth's? Remember Mars is smaller and will therefore cool faster. Our core, as the theory goes is made by counter-rotating spheres of liquid iron. With this, comes a thick, rich and creamy atmosphere shielded from the solar wind by the magnetic field.

The other question is what was the older composition of the thick atmosphere. Mars has too much methane, allegedly. Both methane and water vapor are far better greenhouse gasses than CO2. (Terrestrially we worry about CO2, because it is our biggest byproduct of human activity, and is stable molecule that either needs a plant to make it into sugar, or the ocean to sink it to the bottom).

The surface of Mars can reach 25C from being heated by the Sun. So there is a decent amount of energy.

OPINION: There is enough evidence to suggest that Mars could have been roughly equivalent to tropical - humid and warm. Weather or not its breathable is a whole other story with all that supposed methane...

Re:Warmer? (2, Interesting)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123109)

That's a good point about the core of the planet, I remember reading that only the Earth has the protective magnetic field. Is it possible, and this will draw on my real lack of geology, but would a shift in orbit, say a collision that formed the "moons" of Mars pushed it out, and had enough either change in temperature of maybe a collision itself was disruptive enough to stop it from working?

Re:Warmer? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124101)

I remember reading that only the Earth has the protective magnetic field.

The gas giants all have them too.

Re:Warmer? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124207)

You're right, but I don't really imagine that we'd see water flowing through valleys on any of them...

Re:Warmer? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123237)

OPINION: There is enough evidence to suggest that Mars could have been roughly equivalent to tropical - humid and warm. Weather or not its breathable is a whole other story with all that supposed methane...

The pressure and temperature matter more than whether you can breathe the atmosphere without a mask. But maybe I'm just biased towards a rapid terraforming model :)

Re:Warmer? (1, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123441)

"Weather or not its breathable"

Somewhat ironically, life is what made our atmosphere breathable. Without life it's highly unlikely there would be anything more than trace amounts of free oxygen in an alien atmosphere.

Re:Warmer? (3, Interesting)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123583)

The only problem I can see with all your comments is that you are assuming this took place a long time ago. We know that Mars can reach the mid 20s C and we also know that there are massive periodic dust storms.
Don't you think the storms would have eroded away the water gullies, or at least filled them with dust by now ? So I would say the formations are a lot more recent than "in the ancient past when Mars had a bigger atmosphere".

Re:Warmer? (3, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124387)

That's a very good question. But the problem is one of sublimation. That is from solid state to gas. It happens in cold dry air. Snowcap-free Mt Kilimanjaro in Al Gore's "Incon. Truth" didn't melt from global warming. It sublimated because farming on the windward side made the air passing over the mountain drier.

The only way to keep the liquid water around is to have a denser, wetter atmosphere.

The problem with storms filling in gullies is that the dust particles are very fine, and have to be since there's not a lot of gas to move them. Without moisture, it is hard to bond to other particles (static charge being the leading cause) so its hard to have some drift that won't be blown away at the next dust storm.

That being said, there is evidence of water percolating. This won't be able to make large new gullies, but it will help maintain the ones that are there. And in fact, we have no idea of the gullies that exist that are filled in by dust. I can only conclude that the gullies we see are stable features left over from a time long ago. The "last of the line" so to say.

Re:Warmer? (2, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28126433)

...we also know that there are massive periodic dust storms. Don't you think the storms would have eroded away the water gullies, or at least filled them with dust by now ? So I would say the formations are a lot more recent than "in the ancient past when Mars had a bigger atmosphere".

The cross-section weighted average particle size of the dust particles is about 5 microns. Think of the particles as being ten times finer than the particles that make up talcum powder. It's more like cigarette smoke than it's like sand; it's not very abrasive, and doesn't do much in the way of erosion.

Sandstorms, like we have on Earth, do much more erosion.

However, yes, burial and deflation of features is a well-known effect on Mars. In some places the ancient surface is exposed, but in other places it is well buried. There are a lot of places on Mars where all you can see is the overlayer of dusty soil.

Re:Warmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28125347)

OPINION: There is enough evidence to suggest that Mars could have been roughly equivalent to tropical - humid and warm. Weather or not its breathable is a whole other story with all that supposed methane...

Was the intention a pun regarding possible topical/humid weather conditions?...If not it should have been.

Re:Warmer? (1)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124375)

Doesn't Mars already have absurd levels of C02?

Re:Warmer? (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124503)

Yes and no. It's atmosphere is something like 95% CO2, but the atmosphere is very thin. So what they have is mostly CO2 but they don't have very much.

the next frontier (2, Interesting)

IlluminatedOne (621945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122399)

We've so many things to learn from our red neighbor. I hate to put my tin foil hat on this early in the day, but I oft wonder how much data has been retrieved/analyzed/hypothesized upon that we (mouth breathers at-large) have not been made aware of. There are some tantalizing possibilities with Mars, both to learn of our past and to help forge our future. Like Buzz Aldrin, I think whomever the first Mars pioneers wind up being, they should not plan on returning...

Without giving the scientific method a nod, it easy to say 'of course there's water on Mars...duh!', but I still await the slam dunk chemical analysis. Too many things fool the eye from a distance, like so many men/women from across the room...

Rocket Science Here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28122401)

Evidence suggests flowing water formed the rivers

Who'da Thunk It!

Re:Rocket Science Here! (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123561)

You know, water isn't the only liquid in the universe. Other things can form rivers.

Coulda, woulda, shoulda (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122415)

Wow, another speculative article from someone one what COULD have been. I wish one of these days NASA would give me more than models, simulations, possibilities, and probes that are SUPPOSED to reveal actual conclusive evidence but which never do.

Now that we have water... (1)

Nailor (999083) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122457)

Give this people eyre!

Jeeij, another story about water on mars. (1)

Exception Duck (1524809) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122469)

Let's just send some water over there and call it quits and go to Io, Europa or Ganymede

Noobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28122489)

We had rain in mid-february

? bunch of idoits. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28122499)

I have seen articles like these almost a year ago. Whats the repeat for? They have teams of idiots trying to make observations from thousands of miles away. all they need to do is fly some dynamite and crack down on mar surface. Then fly a team of archeologist in space suits to dig.

So what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28122581)

Dhhuuu, move one. Found any beer yet? I'm not going unless there are proof there is beer

Duh! No real news here, move along please... (1)

strangedays (129383) | more than 5 years ago | (#28122683)

"We found that the salts in water solutions can reduce the melting point of water, which may help explain how liquid water existed in a frozen Martian environment" -- Alberto Fairen, a space scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. and the lead author of the study.

Scientists concluded that salty liquid water on Mars may explain the stability of fluids against freezing on the Martian surface at temperatures below 0C

No! Really? That's completely well... unsurprising...

I always wondered why we spread salt on the road in wintertime, turns out it helps melt ice. Thanks for spending valuable research money to clear that up NASA!
There are however, three real mysteries here:

  • 1. How to get a job at Ames re-discovering totally obvious stuff.
  • 2. Why such a lame waste of taxpayers money makes it as an Article in Nature.
  • 3. Why lame articles in Nature make it into Slashdot as "news"

Re:Duh! No real news here, move along please... (1)

mbrod (19122) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123201)

I've wondered the same. I would like to think it is just because the budget to do the real stuff just isn't there.

Re:Duh! No real news here, move along please... (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123463)

In college( 40 years ago) we poured the salt shakers into the ice water and then stuck the glass on a pat of butter to bond it to the trays.
I don't find the speculation very interesting or new, either, and I will add that since they have no complete knowledge, and a way to verify, the planet could have been covered in fudge and cellophane.
More scientifically, I could say that there are so many dimensions in the NULL space of that matrix that selecting one of infinite possible vector solutions is just silly^(n-r).
And you forgot:
  • 4. profit.

Re:Duh! No real news here, move along please... (1)

Uber Banker (655221) | more than 5 years ago | (#28124285)

I guess if in a salaried environment and 'not nitpicking and actually having something useful to say' were built into a package you'd say something more useful than the above.

What's with all the trolls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28122989)

Why so much hate for the red Planet today?

Water water water (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123205)

Somebody needs to get those guys at NASA a glass of water already.

can we start terraforming yet? (2, Funny)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28123569)

I'm not going to see any Mars terraforming efforts in my lifetime, am I?

That sucks. Why are we so slow?

Re:can we start terraforming yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127019)

A Time will come my yingling

Re:can we start terraforming yet? (1)

Spugglefink (1041680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28134983)

'Cuz those MPAA bastards at Paramount won't release the schematic to the fucking Genesis device. Sons of bitches! I could be drinking margaritas at the foot of Mons Olympus by now.

At least briefly anyway.

i hear ringing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28123713)

Actually, the pivotal factor is the great flood. The truth is we (human beings) were created by God within a 7 day period etc etc... BUT the original home for us was MARS. Hence the drastically different life spans, physiological discrepancies (giants and other deviations)and the environment.

Having completed this beta phase and learned some valuable lessons, God took the opportunity to launch His RC on Earth and implement the necessary changes to continue development (see changelog commonly known as bible). Noah and family are the first true astronauts, having been relocated during the "40 days".

The methods of relocation employed by God resulted in the de-mobbing & moth-balling of Mars - traces are there but not the ones we are expecting...

err, you get the idea... So, can we make a movie or what?

(fire alarm testing all day today... the bells are making me craaaaaaaaaazy)

yes! fp!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28126821)

mod 3own (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127339)

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