Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wet Mars: New Evidence

"Landforms on Mars Add to Evidence for Recent Water" (June 29, 2009)

"The weather on Mars was much balmier in the recent past than scientists have previously thought, according to a new interpretation of the formation of certain landforms on the surface.

"The finding could have implications for the possibility of finding signs of life on Mars.

"Matthew Balme, of The Open University in the United Kingdom, studied detailed images of equatorial landforms...."

That "recent past" is 2,000,000 or more years ago. Which, in geological terms, really is recent. Mars and Earth have been around for upwards of 4,000,000,000 years - so we're talking about 1/2000 or so of the time Mars has been around. On that scale, two million years really is "recent."

The landforms resemble what we see on Earth where there's permafrost - and some of them overlap features in an outflow channel.

Scientists thought these were volcanic landforms until very detailed images from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) package on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Now, after a 'closer' look, this Martian terrain most closely resembles the results of freeze-thaw cycles here on Earth.

Water, enough of it to push soil around, on Mars within the last few million years suggests that there might be Martians after all. Microscopic ones: but living creatures on Mars.
Other posts, about "Mars, Mostly."

Related posts, at

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