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(Washington Post)   Curiosity has found proof that there was once abundant, fast-moving water on Mars that could have supported life   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 221
    More: Cool, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA, Mars landing, imaging science, Planetary Science, John Grotzinger, streambeds, pebbles  
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14257 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Sep 2012 at 11:16 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-28 12:34:47 AM  

Lsherm: It wouldn't require a "manned mission" - just a more focused mission like the one they're already doing.


I've got to disagree based on previous missions.
Yes the equipment keeps getting better, but truly satisfying scientists can be an impossible task.

Its been forty years of maybes on water. They see evidence from space, they see ice and dew forming on the ground, they see stuff gushing out of fissures and none of it is ever conclusive. No ones going to be satisfied till they can taste the red mud for themselves.

That in mind, I don't think there is any microscope or test you can engineer that will satisfy them to answer the question of life.
No ones going to be happy until they can personally scoop the crap strait off the surface of mars and dump it in a glass dish.
 
2012-09-28 12:36:17 AM  

whatshisname: So THAT'S where Jesus put all the water left over from the flood!


Wait a sec, was Jesus born yet when the flood happened?
 
2012-09-28 12:36:23 AM  

James F. Campbell: markie_farkie: I bet we stumble across some kind of primitive trilobite-like fossil before too long.

Think of the implications..

I believe we will find one as well. Too bad the people who humanity most desperately needs to change will never incorporate this new information into their worldview.


The way I see it people have no trouble with alien life, but there is still too much institutional power riding on it not existing. It is those institutions which instill these views in people, so once what benefits them changes so will the worldview. For instance, the catholic church has already accepted alien life. Why? because it became in its best interests to do so because of the image they wanted. A more modern, scientific image. So they incorporated alien life so seamlessly and easy most people didn't even notice. Now any life in the universe is God's creation.

It's that people buy into what those in these institutions tell them, church, school, government, etc and so on. If they have to suddenly confront alien life when the institution(s) they believe in says it doesn't exist they'll have issues. But if the institution had changed its view and then the announcement is made later well... they still have their faith in authority and how they were told things worked when they were 7 years old but with official changes. No problem at all.

The problem is for the institutions which want to seem as if they have a handle on everything. The institutional insecurity, not for people. That's why there are so many cover-up fairy tales. Insecurity of the people running things first and foremost.

That's my take on it. I really don't think people have a problem with alien life. Tell someone in some isolated third world country life was found on mars and the problem he'll have is believing someone got to mars to find it.
 
2012-09-28 12:37:20 AM  

doglover: Because getting a decent microscope lab on a robot that can actually dig a proper hole to mars is one piece is A LOT harder and more expensive than sending the kinds of missions we do send, and the value to science of finding microbes on Mars is minimal. Meanwhile, learning the geology of mars to double check what we think we know is important for reliability of future observations.


You are a moron. Not much more to say. I bolded the especially stupid parts. Welcome to the ignore list.
 
2012-09-28 12:38:30 AM  

Mr. Carpenter: Xaxor: It's NASA, not Nasa, though I am probably guilty of it too.

It can be either.... (long explanation)


Oh, well thanks. I learned something today.
 
2012-09-28 12:39:28 AM  

brianbankerus: fusillade762: Ambivalence: So what happened to it?

I think the theory is that Mars lost its magnetic field and solar radiation fried the place. Any scienticians feel free to correct me if I'm off base.

I'm not a scientician, but I do have an internet degree in doctorology.


blacksportsonline.com
 
2012-09-28 12:40:28 AM  

justtray: doglover: Because getting a decent microscope lab on a robot that can actually dig a proper hole to mars is one piece is A LOT harder and more expensive than sending the kinds of missions we do send, and the value to science of finding microbes on Mars is minimal. Meanwhile, learning the geology of mars to double check what we think we know is important for reliability of future observations.

You are a moron. Not much more to say. I bolded the especially stupid parts. Welcome to the ignore list.


Oh noes! Not justtray's ignore list!
 
2012-09-28 12:41:41 AM  
With all due respect to the science and technology that went into this project, there is no money in this. Mars is a frozen wasteland. Useless.

Put the money into agriculture. We're going to need it.
 
2012-09-28 12:44:10 AM  

ciberido: TastyEloi: 'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 200x329]

Way ahead of you.


Love that series of books.
 
2012-09-28 12:45:22 AM  
www.freewebs.com

leave our water alone, earthling scum!
 
2012-09-28 12:45:29 AM  

NewportBarGuy: redly1: because water is the only liquid in the universe

[i45.tinypic.com image 500x568]

YOU

[i47.tinypic.com image 432x359]

EVERYONE ELSE


Under Martian conditions, the only possible liquids in quantities large enough to matter are (salt) water and ammonia. The presence of aqueous minerals and absence of ammonium minerals leaves only one option.
 
2012-09-28 12:45:39 AM  

fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.


Because Mars would need a magnetic field to deflect dangerous charged particles--is that it?
 
2012-09-28 12:47:33 AM  

TastyEloi: fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.

Because Mars would need a magnetic field to deflect dangerous charged particles--is that it?


Also to deflect the Solar Wind so that it does not strip away any atmosphere that you might create.
 
2012-09-28 12:48:31 AM  

common sense is an oxymoron: Under Martian conditions, the only possible liquids in quantities large enough to matter are (salt) water and ammonia. The presence of aqueous minerals and absence of ammonium minerals leaves only one option.


I don't want to drink my own piss :(
 
2012-09-28 12:56:33 AM  

KarmicDisaster: Also to deflect the Solar Wind so that it does not strip away any atmosphere that you might create.


Read a nice piece about that. Part of the problem is that sun light breaks down water molecules, some of it recombines as hydrogen. Some of that hydrogen escapes into space. This happens on earth to this day, hydrogen is boiling off into space and lost forever. Mars having lighter gravity, would have lost an ocean of water in the first billion years, and likely never had nearly as much as the earth.

\The ancients thought the planets were perfect.
\\The the earth was foul and corrupt.
\\\If they'd seen what we've seen.
\\\\They'd know the earth is the most precious jewel in gods crown.
\\Slashies.
 
2012-09-28 01:00:13 AM  

fusillade762: Ambivalence: So what happened to it?

I think the theory is that Mars lost its magnetic field and solar radiation fried the place. Any scienticians feel free to correct me if I'm off base.


As I understand it, it's to do with the lower gravity on Mars. Atmosphere of some kind is necessary to keep the temperature above the freezing point of water (or ammonia, whatever). Mars once had such an atmosphere, but it was lost quickly due to the lower gravity. No atmosphere = freezing temps = no liquid water. However, no atmosphere also = nothing to keep the frozen water from sublimating to gas. That's just a memory from a long-ago Discovery channel discussion of Martian water so I'm sure it's very wrong, but probably along the right track.

For whatever reason, there just can't be liquid water on the surface without some kind of atmosphere.
 
2012-09-28 01:03:06 AM  

justtray: There is almost certainly life on Mars.

There are giant sinkholes in the surface of the planet that are clearly visible. Around these zones, as the seasons change, the amount of Methane in the atmosphere increases signficantly. The only process we know that releases methane into the atmosphere like this is biological.

So the question really is, "Why aren't we searching for life on Mars?" We know where to look, and we aren't even trying.


Just off the cuff, if there is methane frozen in the crust, and as the seasons change it warms, more methane would be released, with no biological process. Or soething like that. methane trapped in something. That's just off the cuff and I don't know if what you say is even true, but that alone is certainly not proof of life.
 
2012-09-28 01:04:19 AM  

CruJones: justtray: There is almost certainly life on Mars.

There are giant sinkholes in the surface of the planet that are clearly visible. Around these zones, as the seasons change, the amount of Methane in the atmosphere increases signficantly. The only process we know that releases methane into the atmosphere like this is biological.

So the question really is, "Why aren't we searching for life on Mars?" We know where to look, and we aren't even trying.

Just off the cuff, if there is methane frozen in the crust, and as the seasons change it warms, more methane would be released, with no biological process. Or soething like that. methane trapped in something. That's just off the cuff and I don't know if what you say is even true, but that alone is certainly not proof of life.


Don't be stupid. There are no known geological processes that can do what you describe. That's EXACTLY the point.
 
2012-09-28 01:05:19 AM  

CruJones: justtray: There is almost certainly life on Mars.

There are giant sinkholes in the surface of the planet that are clearly visible. Around these zones, as the seasons change, the amount of Methane in the atmosphere increases signficantly. The only process we know that releases methane into the atmosphere like this is biological.

So the question really is, "Why aren't we searching for life on Mars?" We know where to look, and we aren't even trying.

Just off the cuff, if there is methane frozen in the crust, and as the seasons change it warms, more methane would be released, with no biological process. Or soething like that. methane trapped in something. That's just off the cuff and I don't know if what you say is even true, but that alone is certainly not proof of life.


But yeah thanks for coming in here and sharing your ignorance on the subject with everyone. It's always good to get opinionated and preachy on things you have literally no clue about.
 
2012-09-28 01:09:36 AM  
Only because I'm not coming back, and for some reason, this clear sign of life keeps getting swept under the rug.

Observations over the last decade suggest that methane clouds form briefly over Mars during the summer months. The discovery has left many scientists scratching their heads, since it doesn't fit into models of the martian atmosphere. The image above shows a map of methane concentrations in Autumn (first martian year observed) overlayed on true color map of Mars. It's a debate of long-standing that the Mars' Curiosity rover might soon answer.

"The reports are extraordinary," said Kevin Zahnle of NASA Ames Research Center. "They require methane to have a life time of days or weeks in the martian atmosphere, which disagrees with the known behavior of methane by at least a factor of 1000."

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/09/mars-methane-debate-a-si g n-of-life-or-a-mirage.html
 
2012-09-28 01:14:45 AM  

way south: No ones going to be happy until they can personally scoop the crap strait off the surface of mars and dump it in a glass dish.


Then they just have a mission to bring stuff back. It can be done. No man required.
 
2012-09-28 01:18:01 AM  

markie_farkie: I bet we stumble across some kind of primitive trilobite-like fossil before too long.

Think of the implications..


There are both good and bad implications with regards to life in the universe, and to us.

Finding a complex, multicellular fossil on Mars would be a wonderful, exciting thing, since it would tell us that complex life arose, perhaps independently, on at least two different planets in our solar system. That's the good.

Finding that fossil on a planet that's completely dead today would indicate that yes, Virginia, it's perfectly and completely possible for all life on a planet, complex or otherwise, to be wiped out. That's the bad.

That would be one possible solution to the Fermi Paradox--it may be that even if life is relatively common in the universe, most of it is microbial and much of the rest gets smothered in its crib before it gets to the point where it's able to start talking leaving only a handful of planets that manage to pass through the filter. We may be alone in the galaxy, and even if we're not, intelligent life could be so thinly spread that it never manages to meet another sentient species before it dies out or loses interest in communicating and goes burrowing up its own navel. .
 
2012-09-28 01:19:14 AM  

James F. Campbell: markie_farkie: I bet we stumble across some kind of primitive trilobite-like fossil before too long.

Think of the implications..

I believe we will find one as well. Too bad the people who humanity most desperately needs to change will never incorporate this new information into their worldview.


CS Lewis was writing about this in the 1930s and 50s.

Link

Go project your American sensibilities elsewhere.
 
2012-09-28 01:20:34 AM  
/obscure?
 
2012-09-28 01:21:13 AM  

RatMaster999: /obscure?


Damn it...ate my picture. I really need to preview.
 
2012-09-28 01:28:29 AM  
An, BTW, i called this from the first picture sent back.
 
2012-09-28 01:29:35 AM  
Dammit:

Link 

Not a scientist, but i did boff a physicist in a Holiday Inn Express, once.
 
2012-09-28 01:31:46 AM  

RatMaster999: RatMaster999: /obscure?

Damn it...ate my picture. I really need to preview.


Or review. It's your choice man.
 
2012-09-28 01:33:04 AM  

fusillade762: Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.


You can do that with lasers.
 
2012-09-28 01:33:43 AM  

KarmicDisaster: TastyEloi: fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.

Because Mars would need a magnetic field to deflect dangerous charged particles--is that it?

Also to deflect the Solar Wind so that it does not strip away any atmosphere that you might create.


I wonder how the math works out. But it seems reasonable that if you can put an atmosphere on the damn thing in anything close to a human time frame (100s or 1000s of years?) , then you can probably maintain it despite solar wind slowly blowing it off.
 
2012-09-28 01:46:51 AM  

fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.


Need to push a larger moon into orbit. well wouldn't have to be large... just one with more mass. Assuming there is in fact a semi-solid iron core, the tidal forces from a large orbiting mass would perhaps be enough to get the core spinning again.
 
2012-09-28 01:53:08 AM  
Serious question... can we or how close are they to bio-engineering bacteria that can survive in different environments? Just make one that can feed off the gas of the atmosphere and let evolution take place.
 
2012-09-28 01:53:28 AM  

AgentTokyo: fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.

Need to push a larger moon into orbit. well wouldn't have to be large... just one with more mass. Assuming there is in fact a semi-solid iron core, the tidal forces from a large orbiting mass would perhaps be enough to get the core spinning again.


pfft. there's a machine there doug quaid needs to start. everyone knows that.
 
2012-09-28 01:56:31 AM  

AgentTokyo: fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.

Need to push a larger moon into orbit. well wouldn't have to be large... just one with more mass. Assuming there is in fact a semi-solid iron core, the tidal forces from a large orbiting mass would perhaps be enough to get the core spinning again.


At that point, why not just build underground? You can use raw sunlight for solar power snd feed flourescent lights to grow crops in caves where you can control the pressure and radiation and atmospheric composition and temperature and hopefully your bladder because we might be sharing bunks at first.
 
2012-09-28 01:57:45 AM  

ronin7: KarmicDisaster: TastyEloi: fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.

Because Mars would need a magnetic field to deflect dangerous charged particles--is that it?

Also to deflect the Solar Wind so that it does not strip away any atmosphere that you might create.

I wonder how the math works out. But it seems reasonable that if you can put an atmosphere on the damn thing in anything close to a human time frame (100s or 1000s of years?) , then you can probably maintain it despite solar wind slowly blowing it off.


If you're at a place where you have the technology to transform a planet from a frozen desert back to a garden in the first place, you're also probably at a point where you can commit yourself to constantly tinkering with the biosphere to keep it habitable. In the absence of plate tectonics, you could dredge the seabeds every so often to get your nutrients back onto the land after rain and wind erode them into the ocean, keep dragging comets out of the Kuiper belt or the Oort to replenish the volatiles that the solar wind strips away. The rate of atmosphere escape should be low enough to keep up with without too much fuss. Or maybe you could generate an artificial magnetic field around the planet to protect it from the solar wind. If you're able to think seriously about doing it in the first place, keeping it up should be child's play.
 
2012-09-28 02:01:35 AM  

towatchoverme: CS Lewis was writing about this in the 1930s and 50s.

Link

Go project your American sensibilities elsewhere.


home.comcast.net
 
2012-09-28 02:27:28 AM  

AgentTokyo: fusillade762: TastyEloi: I'm sort of hoping there is no life on Mars, at least not currently. Then we won't have any ethical issues should we ever want to terraform the planet.

'Cause I can definitely see some 23rd century version of PETA protesting Martian terraforming because it will kill off the native bacteria.

Unless you can think of a way to get Mars' core molten and spinning I don't think terraforming is likely to be very successful.

Need to push a larger moon into orbit. well wouldn't have to be large... just one with more mass. Assuming there is in fact a semi-solid iron core, the tidal forces from a large orbiting mass would perhaps be enough to get the core spinning again.


Moons are also good for intercepting incoming meteors.


doglover: At that point, why not just build underground? You can use raw sunlight for solar power snd feed flourescent lights to grow crops in caves where you can control the pressure and radiation and atmospheric composition and temperature and hopefully your bladder because we might be sharing bunks at first.


You'd have to build underground at first because until you have an atmosphere a solar flare could kill everyone on the surface.
 
HSA
2012-09-28 02:29:09 AM  
Feeling like I'm being led into a conclusion.
With enough time, other things than water can create the photographs that we're presented.
 
2012-09-28 02:36:18 AM  

justtray: There are giant sinkholes in the surface of the planet that are clearly visible. Around these zones, as the seasons change, the amount of Methane in the atmosphere increases signficantly. The only process we know that releases methane into the atmosphere like this is biological.


Citation please. I've seen papers regarding methane releases, but no specifics about certain sinkholes as zones of methane production. If you can point me to that data, I'd appreciate it.
 
2012-09-28 02:38:04 AM  

justtray: Don't be stupid. There are no known geological processes that can do what you describe. That's EXACTLY the point.


Yes there are. See Oze and Sharma, 2005 (PDF).
 
2012-09-28 02:39:20 AM  

NewportBarGuy: redly1: because water is the only liquid in the universe

[i45.tinypic.com image 500x568]

YOU

[i47.tinypic.com image 432x359]

EVERYONE ELSE


The funny thing is. If we do ever go Mars...

Drinking your own piss is pretty standard practice.
 
2012-09-28 02:49:11 AM  

hoihoi8: Serious question... can we or how close are they to bio-engineering bacteria that can survive in different environments? Just make one that can feed off the gas of the atmosphere and let evolution take place.


They already exist here on Earth, no engineering required.
 
2012-09-28 03:09:37 AM  

HSA: Feeling like I'm being led into a conclusion.
With enough time, other things than water can create the photographs that we're presented.


Sure ... but what, if not liquid water? Not shutting you down, this is unsettled science. Which means it's exciting.

Wind weathering produces things that look like this:

3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-09-28 03:22:12 AM  

Richard Saunders: Just because it's a fluid, does not mean it's water...

/or did I not get the memo?


redly1: because water is the only liquid in the universe


Other liquids may not be compatible with the chemicals they've already found, such as the hematite that the previous rovers found. Also, Mars has polar caps with a lot of water ice, so we already know that the planet has lots of water on it. We just want to know whether it used to be covered with it. There's no good reason to assume, if we found evidence of flowing rivers, that they were made of a different liquid than the one we already have evidence for and direct observations of.


grinnel: When water formed on earth, was it as vapor in the atmosphere or terrestrial liquid?


Earth was molten when it was first formed, so the water would have had to be in vapor form. It is also thought that a lot of water arrived in the form of comets. Comet impacts would have spread the water around as vapor until clouds finally formed and precipitated when the temperature became low enough.
 
2012-09-28 03:24:25 AM  

HSA: Feeling like I'm being led into a conclusion.
With enough time, other things than water can create the photographs that we're presented.


Sure, but they're doing (and have already done) chemical analysis too. It isn't just the pebbles shape.
And we already know water exists on Mars in large amounts, it's just frozen at the poles right now.
 
2012-09-28 03:26:22 AM  

StopLurkListen: HSA: Feeling like I'm being led into a conclusion.
With enough time, other things than water can create the photographs that we're presented.

Sure ... but what, if not liquid water? Not shutting you down, this is unsettled science. Which means it's exciting.

Wind weathering produces things that look like this:

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 320x240]


Yes. Take a CLOSER look. Those layers? They're sedimentary rocks that only form in water.

Your example photo proves that liquid water existed at some point there.
 
2012-09-28 03:30:39 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: Richard Saunders: Just because it's a fluid, does not mean it's water...

/or did I not get the memo?

Other solvents tend not to wear rock in the same fashion. Mars rock is composed from a lot of silicon and lesser basalts than Earth, but water erosion is distinct from streams of, say, liquid methane. Water is polar; it hydrates silica minerals, and has an astonishing vapor pressure to atomic weight ratio.

Meanwhile the chances of Mars getting cold enough to liquefy methane in volume and rain it from the sky in sufficient quantities to erode rock is between slim and none.


See, this is why I ask. There are some smart FARKers out there.

Thank you.
 
2012-09-28 03:31:02 AM  

justtray: adeist69: justtray: There is almost certainly life on Mars.

There are giant sinkholes in the surface of the planet that are clearly visible. Around these zones, as the seasons change, the amount of Methane in the atmosphere increases signficantly. The only process we know that releases methane into the atmosphere like this is biological.

So the question really is, "Why aren't we searching for life on Mars?" We know where to look, and we aren't even trying.


So what you're saying is that there are cows in the sinkholes, is that right then?

More likely a plethora of microbial bacteria.


cati.typepad.com A gWhat?

Evidence of previous or even current life on Mars will be slowly released until it is undeniable. Mark my words.
 
2012-09-28 04:14:13 AM  
Wouldn't it be something if Curiosity found a child's shovel & pail buried in the sand on the banks of that dried stream?
 
2012-09-28 04:19:17 AM  

ZAZ: Toss this press release on top of the stack of other "water! life!" press releases. When the bottom page turns to diamond, read the top page and believe it.


This. The reality is that we have no idea how likely life is anywhere beyond Earth. No idea whatsoever. Finding evidence of water or even water itself doesn't mean anything beyond keeping Mars in the "not completely impossible to have or have had life" category as opposed to, say, the freaking sun which is 100% ruled out. Finding evidence of water is like saying "the murderer is not Hispanic". Woop-de-doo, you just eliminated 2% of 6 billion possible suspects.

Keep up the good work space-nerds.
 
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