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Rover Finds Ancient Streambed On Martian Surface

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the low-flow-planet dept.

Mars 180

sighted writes "NASA reports that its Curiosity rover mission has found evidence that a stream once ran vigorously — and for a sustained amount of time — across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is, of course, earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but NASA says this evidence, images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels, is the first of its kind."

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Water, or some other fluid? (4, Interesting)

TWX (665546) | about 2 years ago | (#41483347)

There are other fluids than water that can sustain a semicolloidal solution or carry sediments. I assume that scientists now have to figure out what fluid flowed, rather than simply assuming that it had to be water.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (5, Funny)

jslarve (1193417) | about 2 years ago | (#41483377)

Probably never occurred to those rocket scientists and geologists at NASA. :)

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483405)

What else would it be besides water? Liquid Hydrogen?

Considering the place were Mars occupies in our Solar System, I don't see how it could be anything other than water.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (5, Interesting)

yincrash (854885) | about 2 years ago | (#41483433)

Both mercury and bromine could be liquid at reasonable temperatures. Both are also just as unlikely to be in amounts to have streams.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483541)

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe. The only thing splitting them is Helium which is inert. All other things being equal the likelihood that a particular liquid at 'reasonable temperatures' is water is orders of magnitude more likely to be water than mercury or bromine.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483581)

Yeah, the OP admitted that it probably wasn't mercury or bromine. C'mon my fellow AC, your making us look bad!

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483577)

It could be whiskey! (With an e because Mars isn't Scottish... or is it?!)

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#41485883)

Mars is Ginger isn't it?
(full disclosure: I'm Scottish, and not ginger)

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#41485887)

also, the secret ingredient in Irn Bru is Martian soil.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#41483647)

Wouldn't make the liquid stones' shape oval, rounded, sand like gravel? These sharp edges, angled facets might be evidence of the very opposite.. but nice try NASA!

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41483717)

You're doing it wrong.

Try looking at the closeup image. You know, the one that shows the nice, rounded stones. Just like the ones you'd find in a stream bed.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41483953)

No, those flat rounded stones are the ones the Titanians tossed to watch them skip off of Titan lakes [wikipedia.org] and on into space, toward Mars because of low gravity. Right diagnosis, wrong planet (or moon).

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484169)

Next the rover will find tall four-armed green men.

Hopefully it will be able to send back some pics of them before they shoot it with their explosive rounds.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41483783)

Linked NASA photo's text:

"Remnants of Ancient Streambed on Mars NASA's Curiosity rover found evidence for an ancient, flowing stream on Mars at a few sites, including the rock outcrop pictured here, which the science team has named "Hottah" after Hottah Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It may look like a broken sidewalk, but this geological feature on Mars is actually exposed bedrock made up of smaller fragments cemented together, or what geologists call a sedimentary conglomerate. Scientists theorize that the bedrock was disrupted in the past, giving it the titled angle, most likely via impacts from meteorites. The key evidence for the ancient stream comes from the size and rounded shape of the gravel in and around the bedrock. Hottah has pieces of gravel embedded in it, called clasts, up to a couple inches (few centimeters) in size and located within a matrix of sand-sized material. Some of the clasts are round in shape, leading the science team to conclude they were transported by a vigorous flow of water. The grains are too large to have been moved by wind. A close-up view of Hottah reveals more details of the outcrop. Broken surfaces of the outcrop have rounded, gravel clasts, such as the one circled in white, which is about 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) across. Erosion of the outcrop results in gravel clasts that protrude from the outcrop and ultimately fall onto the ground, creating the gravel pile at left. This image mosaic was taken by Curiosity's 100-millimeter Mastcam telephoto lens on its 39th Martian day, or sol, ..."

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

chill13 (2740781) | about 2 years ago | (#41483819)

I didn't notice anything in the article estimating the age of the stream, but if it's in the order of billions of years, is it possible that Mars was in a different position at that time?

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483955)

I think that's when the big astroid hit it and the martians fled to another galaxy.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484057)

What different position makes something other than water plausible? liquid forms of things we think of as "gasses" require it to be way out there, liquid forms of what we think of as "solids" require it to be way in there. There's a fairly small set of things liquid within the range of reasonable temperatures, and the obvious non-water choices are far more chemically complex.

Granted, our understanding of mechanics of evolving planetary systems is rudimentary, theoretical, and subject to massive revision over the next decade as we observe more exoplanets, but Mars migrating that far while keeping its surface intact doesn't seem likely at present; while we should remain open to that possibility, Occam's razor says assume it's water.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

poly_pusher (1004145) | about 2 years ago | (#41484087)

In another article they said it is likely thousands to millions of years old. I think this is being left out of some articles as it sounds absurdly broad for an estimate. However, not bad considering the Crater is estimated at 3-4 billion years old. I'm sure we'll hear more. They'll be pouring over ever ounce of data they can collect on this spot.

This really is incredible. It's traveled less than 200 meters and found things worth studying. Once it gets to Glenleg things are going to get really interesting...

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | about 2 years ago | (#41484451)

heh - "They'll be pouring over ever ounce of data they can collect on this spot." no pun intended? (see "poring" vs "pouring")

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41484529)

Once they have some conclusive results I'm sure they'll be pouring ounces.

Most likely the JD kind, though possibly one of the many "Hoot Mon!" brands [luxurylaunches.com] .

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#41483425)

it wasn't a liquid form of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide goes to solid. wasn't the 3% nitrogen, too warm. certainly not the argon, also too warm. maybe the NASA boffins know a bit more than you?

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483969)

Depends. At around 10 atmospheres and -65 degrees F, carbon dioxide most certainly would be a liquid.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484117)

Depends. At around 10 atmospheres and -65 degrees F, carbon dioxide most certainly would be a liquid.

Yeah, and then the only problem with that hypothesis is the 3 orders of magnitude discrepancy in pressure.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (2)

cbhacking (979169) | about 2 years ago | (#41484129)

Considering that the atmospheric pressure on Mars is a lot closer to 100 milibars (1/10 of an "atmosphere") than to that of 10 [Earth] atmospheres, I think the GP's point stands. True, under certain conditions CO2 has a liquid state, but the liquid nitrogen is a far more likely explanation.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (2, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#41483443)

Yes, but since humans havent been on Mars (that we know of), toxic sludge isnt one of them.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41483543)

There are other fluids than water that can sustain a semicolloidal solution or carry sediments. I assume that scientists now have to figure out what fluid flowed, rather than simply assuming that it had to be water.

Zap it with a laser and conduct at spectrum analysis on it and see what elements pop up.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (5, Insightful)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 years ago | (#41483671)

There are other fluids than water that can sustain a semicolloidal solution or carry sediments. I assume that scientists now have to figure out what fluid flowed, rather than simply assuming that it had to be water.

Zap it with a laser and conduct at spectrum analysis on it and see what elements pop up.

Without proclaiming any expertise, I'd say that the erosion and eddy patterns left behind would be informative, since they would be indicative of the viscosity of the liquid. The pattern of sediment would drop hints towards its density. Water, CO2 and other highly-vaporous substances would not leave much, if any discernible residue or precipitate compared many other fluids. Some fluids would react with certain payload elements, other with different payload elements (in the structural meaning of the term "element", not the chemical one).

There's a lot you can learn just ogling the pictures.

THEN zap it with a laser!

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41483747)

There are other fluids than water that can sustain a semicolloidal solution or carry sediments. I assume that scientists now have to figure out what fluid flowed, rather than simply assuming that it had to be water.

Zap it with a laser and conduct at spectrum analysis on it and see what elements pop up.

Without proclaiming any expertise, I'd say that the erosion and eddy patterns left behind would be informative, since they would be indicative of the viscosity of the liquid. The pattern of sediment would drop hints towards its density. Water, CO2 and other highly-vaporous substances would not leave much, if any discernible residue or precipitate compared many other fluids. Some fluids would react with certain payload elements, other with different payload elements (in the structural meaning of the term "element", not the chemical one).

There's a lot you can learn just ogling the pictures.

THEN zap it with a laser!

Routinely you will find H20 bonded in some sediments where water has passed for a length of time, sans life, there will be less (to none) of the familiar compounds of Earth. It likely was water, but when and how much is certainly an interest, though it likely boiled off into space, thanks to Mars' weak gravity.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484741)

... though it likely boiled off into space, thanks to Mars' weak gravity.

I suspect that the low pressure atmosphere would be more of an influence on the water boiling off; of course, if it escapes the planet entirely after it's boiled into the atmosphere, that would be due to the low gravity.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

l810c (551591) | about 2 years ago | (#41484973)

THEN zap it with a laser!

They didn't, they moved right along. This is one of the more interesting things I took from the NASA site.

"A long-flowing stream can be a habitable environment," said Grotzinger. "It is not our top choice as an environment for preservation of organics, though. We're still going to Mount Sharp, but this is insurance that we have already found our first potentially habitable environment."

There seems to be many steam beds in an alluvial plain. It's pretty clear that a liquid water river system once flowed there. You would think a river/stream system would be the ultimate place to start searching for life. But they seem to have a better target.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483727)

Zap it with a laser

I'd suggest to nuke it from orbit. That's the only way to be sure.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483557)

Does it even have to be a fluid? What about a flow of fine particles, or something like a pyroclastic flow?

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#41483595)

There are other fluids than water that can sustain a semicolloidal solution or carry sediments. I assume that scientists now have to figure out what fluid flowed, rather than simply assuming that it had to be water.

I take it you've never heard of Occam's Razor. Given the composition of Mars and other evidence gathered to date water is by FAR the most likely substance to have caused this.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1, Funny)

yotto (590067) | about 2 years ago | (#41483833)

I take it you've never heard of Occam's Razor. Given the composition of Mars and other evidence gathered to date water is by FAR the most likely substance to have caused this.

I bet it was Florida Orange Juice. Prove me wrong!

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484191)

The onus to provide evidence is on the maker of the claim.

What evidence can you provide that Mars once contained flowing rivers of pure Florida Orange Juice?

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (3, Insightful)

pjbgravely (751384) | about 2 years ago | (#41484461)

Orange juice is mostly water, so water is still the correct answer.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (2)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about 2 years ago | (#41483865)

If it was water than there should be evidence of life even if it is only bacterial life. Even if they only discover bacterial life than some of these religious nut will have some explaining to do. We have been looking for life outside of earth for a long time now without success. I think if they do not discover some signs of either living life or past life than the whole mission will be a failure. It is just like looking for water on your property, one does not care how fancy or technological the equipment is, one only cares if they have found water. So I am hoping they discover signs of life soon.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#41483883)

First, water is required for life as we know it, but the presence of water is no guarantee for life. Second, this is not a mission to determine if there are traces of life or not. Curiosity is mostly a geological mission, with an emphasis of finding out if there were ever conditions suitable to sustain life as we know it That's not anywhere near the same thing as finding proof there ever was or even if there still is life on Mars.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41483985)

Curiosity's main mission...

http://www.talknerdytome.net/2012/08/curiositys-main-mission.html?m=1 [talknerdytome.net]

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (3, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41484037)

Whoops! Curiosity's real main mission:

"Curiosity’s primary mission will be to gather geological and environmental data from the Martian surface to determine whether the planet has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for life --and collect data for a manned mission. It will do this by travelling around a particularly promising site called Gale Crater, which has three miles of exposed geological strata, or rock layers like we have in the Grand Canyon. By drilling into these rocks and sampling them, scientists can tell quite a bit about global processes that formed the planet --including the role of water in its creation and the possibility of microbial life." http://energy.gov/articles/powering-curiosity-lab-tech-goes-mars [energy.gov]

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#41484075)

Pretty much what I said the first time...

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 2 years ago | (#41484069)

I take it you've never heard of Occam's Razor.

I've never heard of Occam's Razor. What is it? I'm imagining some kind of 7 legged, supersonic, invisible shoe.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (4, Funny)

bromoseltzer (23292) | about 2 years ago | (#41484459)

I've never heard of Occam's Razor. What is it? I'm imagining some kind of 7 legged, supersonic, invisible shoe.

It's an Olde English Cellphone.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484647)

I take it you've never heard of Occam's Razor.

Razors flowed on Mars? Let me be the first earthling to say, Ouch!

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483713)

Fuck. After reading these replies it seem that you should just shut the fuck up about science until you learn some.
 
Your bitch ass gots p0wn3d.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483857)

There are other fluids than water that can sustain a semicolloidal solution or carry sediments.

Could strong relentless sand storms do it? Does the fluid even need to be a liquid?

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41483993)

Thoat saliva is the next popular candidate among scientists.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484013)

So, drinking the water will give you a sore thoat then?

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (1)

treeves (963993) | about 2 years ago | (#41484281)

Yeah, maybe hydrazine or Dowtherm A or tetrahydrofuran or propylene glycol methyl ether acetate.

Re:Water, or some other fluid? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485127)

Bullshit. It was water, which proves there was life on Mars, that eventually got to earth on an asteroid, and led to life on earth. Can't you see the science?

Looking forward to the next Martian mission ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483359)

... and the Bi-Curiosity Rover

Rocks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483435)

So we spend billions to look at dirt !!

Re:Rocks (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483475)

So we spend billions to look at dirt !!

Look, touch, analyze. It sure beats sending 2-3 meatbags on Mars to do the same thing.

Re:Rocks (2, Funny)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 2 years ago | (#41483555)

It sure beats sending 2-3 meatbags

I believe those meatbags are commonly referred to as: "Ugly bags of mostly water"

Re:Rocks (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41483725)

Meat Popsicles!!

Re:Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484003)

It sure beats sending 2-3 meatbags

I believe those meatbags are commonly referred to as: "Ugly bags of mostly water"

HK-47 would most certainly disagree with your assessment.

Re:Rocks (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | about 2 years ago | (#41484073)

I believe those meatbags are commonly referred to as: "Ugly bags of mostly water"

As long as you don't ask about the glowy bits. Or the probe code.

Re:Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41484489)

They're made out of meat [terrybisson.com]

Re:Rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483685)

These meatbags you speak of would have done the job of Spirit and Opportunity in two weeks rather than several years.

Re:Rocks (3, Insightful)

z0idberg (888892) | about 2 years ago | (#41483815)

And imagine how much more they could get done while they sit around on that red rock waiting to die.

Re:Rocks (1)

multiben (1916126) | about 2 years ago | (#41483547)

I know you're probably trolling, but if that is really your point of view then there maybe better places for you to hang out on the internet.

Re:Rocks (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41483949)

Indeed... Like his navel

Re:Rocks (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41483553)

So we spend billions to look at dirt !!

On Soviet Red Planet water finds YOU!

Soil. (1, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41483563)

It's called soil. Dirt is the stuff stuck on the bottom of your shoes.

Re:Soil. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483703)

no, soil contains organic remains. dirt and regolith do not.

Re:Soil. (1)

thexile (1058552) | about 2 years ago | (#41484795)

or vagina.

Re:Soil. (2)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41484949)

I don't believe there is any requirement for soil to contain organic remains.

Wikipedia disagrees a bit (2)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41485787)

Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) that are primarily composed of minerals which differ from their parent materials in their texture, structure, consistency, colour, chemical, biological and other characteristics. It is the unconsolidated or loose covering of fine rock particles that covers the surface of the earth.[1] Soil is the end product of the influence of the climate (temperature, precipitation), relief (slope), organisms (flora and fauna), parent materials (original minerals), temperature, and time. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material. Strictly speaking, soil is the depth of regolith that influences and has been influenced by plant roots and may range in depth from centimetres to many metres.

So it doesn't have to contain organics, just has to have been affected by plant roots. Soil is almost always reffered to when talking about stuff to grow things on/in and then on land. You don't talk about the sands of the Sahara as soil after all. Or the soil at the bottom of the sea.

But hey, go right ahead kid, show yourself to be a true dweed and insist on using words by their most strict interpretation, it will warn everyone that you are someone who hasn't any social skills whatsoever. I would warn you to now go try to order soil to fill your kids sandbox but I think it is safe to assume you never will be in that situation.

Re:Wikipedia disagrees a bit (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#41485879)

But hey, go right ahead kid, show yourself to be a true dweed and insist on using words by their most strict interpretation, it will warn everyone that you are someone who hasn't any social skills whatsoever. I would warn you to now go try to order soil to fill your kids sandbox but I think it is safe to assume you never will be in that situation.

Doctor, heal thy self.

The saying I posted is just a funny way of saying "hey, this stuff (the dirt) is important."

I wasn't trying to be pedantic. I used to work at an environmental engineering company, and I noticed that the geologists and environmental scientists didn't like it when I referred to soil samples as dirt. One once said to me "I didn't spend 6 years in college to study dirt." I looked it up and it turns out they were right. These nasa scientists aren't studying dirt. Saying that implies what they're doing is less important than it actually is. Even if it's not on mars, the soil covering the earth is very important to us, and many people make studying it their live's work.

Re:Soil. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485215)

So far as I have seen, "soil" refers to any sort of more or less loose stuff sitting on top
of bedrock.

From Dictionary.com:
  "1. the portion of the earth's surface consisting of disintegrated rock and humus."

From Wikipedia:
  "Soil is a natural body consisting of layers (soil horizons) that are primarily composed of minerals which differ from their parent materials in their texture, structure, consistency, colour, chemical, biological and other characteristics. It is the unconsolidated or loose covering of fine rock particles that covers the surface of the earth.[1] Soil is the end product of the influence of the climate (temperature, precipitation), relief (slope), organisms (flora and fauna), parent materials (original minerals), temperature, and time. In engineering, soil is referred to as regolith, or loose rock material. Strictly speaking, soil is the depth of regolith that influences and has been influenced by plant roots and may range in depth from centimetres to many metres."

From NSW TAFE Landcare notes:
  "Soil is a natural body consisiting of sopilds (minerals and organic matter), liquid, and gases
that occur on the land surface"

So they indicate organic matter as a necessity, but OTOH one hears references to the
"Lunar soil", "Martian soil", etc, even if they are otherwise called regolith or sand.
But they're free of organics at least those made by life.
Of course on Earth all soils DO contain organic material, even if in tiny amounts like in deserts (Atacama, etc).

"Soil" in these contexts might be loose language, or maybe we have to redfine it now we're digging on other planets..

"Regolith" is in fact the bottom-most layer of many soil systems, and may be the "only" layer.

"Dirt" is a hopelessly vague term. I'm pretty sure general purpose "dirt' contains organic gunk :)

Re:Soil. (0)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41483809)

It's the same stuff. Where do you think the dirt on the bottom of your shoes comes from?

Re:Rocks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483597)

So we spend billions to look at dirt !!

Yes. That's why wine tastes good, and fewer houses are sliding off their foundations these days.

Re:Rocks (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 2 years ago | (#41483699)

Those future houses and vineyards on Mars are totally set. =)

Re:Rocks (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41483973)

So we spend billions to look at dirt !!

That's no dirt, that's humanity's great great great great great great great great etc. etc. grandfather.

Good thing we didn't land then... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 2 years ago | (#41483531)

Rover could have been washed away.

Launch, fly 54.6 million kilometers, land, drown. No profit in that.

Re:Good thing we didn't land then... (1)

Crypto Gnome (651401) | about 2 years ago | (#41484501)

Launch, fly 54.6 million kilometers, land, drown. No profit in that.

Conclusive proof of the existence of large amounts of liquid water on Mars would be absolutely worth the expense.

Just going to post the only thing worth posting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483649)

Neat.

Re:Just going to post the only thing worth posting (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41484095)

It's interesting the sucker practically just landed and barely started roving, and Kazaam!; there's a major discovery at the first rock grouping it encounters.

I suppose this is similar to Opportunity in that it found bedrock and BB-sized metal spheres almost immediately.

Both sites looked interesting from orbital observations. But then again, so did Spirit's, yet Spirit had to rove for several months toward the hills before it found anything sufficiently new.

Look closely (5, Insightful)

kurt555gs (309278) | about 2 years ago | (#41483707)

I see Thoat tracks.

Re:Look closely (0)

Velex (120469) | about 2 years ago | (#41483779)

Arg! I wasted all my mod points yesterday! Will somebody else do the honors?

Re:Look closely (1)

gslj (214011) | about 2 years ago | (#41484797)

I see Thoat tracks.

Willis tracks.

What NASA is hiding from us (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#41485795)

You have to search through all the photographs, they try to hide them in the flood of images, but one some pictures I can clearly see the tracks of a wheeled vehicle. PROOF there are aliens!

Observation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41483941)

I'm probably way off, but if Earth's core cooled and solidified, wouldn't a majority of our oceans seep below the crust? It seems like magma prevents water from doing this now because it would turn it to steam. Maybe this is what happened with Mars. Both planets are similar in composition, but since Mars is farther from the sun and smaller, Maybe it just cooled quicker and got a head start in the process. That would mean there's a lot more water on Mars than we can observe. We should drill deep into Mars and find out. Life would probably be hanging on down there too

What would be really cool (1)

AndyKron (937105) | about 2 years ago | (#41484015)

What would be really cool is if Curiosity found some arrows heads along the banks.

Props to submitter and editor (5, Insightful)

elistan (578864) | about 2 years ago | (#41484113)

Nice job, submitting and subsequently accepting, an article with a link to the NASA article instead of some random blog linking to a multipage ad-heavy website that only vaguely discusses the NASA article. More of this, please.

Re:Props to submitter and editor (4, Interesting)

sighted (851500) | about 2 years ago | (#41484709)

So glad you found it useful, and thank you for saying so. If, however - just for the sake of familiarity - people still want a link to some random guy's website, here's my latest space-related project: http://www.ridingwithrobots.org/earth [ridingwithrobots.org] Except it still doesn't have ads. Oh well, what can you do?

Re:Props to submitter and editor (2)

bronney (638318) | about 2 years ago | (#41485013)

What an awesome website bro. More of these please!!!

You know what the Curiosity rover CAN'T find? (0)

elrous0 (869638) | about 2 years ago | (#41484523)

Love.

Re:You know what the Curiosity rover CAN'T find? (1)

bronney (638318) | about 2 years ago | (#41485057)

you sure bro? cause I absolutely love "it".

vanity fair (no capitals) (1)

ntropia (939502) | about 2 years ago | (#41484769)

It is amazing how few respected armchair scientists can keep at bay legions of puny exogeologists and so-called experts.

Guess again.... (1)

die standing (2626663) | about 2 years ago | (#41484799)

It wasn't the Egyptians, Chinese, Africans, and several South American civilizations, nuh uh, no way. What we have here is clearly an ancient martian craft brewery. This particular area must have been where they made their darker ambers and pales by allowing the beer to flow along the natural terrain to give them those distinct natural martian flavors and colors.

Honest question (2)

jomama717 (779243) | about 2 years ago | (#41484943)

How naive am I to get excited at the thought we might happen upon a fossil?

Re:Honest question (1)

rs79 (71822) | about 2 years ago | (#41485111)

Very.

Re:Honest question (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#41485481)

Well, if they find some seashells that pretty much answers that question. Anything conical or based on the golden ratio would mean that life is highly likely to be ubiquitous on planets that are wet with water and have a proper climate. Again, that's a big fat IF.

I still have high hopes that something fossilized might be found (bacteria would still be fantastic). My gut feeling is that planet is too big to be completely sterile throughout its existence.

Re:Honest question (1)

Alioth (221270) | about 2 years ago | (#41486191)

If they find anything, it's likely to be unicellular. Multicellular life on Earth took billions of years to appear, and we think surface water on Mars disappeared an awful long time ago - probably not giving time for anything more complex than bacteria to appear.

fossils (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485179)

Time to look for fossils?

Video of the press conference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485259)

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25748116

Tell me when they get to sandybridge. (1)

PDX (412820) | about 2 years ago | (#41485707)

If they find divots in smooth river rock it could indicate a metabolic process tore into a rock.

sad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485927)

this thread should have thousands comments....but we like to live in our little ball of dirt and look at next snooki shit....plus the religious madness....

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