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Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:29 am

NASA is confirming that the Opportunity rover has found conclusive evidence that Mars once had water. More info to come.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4202901/
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csavel
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:35 am

This is fascinating! I knew that there was talk and buzz about this, and yesterday the news said that something had mars scientists incredibly excited.

obviously, the likelihood of finding evidence of life is now enhanced, although water in and of itself is no guarantee.

lots of qs

What happened to the water? Probably ice at the poles and also in the soil (like Earth's tundra)

Speaking of life in the atmosphere,
Can't wait until we get more data from Europa, isn't there a probe that is going there? You'd really have to wonder what is swimming under the seas there if there is indeed water (Most scientists think so)

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racko
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:49 am

Uhm, didn't the ESA report that already 2-3 weeks ago and even published pictures of the valleys caused by the water ?
 
Klaus
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:01 am

Yes, they did... But the new evidence is still an important step, since it adds chemical evidence to the list.
 
GDB
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:12 am

While Mars Express provided the initial signs, nothing like being on the ground up close and personal;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3524275.stm

It seems that Opportunity had the ideal landing site for it's mission.
Though the technology was older, the mission equipment somewhat different, there has always been a suspicion that the two sites of the Viking landers in 1976 were good for this pioneering mission having a successful landing allowing the first pics and in situ look at Mars, but not for finding traces of past water, which photos from Mariner 9 in 1971 had first raised the prospect of after imaging channels that looked to have been carved by water.
Of course Mariner 9 was 35 year old technology compared to Mars Express.
 
JetService
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:18 am

Racko, from what I've read the entire scientific community was pretty certain Mars had water in the past. They needed the chemical evidence before they wanted to officially declare. This is indeed fascinating. It sounds like they still have hopes that water still exist subterranian. If it had water, then the next step is to find a fossil. How cool would that be?
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NoUFO
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:29 am

Hm, I thought ESA's toy (which name escapes me at the moment) "sniffed" water - or what's left of it in the atmosphere, rather than "only" providing pictures of the valleys and hence indeed provided chemical evidence?
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KLM777
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 7:58 am

What I never understood about the whole water outside the earth thing is why water should be the clue to evidence of life.

I mean, why can't there be life without water? On earth you cannot live without water, but what if life at other planets can live without water and live on other sources that planet has.

Maybe it's sheer stupidity from my side, but I keep wondering...

Kind regards,

Jeroen
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Guest

RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:17 am

NoUFO:

Are you talking about Beagle II? They are still working some technical issues, but it will be great when more evidence of H2O comes in from her.

I mean, why can't there be life without water? On earth you cannot live without water, but what if life at other planets can live without water and live on other sources that planet has.

Not only that, but even if numerous pre-cursor (to life) chemicals are found, we would need to find a mechanism for PRODUCING life on Mars. Chemicals don't just come alive by themselves.

God bless,

- Jeff
 
NoUFO
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:27 am

Go4EVA,

No, I'm not talking about Beagle II. Beagle II obviously crashed on Mars, but there's a second orbiter cruising around Mars to take pictures and analyze it's atmosphere. As far as I know they found water - and I'm not talking about the valleys the orbiter took photos of.
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Guest

RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:31 am

Beagle II obviously crashed on Mars

Negative !

Beagle II has some technical problems, but is still a viable asset.

God bless,

- Jeff
 
Guest

RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:35 am

I hope the Beagle team is successful in recovering the probe and accomplishing the mission objectives as well. I have had the pleasure of working with the European Space Agency on several joint missions, including my current mission LISA (LASER Interferometer Space Antenna), a Goddard-managed, ESA-JPL joint mission. I've also been to ESTEC (ESA Research & Tech Center) in Noordwijk, Holland several times. ESA engineers, in my opinion, are a top-notch group and if Beagle can be recovered, ESA will do it!
 
NoUFO
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:46 am

Ok, "chrashed" was too strong.

I found this on ESA's website on their expedition to Mars. The orbiter is called Mars Express:

One of the main targets of the Mars Express mission is to discover the presence of water in one of its chemical states. Through the initial mapping of the South polar cap on 18 January, OMEGA, the combined camera and infrared spectrometer, has already revealed the presence of water ice and carbon dioxide ice.
 
This information was confirmed by the PFS, a new high-resolution spectrometer of unprecedented accuracy. The first PFS data also show that the carbon oxide distribution is different in the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars.

(http://www.esa.int/export/SPECIALS/Mars_Express/SEMRVO474OD_0.html)

Don't get me wrong: I wish NASA every success in their endeavors. I'm just a bit confused.
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Klaus
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:55 am

As far as I remember, Mars Express detected water vapour in the remaining atmosphere; But that would not in itself indicate the (former) presence of free flowing water on the surface. The sediment structures found by the orbiting camera and by the rover on the surface seem to be more convincing in that respect.
 
csavel
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:57 am

It's not on ly water, European, American, and Russian probes already found good evidence of water.
And it's pretty much agreed that water is frozen at the poles.

What's exciting is that while there is physical evidence of water, this is the first very strong chemical, as opposed to physical, evidence, almost a smoking gun of liquid water on Mars. Not now but once, and for a long enough time for the chemical processes to occur. From hematite (which is usually an indicator of water, it can form w/o water but it is rare), to the "blueberries" which, if I recall the article, a chemist or a geologist can jump in now, are formed by processes involveing water, to the fact that a lot of the iron is sulfated, and also a fair amount of salts were found, pretty much means that liquid water pretty much had to have been there to form the minerals. THe headline on CNN said Mars was soaking wet. Maybe hyperbole, but that I think is the salient WOW that is this story.

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NoUFO
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:05 am

Oh, ok, I see it. Thanks.
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L-188
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 10:53 am

Guys, this is the scoop.

Explorer discovered a mixture of C02 and H20 ice. The presence of water in ice form was suspected for many years to exist at the Martian poles.

Explorer confirmed those suspicions.

Opportunity, has found sedimentation deposits that on earth are caused by liquid water.

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MD11Engineer
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:08 pm

AFAIK, Mars Express carries a special radar which can look up to 5 km beneath the surface of Mars. Liquid water, esp. if it has been disolving salts as ions and is therefore conductive, should give a distinctive signature.

Jan
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GDB
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Wed Mar 03, 2004 8:54 pm

As for Beagle 2, that's all but written off.
 
jwenting
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:20 am

NASA doesn't discount the possibility of life without water, but the problem is recognising it.

We have some idea of what life WITH water looks like, but life without water could be anything at all.
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zak
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:39 am

10=2
 
lehpron
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RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Sat Mar 06, 2004 4:57 am

I did not know they still sell mars bars, what about "whacamacalit" bars?
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Guest

RE: Breaking News: NASA- Mars Had Water

Sat Mar 06, 2004 5:01 am

Zak-y was a chemist, but he isn't anymore,
for what he thought was H2O
was H2SO4.


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