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NASA's Gypsum Find Clear Evidence There Was Water On Mars

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the plaster-of-mars-would-be-really-expensive dept.

Mars 162

First time accepted submitter RCC42 writes "The Opportunity rover has found evidence that liquid water once flowed on Mars, through the discovery of gypsum — a mineral that can only be formed in the presence of water. Though other evidence in the past has suggested highly acidic water on Mars, this is the first evidence for water with a pH suitable for life as we know it."

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162 comments

tfyg hg kjh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309104)

h lkjh ljh ljh iuy kjh

Now we HAVE to go. (5, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309140)

We can no longer ignore the need now to send people to mars to establish a base and mine. With this discovery, Mars can now supply all of our drywall needs for the next several centuries!

We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (-1, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309206)

Years Of Drone Flights Find No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2011/12/years-of-drone-flights-find-no-iranian-nuclear-weapon-program.html [moonofalabama.org]

I don't want to be rash, but I'm beginning to draw some conclusions.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (4, Funny)

maweki (999634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309244)

Because they, contrary to the martians, shoot down unmanned probes.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309364)

Actually, I think they commandeered the command-and-control protocols.

Much more sophisticated than Martians.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309548)

Actually, I think the drone malfunctioned, went into auto-mode and landed itself in the desert. Then an Iranian sheepherder stumbled across it and called authorities.

It's an open question why Iranians graze sheep in the desert though...

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (1)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309716)

It's an open question why Iranians graze sheep in the desert though...

Perhaps, as is the case in Australia, grazing sheep on marginal land causes the desert. Once you have broken the environment you get to keep the pieces.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310358)

Perhaps, as is the case in Australia, grazing sheep on marginal land causes the desert

I think you mean goats, which are not a big problem in Oz. Goats eat everything, sheep only do that if they are starving and even then there are a lot of plants they won't touch. That plus the fact the Aussie desert has not grown significantly since the introduction of domesticated animals.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (3, Insightful)

inflex (123318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310448)

From what I recall, goats will eat a lot of things but they -way- they eat the grass tends to leave it intact/alive to resprout, however sheep gnaw it down so far that it kills the grass.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (0)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310514)

[citation needed]

sheep eat the grass so close to the ground that it doesn't grow back. this means the soil eventually becomes loose and blows away. hence, desert.

we should just farm kangaroos out there. they taste better and are much better adapted.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309724)

It is probably simpler to think that they jammed the control frequency/frequencies in such a manner that the device went into a failure mode. Most UAV things these days have some sort of auto-landing logic that will land it safely if it loses communication. I would think a military aircraft would tolerate loss of communications for a bit longer than other civilian devices but then the question is self-destruct or land? At some point without communications you can't just fly in a straight line.

I seriously doubt these things have enough internal navigation to return to base autonomously. My guess is that during testing the self-destruct option was ruled out as being too brash. Ooops.

I would suspect there might be a rush order for autonomously return to base capabilities on these things. The one problem there of course is how do you integrate a returning (autonomous) drone into the flight control pattern at a busy air base. No, I think that problem is going to have to be solved with shutting everything down until the thing lands if you can't regain control over it.

Did the Iranians take over the control frequency and start flying it? I can't imagine even with an unencrypted control channel that this would be possible.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309908)

Actually, drones like the Predator, Heron, Reaper and Global Hawk need to be manually landed by a local pilot, not sure about the Beast of Kandahar.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310002)

If I built a drone like that, I'd have it track the jamming signal and "land" on it at full speed.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309966)

Clearly you haven't talked to any martians.

The one that speaks to me at night tells me they shoot down unmanned NASA probes twice a week, mostly on weekends when they're not busy planning the invasion.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310460)

It's interesting how fast some of us forget the facts.

First, in the release of Department of State memos a year ago, we read of several countries and the US government admitting to a belief in the existence of an Iranian nuclear program. While the Arab Spring protests have probably trumped it for a time, it's worth noting that several countries, particularly Saudi Arabia [reuters.com] , viewed Iran's nuclear program as their most pressing foreign policy issue (over such things as Israel). They have since threatened [worldpoliticsreview.com] to develop their own nuclear weapons.

' Second, Iran does indeed have sites that were built at great expense to resist known conventional weapons of the time. No civilian nuclear program justifies this expense.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has assembled evidence [reuters.com] of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

Finally, we have acts of sabotage and murder against Iranian infrastructure and personnel associated with this program. Nobody does that for a hobby. An easy counter for Iran would be to throw open its entire nuclear infrastructure to show it wasn't developing nuclear weapons. Didn't happen.

I can't help but notice that the story you link to has a mind-numbing fallacy in it. Because the US had overflown Iranian space for four years and the author chooses to ignore the copious evidence in support of the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, then Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program. That makes no sense.

Re:We Can Find Water on MARS, But NO Nukes in Iran (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310652)

The US Dept of State is a reliable authority of unbiased information and analysis? Christ! You would have made a great Soviet.

Then there's the entirely discredited IAEA citing. This was shredded. Another sad, neocon fairytale, like Condoleeza's "Smoking Gun in the form of a Mushroom Cloud". Oh. She represents an example of State Dept. accuracy and lack of bias, herself.

Unbelievable, fabricated distortions about "nano-diamonds"

Why do you witchhunt Iran, when the US is the evil regime that kills children with airborne shrapnel, on an almost daily basis?

he IAEA Confirms My Nanodiamond Analysis [moonofalabama.org]

Dennis Ross Fired Over IAEA Dud [moonofalabama.org]

No International Action Following IAEA Report [moonofalabama.org]

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309286)

But if NASA finds a sentient life lathe-and-plaster-using civilization underground, such advanced technology as drywall would violate the prime directive.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309332)

Forget the prime directive. It's all about suppression by making sure the advanced stay ahead of the primitive.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309326)

The dunes in the White Sands national monument can supposedly supply the construction industry with drywall for 1000 years.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309394)

Yea but the damn environmentalists had their puppets make it a damned national monument!

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (0, Offtopic)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309412)

Dammit! Why can't NASA get their story right. It's neither helium, nor water, nor methane, nor diamonds or gold that they need to be finding. We need oil dammit, oil! If we ever want to see a human set foot on Mars we to find massive underground oceans of light sweet crude!

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309482)

If you want oil, go to titan.

Lakes of liquid ethane.

Transport cost might be a bit more than you bargained for... what with operating a tanker in orbit of a gas giant and all......

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309516)

We can move Titan here. Just attach a rocket nozzle to it and light a match.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (2)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309600)

There is no o2 which is why titan doesn't burst into a huge fireball...

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309616)

Then we need to lace its upper atmosphere with o2 before igniting.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310032)

Then we need to lace its upper atmosphere with o2 before igniting.

Sounds dangerous, send congress....

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309454)

I hope it turns out like Red Faction. "Die Miner!"

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1, Insightful)

mark_elf (2009518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309464)

That's good thinking. We need need to send people there to mine drywall. I'm with you.

But seriously, these bots are doing so well we should just stop thinking about sending people places like Mars. There's no science in it, it's just a stunt. Unless there's a political reason to spend a truly immense amount of money just showing off (or military of course, in which case it will happen whether or not it's a good idea,) let's concentrate on unmanned missions. If we can afford to spend more, then buy things like the James Web telescope which we learn a lot more from.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309668)

Humans can do in an hour what would take a robot a month.
Humans can make judgements.

There is strong scientific, and techical breakthgrough that send a person to mars will bring.

And yes, also send robots.

Send some humans and some backhoe to where we think the deepest water would have been. Dig some bigas ass holes and see what we can find.

See if there is an evidence of large species about 200 meters down.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309924)

Can a human walk around on Mars for days without any extra supplies?

Advantage rovers.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310500)

Can a human walk around on Mars for days without any extra supplies?

Yes. Oh, you mean can the human walk around without carrying what they need? Doesn't matter. Neither can the rover.

Humans are just another payload with moderately peculiar needs and infrastructure.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (3, Interesting)

poly_pusher (1004145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310578)

I just can't go along with that idea yet...

I want to clarify that I can't think of anything more important to our species than the ability to leave this planet indefinitely. What we have learned about our universe and the geological history of this planet is that eventually something will destroy Earth or at least alter it so drastically that it cannot support human life any longer. The big questions are when and how that will happen. Maybe a giant asteroid will hit us, Yellowstone may blow it's top again, or we damage the current ecosystem so badly that Earth becomes inhospitable. So I really want make clear, I am very pro space travel.

However, that is why we need to be reasonable. We need to gather more information on space in general, test materials that can withstand the extreme conditions in outer space, and research advanced propulsion technologies. This kind of research can be done without human beings physically present. The cost of keeping a sack of meat alive on a 9 month trip to Mars is absurd. If we ever consider spending that much money it should all be spent on research and development until the actual trip to Mars is no longer costly and what is then based on old and reliable technology.

Besides, if we began planning a trip to Mars right now, by the time the actually went, we would likely have some very sophisticated Rovers. Just imagine what they could do if the whole budget was spent on launching advanced rovers and probes instead of on keeping people alive.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309802)

I am not a proponent of space research right now, I kind think we should focus or efforts on more terrestrial matters. That said if were to send someone to Mars or go back the moon for that matter there is some science in it, or at least some engineering advances in it.

If were to discover a place worth going, the two main problems are where do find enough energy to get your there fast enough. Figuring out exactly what you need to take with you and in what form has a major impact on our selections of solution to the two main problems. Know what we need, and knowing it works would be beneficial.

The ISS is nothing like the mostly self sustaining colony that would be necessary elsewhere.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309884)

But the US and global drywall market has collapsed, USG just shut the last drywall plant in the US and shuttered it until the economy comes back.

Re:Now we HAVE to go. (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310162)

But won't Martian drywall cause corrosion of all the electrical and plumbing systems? Mars is rust red after all...

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309130)

Iran is claiming the find after taking over the mars rover controlled from tehran...

Re:In other news... (1, Funny)

Jibekn (1975348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309170)

I would have pegged them as flat earthers myself.

Re:In other news... (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309252)

Persians first calculated the volume of the earth, as a sphere. Invented spherical trigonometry, and all kinds of things.

Remember all that "Arab scientists and mathematicians" kind of talk? None of 'em were arabs. Mostly Persians, with roots in Khorasan - writing in Arabic.

It's similar to calling Sir Issac Newton a "Latin Physicist" because of the language used in the "Principia".

Re:In other news... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309374)

Needless to say, Iranian civilization ain't what it used to be. This a major oil producing country with such inept leadership that they have to import refined fuels.

Persia's high point was a long time ago.

Re:In other news... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309948)

To be fair, I'm sure they will eventually reach their zenith again. But, it wont be tomorrow or the day after. That's for sure.

Re:In other news... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309376)

but what about the last 500 years?

The first recorded person to ever fly was from that part of the country, but that was like 600 years ago.

Re:In other news... (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309388)

No that would be the Greeks.

Re:In other news... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309684)

Yes, but it was dead. By studying the Greeks they made some significant mathematical and science discoveries.

The Romans, OTOH, ignored the Greeks and we got a dark ages for their lack of effort.

Re:In other news... (3)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310240)

"Greeks" themselves were often native inhabitants of Asia Minor, Levant and Lower Egypt.

They were also the recipients, refiners and extenders of numerical sciences with origin in Babylon and the Indus.

Re:In other news... (4, Funny)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309422)

"It's similar to calling Sir Issac Newton a "Latin Physicist" because of the language used in the "Principia"."

Ofcourse not.... he was a Persian physicist.

True orgins of Isaac Newton (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309708)

Persians first calculated the volume of the earth, as a sphere. Invented spherical trigonometry, and all kinds of things.

Remember all that "Arab scientists and mathematicians" kind of talk? None of 'em were arabs. Mostly Persians, with roots in Khorasan - writing in Arabic.

It's similar to calling Sir Issac Newton a "Latin Physicist" because of the language used in the "Principia".

Let me guess. Isaac Newton was actually Persian?

Re:In other news... (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310586)

We call it Arabic/Islamic *placeholder* because thats how we historically categorize civilization, by naming it after the Language or Religion that defined the culture.

And after 650 Persia was part of that civilization.

Those and Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, etc, etc.

  I'd say the reason why the middle east had almost an millenia of brilliance, was the writing leftover by the greeks through the romans, good trade and exhange of ideas with China and India(well...conquered them in the 1300-1400 hundred, but hey Mughul architecture is kinda neat) and the fact that the rulers did not discriminate(much) against other religions, which allows for a fairly peaceful and stable society.

Its not that i think Islam and Muhammed is the best thing since sliced bread, and its the 21 century, notion such as civilization is irrelevant, and enlightenment era thinkers are WAAAY more preferable, but how they generally handled non-belivers back in the day made them much more preferable then some other Abrahamic religion of that era that shall remain nameless.

NASA's Gypsum? (-1)

medraut (136992) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309162)

Has NASA filed a patent for Gypsum now? Are they that desperate for funding? :-)

Re:NASA's Gypsum? (3)

medraut (136992) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309184)

Although read in context it makes sense. Oh well, mod me down appropriately! o_O

Re:NASA's Gypsum? (1)

RCC42 (1457439) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309854)

Although read in context it makes sense. Oh well, mod me down appropriately! o_O

I submitted the original article with the headline as "Water found on Mars" but the editor must have thought that was too sensationalistic and easily understood so he edited out the clarify for our benefit. :D

Re:NASA's Gypsum? (-1, Offtopic)

xipcloud (2495672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309208)

The can't claim the find. Iran is claiming the find after taking over the mars rover controls using "cyber warfare".

how much gypsum? (5, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309438)

Are we talking just a thin crust, or are we talking "gypsum quarry" size formations?

The reason I ask, is gypsum contains absurd quantities of chemically bound water. If mars has a higher calcium ion concentration than earth does, and had liquid oceans at one time, it is possible that with the carbon dioxide rich atmosphere and lack of techtonic plate movement that a sizable quantity of the ocean turned into "concrete" rather than drying up.

This would mean that much of the light elements (hydrogen, etc) might have escaped being blown off the atmosphere.

This is exciting news for science fiction writers that like to dream about terraforming. Creating techtonic activity would create the geomagnetic dynamo the planet needs, and as a consequence of the subduction and volcanism, huge quantities of water vapor would be expelled as a volcanic gas.

About all the planet would need would be ammonia, for the missing nitrogen. (Doesn't titan have an ammonia atmosphere? Wink, nudge.)

This does not mean the planet would go from lifeless desert to habitable overnight, as the gasses relased would be inhospitable to oxygen dependant life like us, but certain algae species like chlorella can survive in 100% C02 atmospheric concentrations as long as there is sunlight and water. Chlorella is well researched, fully genomically sequenced, and already has engineered varieties. A strain intended to rapidly convert the atmosphere to something a bit less toxic would actually be fairly plausible.

Re:how much gypsum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309470)

Total Recall much?

Re:how much gypsum? (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309580)

That was ice.

This is gypsum. Gypsum is a conretion type sedimentary rock made of chemically bound water, sulfuric acid, and calcium ions.

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

It is mostly water by molar weight.

If heated in the mantle by subduction, it would thermally decompose into calcium sulfide, sulfur dioxide, and copoius quantities of water vapor.

If the formations are "large, and very deep", it would go a long way toward explaining where the ocean went.

Re:how much gypsum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309502)

So... Total Recall right?

Re:how much gypsum? (3, Funny)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309612)

Creating techtonic activity would create the geomagnetic dynamo the planet needs

I'll get right on that and let you know when I'm done so we can move to the next phase.

Re:how much gypsum? (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309778)

If you want to get all touchy feely in your story, this would be a good constructive use of the earth's nuclear arsenal.

Plate techtonics is at least partially powered by radiological decay.

Re:how much gypsum? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309846)

Easy - you fire Titan into it. A few small nudges at the right time in its orbit (think large nukes just outside the atmosphere) and you can get Saturn to slingshot it, pick up an assist from Jupiter, and fall all the way in. Easy, provides the nitrogen needed, and should only take a few thousands or tens of thousands of years. Get back to me when we're ready to build nuclear bomb factories on Titan and I'll talk you through the rest ;)

Re:how much gypsum? (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310510)

Titan is larger than earth's moon.

Mars is smaller than the Earth.

Smashing titan into mars would probably be a bad thing. (A very, very bad thing. That is, unless you like the idea of scattering huge chunks of rock into space. See for instance, the collision simulation for the hypothesis of earth's moon's formation.)

Better, would be to go ahead and nudge the moon out of saturns orbit, have it fall into the inner solar system, sweep a wide orbit of the sun, then fall into orbit around mars.

Best to use a trans ecliptic orbit, so that the falling body doesn't adversely effect other inner planet systems.

Once in martian orbit, titan's gravity would cause intense mantle heating of the red planet. It is likely that titan's atmosphere would freeze and snow out after being dislodged from saturn's orbit, due to the lack of tidal heating while it transits. Mars' tidal forces would be miniscule compared to saturn's, though being in the habitable zone might be enough to heat titan enough to reconstitute the atmosphere. Unknown.

It is concievable that with both bodies in the habitable zone, that both bodies could be actively terraformed.

Titan is presumed to have a silicate core, and not an iron nickle one like mars and earth. This means that it wouldn't disrupt the new martian magnetosphere. (Like our moon doesn't.)

Mars is more massive than titan, and if the atmosphere reconstitutes, mars might just rip it off titan.

Re:how much gypsum? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309766)

About all the planet would need would be ammonia, for the missing nitrogen. (Doesn't titan have an ammonia atmosphere? Wink, nudge.)

You're right. There is a sci-fi novel in that: The domestic house apes of planet Earth fling Titan into Mars. Alien microbes from Titan thrive and mutate on Mars, becoming toxic to hoo-mahns. "Oh, Jordy Verrill, you lunkhead!"

Re:how much gypsum? (1)

ulzeraj (1009869) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309784)

Correct me if I'm wrong but without a magnetic field or a massive gravity, a planet can't prevent the hydrogen atoms from escaping its orbit. Both Mars and Venus can't have water because of that factor.

Re:how much gypsum? (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309878)

Reading comprehension is difficult for you?

I said, the atmosphere would inflat *as a consequence* of plate techtonics.

Plate techtonics is the result of convection currents in the mantle.

Convection currents in the mantle create the geomagnetic dynamo.

The geomagnetic dynamo creates a strong planetary magnetic field.

Venus lacks a magnetic field because it is too hot at the planet's surface to have mantle convection. This, no dynamo, and no magnetic field.

Mars lacks sufficient mantle heat to power mantle convection, thus no dynamo, and no magnetic field.

Kickstarting the mantle of mars with some gogo juice (in the form of nasty dirty radioactive waste and or dirty uranium bombs in specific locations) would kickstart mantle activity, causing convection, causing techtonic activity, which releases the chemically bound water vapor, at the same time that the magnetic field appears.

Re:how much gypsum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310678)

It is a vein of gypsum -- i.e. a fracture/crack in the surrounding rock that was filled with it. This normally happens when fluids containing a soluble mineral precipitate out in the fracture as they are flowing along. It's not very big -- a few metres long, a few cm wide -- but it's probably not the only one. I suspect that as they drive around they'll find more.

Also, it's spelled "tectonic". Starting plate tectonics in any meaningful sense would be much more difficult than it would be to just dump the water you need onto the planet. That's a big enough job all on its own without figuring out how to heat the crust on a planetary scale.

As thing go... (2)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309532)

runaway climate, oceans evaporate, a couple of million years later some beings from Europe may wonder, was there ever life on this desert planet? And a next round of silliness starts again.

Re:As thing go... (3, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309622)

Beings from Europe? Don't be ridiculous.

Re:As thing go... (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309984)

Beings from Europe? Don't be ridiculous.

Duh! Educate yourself about Jupiter's moons or watch Space Odysee 2001 -> Arthur C. Clarke, he was right on

Re:As thing go... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310182)

Perhaps you meant Europa? Educating the edumacated...

Re:As thing go... (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310710)

Educate yourself about Jupiter's moons

Not sure about the GP but when I went to school Europe was a continent and Europa was a Jovian moon. OTOH, geopolitical maps have changed quite a bit since the 1960's, so maybe France is obiting Jupiter now.

Bullshit. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309534)

I'm sick to death with robots telling us that this or that exists, even with super high resolution photos its still as boring as fuck, and we never fucking ever see the video footage from the craft, so we can never ever get washed up in even the romance of the planet, all we ever get back are still images and a few pages of text.

Let me tell you what me and anyone else on slashdot really give a fuck about.

US GETTING THE FUCK TO MARS and BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT SERVICE TO AND BACK FROM THE RED PLANET.

Until then, I don't give a fuck if there is a rock that looks exactly like Teller's ass on Mars the size of Mount Rushmore, or if there is a red Petrified rock in the shape of a large M.

So fuck off NASA, and until you actually build and launch a sustainable craft that can take ME to Mars and the Moon I will care APSOLUTLEY SHIT FUCK ALL about you or what you do anymore.

~ Former NASA Fan.

link with minimal info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309836)

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/20111207a.html

minimal info here, apparently they can measure the ratio of Ca/SO4

I havn't seen any one describe why gypsum can't be formed in the absence of water - isn't it supposed to be hard to proove a negative ?

Re:link with minimal info (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310794)

I havn't seen any one describe why gypsum can't be formed in the absence of water

Gypsum is like beer, in that it's main ingredient is water. Can beer form without water?

Humming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38309928)

A tune comes to mind, what was that band called, "Flotsam and Gypsum"

That's nice (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38309986)

...but there are a couple of moons with surfaces covered in water ice RIGHT NOW which have liquid water below the surface, so it's hard for me to get excited.

prevous water is not news (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310028)

Plenty of evidence from orbiters and rovers. Current liquid water underground is unknown. The new fluid channels seen now and then could be something other than water.

Gymsum is proof of water, but water itself Isn't (0)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310418)

I'd really like to think, with all the tax dollars going to NASA, that they would consider water (in the form of snow & ice) on the poles as evidence of water.

Re:Gymsum is proof of water, but water itself Isn' (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310526)

The trick is they're studying possible existence of liquid water on the surface at some point in Mars's history. Ice and water vapor are not liquid water.

Water Is Proof Of Water, Before Gypsum Is (1)

Zamphatta (1760346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38310814)

But since the ice/snow on the poles grows & shrinks, then it's already clear that the water exists in non-frozen form at times. To think that it goes from solid to gas instantly without any liquid form on a planet (Mars) where there are dry river beds, would be logical. (NASA's known about the river beds since 1998 at least, see http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap980205.html [nasa.gov] )

Only in water? Are you sure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38310818)

In other news, scientists discover a way to form gypsum in the absence of water.

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