NASA Briefing: Current Water on Mars?

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paulanderson

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I just posted this to the blog this evening, with information from NASA, NASA Watch and <i>Aviation Week & Space Technology</i>. There will be a NASA news briefing on Wednesday, December 6 regarding possible current water seepage...<br /><br />http://themeridianijournal.blogspot.com/2006/12/nasa-briefing-current-water-on-mars.html<br /><br />I also just posted some cropped images of some of the new MRO gullies, from the full-scale JP2 image. I'm using the ExpressView program on my Mac OS X with no problems.<br /><br />http://themeridianijournal.blogspot.com/2006/12/sand-dune-gullies.html
 
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bonzelite

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i love the layout of your journal. well created and presented. very neat. i left a comment.
 
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bonzelite

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it always seemed obvious that the gullies were created by liquid runoff, probably water, and within weeks or months of time and not in "millions of years ago" terms. before-and-after malin pictures have demostrated this for years. <br /><br />the upcoming news seems exciting on an official level, but hardly surprising if they're going to announce the presence of liquid water surface events. everyone already knew that to begin with but were reluctant to come out of the closet and admit it. <br /><br />it would further not be surprising if the muddy looking regolith material that often appears in rib2's picture threads are actually damp clays or something analgous to that. <br /><br />the ramifications, too, of liquid events to the surface are highly indicative of geothermal heating, not proof positive, but very compelling. given that, too, mars may have a mantle of pure ice just metres below the surface, that which in areas can be heated. this would entirely make an about-face premise that contracticts the mars-is-dead popularly held belief of the official skeptical scientific atheist. <br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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bonzelite

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<font color="yellow"> It seems it is too cold up there for liquid water, but not for gasses that will react and form water as a byproduct. </font><br /><br />this is the scientific atheism i'm talking about ^^^<br /><br />at all costs, liquid water cannot possibly exist due to geothermal heating, but, instead, is this "byproduct" from a gas event! keep the mars-is-dead establishment alive forevermore even when liquid water is there! it's never "enough." <br /><br />like on Enceladus --that world "is not possible." it's too cold, too small, and, really, the geyser-like fountains of that world are really photoshopped and fake even though the pole is hotter. that, too, is just an error of the data. the pole is not hotter, the liquid water is not being heated from within. <br /><br />so there are lots of "impossible' things happening out there, then! <br /><br />this is the train of thought:<br /><br />--michael malin's cameras take pictures of gullies on mars<br />--the gullies resemble nearly exactly liquid water runoff that you'd see as erosion down hillsides on earth<br />--the pictures of the gullies appear altered from year to year of the same location, as if more erosion has happened....within a year or two... recently.<br /><br />but....<br /><br />--mars is dead<br /><br />--sand or carbon dioxide acting as a fluid made the gullies<br /><br />--mars is frozen and dead<br /><br /><br />
 
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docm

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IMO remote sensing is fine & wonderful, but we won't <i><b>really know</b></i> how warm those gullies are until someone sticks a meter long thermometer in one. I've seen Earth-bound remote sensing fall on it's arse too often to think otherwise.<br /><br />Until then saying with certainty "they're too cold" is just as nutz as saying Arrakine sandworms live under the regolith.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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paulanderson

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This is the headline story on Drudge Report right now. Includes a photo and news link saying that "bright-coloured deposits" have been found inside some gullies, thought to be mud, salt or frost from recent water flows, which were not seen in previous photos of the same gullies. We'll know more in an hour or so...<br /><br />http://www.drudgereport.com
 
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MeteorWayne

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Well, no puddles.<br />Evidence.<br />The data presented I can't consider conclusive yet therefore, so the argument will rage on.<br /><br />I'll have to see what the full article in Science says before I can make a judgement <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Good post steve.<br /><br />Comments:<br />Having watched the news conference and seen the images, there is no doubt that <b> something </b> flowed.<br /><br />I'll have to wait and read the actual peer-reviewed article in Science before I pass judgement.<br /><br />I'd like to keep the exobiology question separate, so will make a second reply regarding part 2 of your post. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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bonzelite

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<font color="yellow"><br />looks like ur wrong..water is there. Sorry</font><br /><br />you didn't get the point of my post. i'm all about the water and always have been. it is the scientific atheist/forever-sketptics who just cannot accept that liquid flows no matter what is shown to them. so it is more correct to toot that "mars is frozen and dead" at all costs and this idea must be defended for some ungodly reason. read my post again. if i'm proposing that the geysers on Enceladus are "fake and photoshopped" then i'm clearly being sarcastic. <br /><br />michael malin:<br />http://www.nasa.gov/163951main_jpl-mgs-20061206.MP3<br />
 
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vonster

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Liquid water does NOT equal life, which is the fallacy being promoted here<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />No its not. Who said that, quote them.<br /><br />No its not a good post, steve. Actually its typical of your posts. <br /><br />You almost always do exactly the same thing, with every topic.<br /><br />If you were my doctor I would be really worried right now honestly.<br />.<br /><br />.<br />
 
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bonzelite

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<font color="yellow">Liquid water does NOT equal life, which is the fallacy being promoted here. Water in its liquid phase is a necessary, but NOT sufficient requirement for life. And all Martian surface life (IFF it ever existed) Must have died 100's of millions to billions of years ago, when the outgassing of water from the cooling mantle stopped effectively. </font><br /><br />that is entirely unknown. agreed that water doesn't automatically mean life, but the presumption that it absolutely does not mean life is erroneous. and the presumption that "life must have died off billions of years ago" is not known. <br /><br />probably no life is at the surface. probably. probably, no life is on mars at all. but it's probable, too, that life is there somewhere. <br /><br />perhaps the mantle is not as wholly cool as is being assumed, perhaps there are areas beneath the crust that are not frozen solid, perhaps mars is barely known and we're pulling assumptions out of the thin air.
 
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vonster

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>perhaps mars is barely known and we're pulling assumptions out of the thin air<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Sounds like a pretty good bet to me ...<br /><br />.
 
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yevaud

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<i>it is the scientific atheist/forever-sketptics who just cannot accept that liquid flows no matter what is shown to them.</i><br /><br />That it incredibly off the mark. Such things as catastrophic outflows, possible frost areas, and the polar ice caps have been known for a long time. What has been largely rejected is open bodies of water on the surface. Given what we know about the Martian environment, is clearly not possible.<br /><br />Not, as Docm said, that we will actually <i>know</i> until we go there, but the radiometric hallmarks are fairly distinct. Good spectral reflectance, bright in all of the proper bands. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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bonzelite

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bonzeite: <i>it is the scientific atheist/forever-sketptics who just cannot accept that liquid flows no matter what is shown to them. </i><br /><br />Yevaud: That it incredibly off the mark. <br /><br />bonzelite: <br /><br />look at the recent posts and it's exactly the mindset. at all costs liquid flowing water is virtually impossible according to the empirical atheist. and it is this atheism that was shattered upon discovery of internal heating and water jetting on a world that was factually "impossible" to have it, enceladus. <br /><br />the target areas of observation in question on mars are replete with prior gullies, more than likely remnant paths that have been carved by numerous events over time. and new paths are not exempt from being formed. <br /><br />new and older gullies can co-exist. but, again, this is overlooked and deemed as unlikely. <br /><br />so what will it take, then? everybody already knows there is water on mars. the processes that happen on the surface are not "all figured out" by empirically-skewed thought experiments that debunk the case for flowing water events. the martian surface is littered with geologic outflow signatures. <br /><br />what else is the outflow material, then? kool aide?
 
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paulanderson

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Have you even read the MSSS overview yet?<br /><br />http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/2006/12/06/gullies/index.html<br /><br />They explain why these are unlikely to be dust avalanches, for various specific reasons. Also, the region itself may be quite old, but these new gully changes / flows happened <i>within the last few years</i>, they confirmed that from the images. MRO will be able to analyze the deposits; what if they do turn out to be salts or ice / frost, not just dust? What would you say then?
 
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nexius

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Lets send a manned mission to mars and find out ! or another rover.
 
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brellis

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hi borman. thanks for another interesting post. Here's an excerpt from the Washington Post Article on the two sets of pics taken of these gullies:<br /><br /><font color="yellow">both looked radically different on the second pass. Most noticeable, each has a fresh coat of fine, pale sediment, which scientists say appears to be either water frost or salts left behind by briny water.</font><br /><br />Is it possible that the briny quality of the water would solve your issues with what we're seeing in the newer photos? The gullies have taken thousands or millions of years to be carved, and when they were carved, there was apparently a lot more water. This looks like a tiny trickle in comparison.<br /><br />Would a "briny" quality cause water to last longer in the open on Mars before evaporating? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#ff0000"><em><strong>I'm a recovering optimist - things could be better.</strong></em></font> </p> </div>
 
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3488

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Yes, highly mineralized / saline water would last longer out in the open. It would still be extremely short lived, but if saline enough would last long enough before it either evaporated & or froze. <br /><br />It is true that OPEN bodies of water could not exist on Mars. The Martian atmosphere has the same density as the Earth's at some 30 Kilometres / 19 miles above sea level, some FOUR times higher than Mount Everest.<br /><br />Given the average global temps of Mars at about minus 63 Celsius (although warmer at times between the Martian equator & Tropic of Aquarius & the Tropic of Leo), this too would banish open pools of liquid water unless extremely salty like some of the lakes in the dry valleys of Antarctica. But on Mars, even the lakes of Antarctica could not exist as the atmosphere is far too thin.<br /><br />Sure enough, the MGS images DO show something has flowed. Perhaps the MRO will image these with the HiRise & the images may be of sufficient resolution to show if its was liquid or fine solids that flowed. Also a spectral analysis should be carried out before we can say for sure or not that liquid water was indeed involved.<br /><br />Andrew Brown. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080">"I suddenly noticed an anomaly to the left of Io, just off the rim of that world. It was extremely large with respect to the overall size of Io and crescent shaped. It seemed unbelievable that something that big had not been visible before".</font> <em><strong><font color="#000000">Linda Morabito </font></strong><font color="#800000">on discovering that the Jupiter moon Io was volcanically active. Friday 9th March 1979.</font></em></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://www.launchphotography.com/</font><br /><br /><font size="1" color="#000080">http://anthmartian.googlepages.com/thisislandearth</font></p><p><font size="1" color="#000080">http://web.me.com/meridianijournal</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Just a few comments of your comments from the news conference.<br /><br />"First, there is no apparent erosion of the surface along the "flow" of the streak"<br /><br />THey stated the ballpark figure of how much water was involved was "5 to 10 swimming pools"<br /><br />"Second, how can water flow so far so slow long entraining light dust and not evaporate or freeze upon the surface on the way down"<br /><br />THey propose the light material is either fine dust left on the surface, frost (whick reforms daily from the "wet" ground underneath) or a salty residue. And during the path down the hill it would be boiling all the way. It did flow around some obstacles.<br /><br /><br />"While many dark streaks have been imaged to occur, white streaks are far less common. In one image, the white streak appears as the first streak, but the other seems to show the presence of a prior dark streak, in the before picture, that a white streak formed directly upon. This appears all too coincidental. Both the original dark streak and the later white streak share the same genesis point and path down the side of the crater. "<br /><br />Wouldn't it make sense that if a source below ground exists such as a layer of acidic water that intersects the side of the crater that the same event might occur repetitively as the source recharged? Perhaps recurring events have stochastically different outflow volumes.<br />If the residue is frost, it would eventually sublimate away leaving the scoured dark gully ready for the next event.<br /><br /><br />In any case, as I said yesterday, I'm witholding judgement until I read the full article. Believe me, I'll be watching the mailbox intently next week!<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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We are more-or-less on the same page here, Bonz. Of course it would be liquid water that flows to cause the gullies imaged. Local conditions can cause outflows to occur from subsurface concentrations of water ice. That's what a Catastrophic Outflow is. In this case, it appears smaller and more locallized, but that's really only a matter of scale.<br /><br />Of course, surface conditions don't allow <i>free-standing</i> bodies of water to exist. That, too, has been known.<br /><br />If others deny the possibility of water existing at all, then that's their problem. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="yellow">"The only reliable report will be a confirmed drilling down which shows the actual depth(s). " -- stevehw33</font><br /><br />You really have no consideration for the abilities of radar, do you?<br /><br /><br />Doctor: The x-ray shows a slight fracture in your finger.<br /><br />stevehw33: That picture is no proof! I insist you cut my finger open and view the <br />bone with your own eyes before treating me based on assumptions. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bonzelite

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yes, thank you Yevaud. the stuff is either water or it cannot really be much else. the physical erosion that is visually discernable is that of runoff; that you would see trickling from tidepools on the beach, or down slopes. <br /><br />what i just don't understand is this continual, incessant, overly skeptical, contemptuous, unrelenting debunking of actual up-to-the-hour liquid outflow on mars --happening today-- right now. i mean, what else will it take? the writing is on the wall. i mean, the "official" and highly cautious and skeptical scientific establishment is now pretty much admitting that this is "it." <br /><br />sure, it's pretty amazing. seems unlikely given coventional wisdom about martian atmospheric pressures. but it is possible. experiments that mimic martian conditions have shown that it is possible. and mother nature can make the impossible very possible because it's doing it all of the time. look at all of the impossible things happening around Saturn and in the Kuiper belt. and Mars is merely next door. <br /><br />we need to send a damn army of rovers and people there. this is getting really good. this is what stokes me up about science and astronomy --the revelation of the impossible and the fantastic. and Mars continually delivers on the surprise factor. it's seemingly benign and monotonous desert wasteland is not really that at all. there's stuff going on up there.
 
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