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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 60
    More: Cool, Mars Science Laboratory, NASA, Mars landing, imaging science, Planetary Science, John Grotzinger, streambeds, pebbles  
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14254 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Sep 2012 at 11:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-09-27 11:18:09 PM
11 votes:

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.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-09-27 06:51:19 PM
3 votes:
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.
2012-09-27 06:49:47 PM
3 votes:
I bet we stumble across some kind of primitive trilobite-like fossil before too long.

Think of the implications..
2012-09-28 08:03:40 AM
2 votes:

Tommy Moo: Matter doesn't just disappear. If there used to be significant water on Mars, where did it go? Did it all react with something? Was it all ejected into space at escape velocity? There's really no other choice except those two, or the third possibility, that there never was any water.


Actually, you're right. Somewhere between half and 90% of it got blasted into space along with the atmosphere by the solar wind after the global magnetic field failed, assuming it ever had one. What was left was either deep underground, or frozen in the ice caps and permafrost, or chemically bound up with the rocks. It took hundreds of millions of years for it to happen, maybe longer.

Okay, now I'm gone. Later, guys.
2012-09-28 02:01:35 AM
2 votes:

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 01:56:31 AM
2 votes:

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 01:18:01 AM
2 votes:

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 12:29:15 AM
2 votes:

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

Way ahead of you.
2012-09-28 12:13:59 AM
2 votes:

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

[i45.tinypic.com image 500x568]

YOU

[i47.tinypic.com image 432x359]

EVERYONE ELSE

well no at some temptures every thing is fluid, like water

Well, pressure is part of the equation too. Liquid water can't exist on Mars at any temperature. It sublimates directly from ice to a gas.


Today. A couple hundred million years ago?

Who knows?

/curiosity of course
2012-09-28 12:04:34 AM
2 votes:
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.
2012-09-27 11:48:43 PM
2 votes:
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.
2012-09-27 11:32:01 PM
2 votes:
Yeah, the Alien Brain was trying to tell me something about that when I took it out with the Blaster Launcher.

lparchive.org
2012-09-27 11:27:14 PM
2 votes:
When it comes to destroying life, we humans are #1

Yeah, because nothing died out before humans came along... Remember the first time humans rode on dinosaurs?


Dumbass
2012-09-27 09:30:18 PM
2 votes:
Just because it's a fluid, does not mean it's water...

/or did I not get the memo?
2012-09-27 08:30:52 PM
2 votes:

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.
2012-09-29 01:37:43 AM
1 votes:

Mister Peejay: doglover:

Actually it's more like Mars never really had one worth mentioning. Nor does it have much gravity. So the atmosphere escapes, temperature drops and thus liquids can't survive on the surface any more.

Would the presence of a large moon help with the magnetic field issue?

Or put another way: Has Mars solidified?


There isn't much of a magnetic field left and no volcanic activity, so most likely it has.

The moon is the most worrisome thing when considering what it takes for a world to harbor advanced life.
Because it suggests that not only do you need the right star, the right planet, the right mix of atmosphere and the right core, but you also need a giant mixing ball in orbit at just the right distance to keep the magnetic field going.

That's one reason why finding life on mars would be a big deal in my view.
Because it suggests you could at least spawn something without a moon.

/Twice in one solar system would drastically increase the chance that its happened around nearby stars.
2012-09-28 10:17:41 PM
1 votes:
The NASA scientists claiming this 30 years ago were run out of the program.
2012-09-28 11:33:04 AM
1 votes:

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

It can be either. It depends entirely upon the style guidelines of whatever organization is publishing the material or the personal preference of the copy editor. Maybe you should make sure you actually know what you're talking about before you get all preachy.

Pronunciation-dependent style
At the copyediting end of the publishing industry, where the aforementioned distinction between acronyms (pronounced as a word) and initialisms (pronounced as a series of letters) is usually maintained, some publishers choose to use cap/lowercase (c/lc) styling for acronyms, reserving all-caps styling for initialisms. Thus Nato and Aids (c/lc), but USA and FBI (caps). For example, this is the style used in The Guardian,[41] and BBC News typically edits to this style (though its official style guide, dating from 2003, still recommends all-caps [42]). The logic of this style is that the pronunciation is reflected graphically by the capitalization scheme.
Some style manuals also base the letters' case on their number. The New York Times, for example, keeps NATO in all capitals (while several guides in the British press may render it Nato), but uses lower case in Unicef (from "United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund") because it is more than four letters, and to style it in caps might look ungainly (flirting with the appearance of "shouting capitals").


I'm chargin' mah L.A.S.E.R.
2012-09-28 11:19:10 AM
1 votes:

cman: COULD HAVE, but unlikely.


Both the theories of water on Mars and bacterial life on Mars are evidence-supported theories the majority of the astronomical community holds. So...actually, it's pretty damn likely.
2012-09-28 10:22:54 AM
1 votes:
Good. Now they can start looking for Valentine Michael Smith.
2012-09-28 10:12:07 AM
1 votes:
Everyone agrees, Justtray should just up his medication.
2012-09-28 09:50:54 AM
1 votes:
As others have noted, NASA pretty much expected to find evidence of running water, and this is pretty much just wonderful confirmation of this--kind of like finding feathered dromaeosaurs (expected as dromies are the closest relatives of archaeopterygine dinosaurs, so finding feathered dromies in the Liaoning beds and finding confirmation of quill nobs on Velociraptor proper is just icing on the cake and happy confirmation that you're on the right track).

Whether we'll find evidence of life on Mars (again, assuming there aren't relict Martian archaea-analogues living in the deep caves--as at least one Farker has noted, seasonal methane blooms HAVE been speculated to be from Martian biota) depends on how complex it managed to get before conditions on the surface became nonviable--we'll have an easier time with complex life, of course, but if Martian archaea-analogues managed to make microbial mats we might find stromatolite-like fossils. If they managed to make it to some sort of Martian analogue to Ediacaran life this would be even more interesting to see how similar--and how different--it was to our own "dawn of multicellular life", but that's a considerably larger assumption than merely having prokaryotic-life-analogues evolving on Mars (life on Earth is now speculated to have started really only a few million years after the crust cooled down enough to support liquid water and some folks speculate life may even predate the Gaia/Theia collision that birthed the moon (though I personally find the latter a bit speculative)...there is some potential evidence of biological activity in Hadean rocks c.3.8 billion years ago-3.4 bya and the earliest definite microfossils date from near the Archaean/Proterozoic boundary at around 2 billion years ago, and Mars may well have been habitable as recently as our own Ediacaran period).

Of course, if we're looking for Mars fossils, the best places to look would be riverbeds and the shores of now-dead Martian oceans, because that's where our fossils tend to show up best and that's where conditions tend to be optimum for fossilisation in the first place. :3 (Ironically, Curiosity may be in the best spot to find a Martian stromatolite-analogue or trilobite-analogue, assuming life evolved there and got that far before Mars essentially suffocated.)

Of course, if relict (living) Martian archaea-analogues DO exist in the caves--well, that's the discovery of the farking millenium, right there (and is going to require some interesting approaches in phylogenetics and cladistics--we really don't have a clade for "DNA-based life not of Earth origin", and it'd be interesting to see if Martian life shares chirality and DNA base pairs with Earth life as it would answer some questions on how life in general evolves). This is doubly so because Mars looks to have not had an Oxygen Catastrophe, unlike Earth (long ago in the Proterozoic, Earth's atmosphere was a lot like the atmosphere on Mars or Titan, CO2 and methane heavy...and then the anaerobes started crapping out oxygen via photosynthesis and managed to poison themselves and force the evolution of aerobic life).

(Of course, I also kind of hope we do send probes to Titan and Europa and find little archaea-analogues there too, but that's me. It doesn't have to be namegiving life to be interesting life to some of us! :D)
2012-09-28 08:35:59 AM
1 votes:

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.


Methane is easily produced by abiotic means.

That the atmosphere changes as the seasons change is also unsurprising.

This is why the scientific community is extremely skeptical about methane-implies-life claims.

Indeed if life existed in significant quantities on Mars I would expect that the atmosphere to be clearly out of chemical equilibrium. It is not.
2012-09-28 08:28:58 AM
1 votes:

fusillade762: markie_farkie: I bet we stumble across some kind of primitive trilobite-like fossil before too long.

Think of the implications..

I wonder if the folks at NASA are kicking themselves right about now?


Utterly no.

Examine orbital imagery of Gale Crater and you see why. There is clear evidence that water was carving the place all over the place. No serious follower of this mission could possibly been unaware of the clear alluvial fan just a little bit Northwest of where Curiosity landed fed by dried out "river" which got officially dubbed Peace Vallis just this Wednesday.

There just is no liquid other than water that could have been a liquid on Mars in past times, not be flowing now, and could conceivably have been naturally present in the quantities needed. Finally, it is the previous two rovers had found rocks which on Earth are only known to form in the presence of liquid water.

This is the first time clear evidence of flowing water was found from the ground, but it was just the nail on the coffin in the views of anyone -- assuming they exist -- who still had doubts.

In short, Curiosity found the expected. It is still big news, but finding evidence of this is not surprising.

Thus NASA is not kicking itself. The instruments that are actually on the rover, are very much needed if we are to understand the planet: primarily tools of chemical analysis. So maybe you don't expect to detect life with a GC-MS, but if any sort of investigation on the topic is to go forward in any serious way that is the sort of thing that is needed.

While a "trilobite" would be cool. It would be extraordinarily unlikely. It really would be to equip the rover with tools that will almost certainly not be needed in the tiny hope of finding a macrofossil would be stupid especially when there is a huge need for the tools that the rover has on it. If we are to try to determine if Mars could have had life -- a tough job as it is since we don't know how it originated -- we will need to know something about the chemistry of Mars. That is why the rover was designed with a damn good portable chemical analysis lab. Laser/ChemCam to determine elemental composition of remote targets. APXS to do it close-up. SAM with its GC-MS is the bulk of the scientific payload and it determines chemical composition. CheMin determines mineral composition. DAN probes beneath the ground mostly looking for underground ice.
2012-09-28 08:06:39 AM
1 votes:

Tommy Moo: Matter doesn't just disappear. If there used to be significant water on Mars, where did it go? Did it all react with something? Was it all ejected into space at escape velocity? There's really no other choice except those two, or the third possibility, that there never was any water.


Its frozen in the ground like the permafrost regions on Earth. Those regions are also experiance desert-like dryness because the cold air can hold very little water vapor.
2012-09-28 07:52:57 AM
1 votes:

ReverendJasen: Smirky the Wonder Chimp: 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.

Why is that bad? I don't think any scientist assumes that this not possible. We've come very close more than once on this planet.


We have. The Permian extinction was a close one.

As to the "why," this article talks about it, and the Great Filter, at some length. Your mileage may vary, as it is rather pessimistic. Possibly unnecessarily so, especially considering we still don't have any clear idea how common life in the universe even IS yet, and that we're still trying to understand the practical hurdles of detecting and communicating with intelligent life. But I still think it needs to be considered, even if it's only to show that the idea is incorrect. 

In case it wasn't clear, I really don't like the idea, since I'd prefer a galaxy teeming with life--present OR past--to one where we're completely alone and essentially doomed.

Also, it's taken me something like a half-hour to type two short paragraphs, and the Disco Ball of Death is rising in the east outside my window. I think it's time I hit the sack.
2012-09-28 04:14:13 AM
1 votes:
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 03:24:25 AM
1 votes:

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 03:22:12 AM
1 votes:

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 02:49:11 AM
1 votes:

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 02:38:04 AM
1 votes:

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 01:57:45 AM
1 votes:

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 01:09:36 AM
1 votes:
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 01:04:19 AM
1 votes:

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 12:56:33 AM
1 votes:

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 12:45:29 AM
1 votes:

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 12:44:10 AM
1 votes:

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 12:38:30 AM
1 votes:

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 12:37:20 AM
1 votes:

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 12:29:53 AM
1 votes:

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.
2012-09-28 12:21:35 AM
1 votes:

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.


Because, like I said, scientists suck at everything but science.

Microbiologists know EXACTLY how horrificly destructive even one Earth microbe could be to a native martian organism population. And of course vice versa.

The engineers know how hard it would be to actually search for life up there like you can in elementary school pond water, because optics and shovels are farkin' heavy and require things an interplanetary probe can't do without sacrificing other important functions.

The Astronomers need the "boring" rock analyses to test their extrapolations based on orbital readings for, hopefully, exploring other planets quicker in the future.

But I'm with you. fark scientists. fark the millitary. fark the martians. Let's send a probe to places with the most potential for life and give that farker a shovel and microscope and a microphone/speaker system.

"Hey martians! Come out, come out whereever you are!" *plays freebird* Now let's dig!
2012-09-28 12:11:57 AM
1 votes:

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

Think of the implications..

Trilobites look pretty advanced, all things considered. I'd settle for fossilized bacteria, if the rover can detect it.

The problem being that finding life, or fossil life, would set a mandate for a manned mission to study one of the most revolutionary discoveries in the history of mankind.
I'm going to play the conspiracy thoery card and say that no scientist or politican with a fiefdom to protect wants their hands tied like that.

Whatever piece of equipment disovers anything will be declared faulty and the results inconclusive.


Are you kidding?

I'd gladly beat the myself half to death with my own arm which I ripped off for the purpose just to see the day we find current or past life on Mars.

The politician who greenlights a mars mission will get a fanbase a mile wide and a league long. He could be President if they find and return life.

Scientists are morons when it comes to anything but science. PR is most certainly not their strong suit. I mean, in a world where you can get a billion dollars for an ICBM to use on Sadam's house, how is NASA's funding being cut? Bad PR, that's how.
2012-09-28 12:10:15 AM
1 votes:

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.
2012-09-27 11:58:39 PM
1 votes:

cman: Ambivalence: So what happened to it?

Probably someone on our planet had some sort of tame-travelling predestination paradox into the past and somehow killed all life on Mars by accident. When it comes to destroying life, we humans are #1


It was a sound of thunder...
2012-09-27 11:51:09 PM
1 votes:

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 a professional planetologist, I have to agree with this.
2012-09-27 11:49:03 PM
1 votes:

mudpants: how fast does water usually move?


Speed of gravity, in this case about 1/3rd Earf so 11 ft/sec.
2012-09-27 11:46:23 PM
1 votes:

redly1: because water is the only liquid in the universe


i45.tinypic.com

YOU

i47.tinypic.com

EVERYONE ELSE
2012-09-27 11:42:56 PM
1 votes:

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

Think of the implications..


That means another planet I'll never get to go fishing on. :(
2012-09-27 11:42:33 PM
1 votes:
because water is the only liquid in the universe
2012-09-27 11:40:55 PM
1 votes:

cman: COULD HAVE, but unlikely.


Bacteria, while not particularly interesting, are still technically life. Damn things can live anywhere.
2012-09-27 11:37:21 PM
1 votes:
yeah, plenty of water -- just don't drink any.

dvdmedia.ign.com
2012-09-27 11:30:23 PM
1 votes:
You're right, no human being would stack books like this.
2012-09-27 11:19:55 PM
1 votes:
The Doctor approves.
2012-09-27 10:10:29 PM
1 votes:

FloydA: Ambivalence: So what happened to it?

Oh, sorry, my bad.

We're cool though, right?


I can't believe you drank the whole planet...
2012-09-27 09:55:41 PM
1 votes:

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

Think of the implications..


Trilobites look pretty advanced, all things considered. I'd settle for fossilized bacteria, if the rover can detect it.
2012-09-27 09:38:27 PM
1 votes:

Ambivalence: So what happened to it?


Oh, sorry, my bad.

We're cool though, right?
2012-09-27 09:12:01 PM
1 votes:

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.


True. The atmosphere, even of Earth, needs a constant refresh of gasses to replenish the losses to space and the solar wind. Having a magnetic field is crucial to not having your gas shield stripped away.

Now pass me the sunblock. And don't forget to do the tops of your ears - you'll thank me when you're 90.
2012-09-27 08:56:37 PM
1 votes:

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.
2012-09-27 08:41:56 PM
1 votes:

Ambivalence: So what happened to it?


Probably someone on our planet had some sort of tame-travelling predestination paradox into the past and somehow killed all life on Mars by accident. When it comes to destroying life, we humans are #1
2012-09-27 07:11:01 PM
1 votes:

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

Think of the implications..


I wonder if the folks at NASA are kicking themselves right about now?

Curiosity rover: why Nasa isn't looking for life on Mars
 
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