The Phoenix Mission - Water on Mars and a Billion Years Ago.

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dryson

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<div class="postbody">PASADENA, Calif. &ndash; NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed hundreds of small fractures exposed on the Martian surface that billions of years ago directed flows of water through underground Martian sandstone.<br /><br />http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro-20080925.html<br /><br />NASA is saying that these fractures that have been exposed are billions of years old and were once part of an underground aquifier system not unlike that here on Earth. So possibly what we are looking at on Mars today is what was really underground billions of years ago and has eroded. If this last statement were true however, where did the billions of years of erosion goto? <br /><br />Since this information is collected by NASA, which I am sure is not in the business of conspiracy, but factual data gathering, then the surface of Mars a billion years ago may have looked like Earth, somewhat. What I am envisoning Mars looking like is in a downward life supporting planet. The surface would be covered by vast areas of swampy or quicksand like areas. Vegetation would be maybe a few feet in height. Mostly greenplants would be around as the flowering vegetation would have died off due to lack of insectoids necessary to continue the pollination process. What little bipedal life remaining would be desperately trying to catch the few remaining flies around the watering holes.</div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>PASADENA, Calif. &ndash; NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed hundreds of small fractures exposed on the Martian surface that billions of years ago directed flows of water through underground Martian sandstone.http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/MRO/news/mro-20080925.htmlNASA is saying that these fractures that have been exposed are billions of years old and were once part of an underground aquifier system not unlike that here on Earth. So possibly what we are looking at on Mars today is what was really underground billions of years ago and has eroded. If this last statement were true however, where did the billions of years of erosion goto? </DIV></p><p>Out onto the northern plains presumably,</p><p>Since this information is collected by NASA, which I am sure is not in the business of conspiracy, but factual data gathering, then the surface of Mars a billion years ago may have looked like Earth, somewhat. What I am envisoning Mars looking like is in a downward life supporting planet. The surface would be covered by vast areas of swampy or quicksand like areas. Vegetation would be maybe a few feet in height. Mostly greenplants would be around as the flowering vegetation would have died off due to lack of insectoids necessary to continue the pollination process. What little bipedal life remaining would be desperately trying to catch the few remaining flies around the watering holes. <br />Posted by dryson</DIV></p><p>A billion years ago Mars may have looked much the same as it did now, overal.&nbsp; Four billion years ago Mars and earth may have been quite similar in appearance, both with dense atmospheres and surface water.</p><p>Jon<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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baulten

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>A billion years ago Mars may have looked much the same as it did now, overal.&nbsp; Four billion years ago Mars and earth may have been quite similar in appearance, both with dense atmospheres and surface water.Jon <br /> Posted by jonclarke</DIV></p><p>Wasn't there recently an article posted on space.com which claimed evidence had been found that there may still have been rainy/mist on Mars as recent as a few hundred million years ago?&nbsp; I could be wrong, but I'm SURE I read that.</p><p>Not that a little rain/mist would make the planet earthlike, since I believe the article stated the water was still not stable on the surface, just that the atmosphere was enough denser for rains. </p>
 
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3488

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'><font color="#ff0000">Wasn't there recently an article posted on space.com which claimed evidence had been found that there may still have been rainy/mist on Mars as recent as a few hundred million years ago?&nbsp; I could be wrong, but I'm SURE I read that.Not that a little rain/mist would make the planet earthlike, since I believe the article stated the water was still not stable on the surface, just that the atmosphere was enough denser for rains. <br />Posted by baulten</font></DIV></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Hi baulten,</strong></font>&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>I remeber something about that also. Not sure if it was rain, or subsurface water erupting in flash flooding events, subsurface ice being melted during impact events.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>I think Jon is correct though, the Mars we see today is not a lot different to the one of 1 GYA or even 2 GYA, but there appear to have been shortlived water revivals in the meantime.</strong></font>&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>This brings me to something I was trying to figure a while back, with Mars Pathfinder & the evidence that Mars Pathfinder provided about flash flooding through Ares Vallis. Was it a one off, or did it occur over several episodes?</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>The fact that many boulders, some quite large were leaning in the same direction, seemed to suggest a major one off event would have been enough. However MarsPathfinder also found evidence of stacked rocks, rocks pitted & with corners rounded, also&nbsp; ponding, one of which the little Soj</strong></font> <font size="2"><strong>ourner Rover examined, seemed to suggust that there were also less energetic flooding events & that the area at times may have been inundated for long enough to allow ponding & conglomerates to form.</strong></font></p><p><strong><font size="2">Below, Half Dome as seen by Sojourner. Did a flash flood once push against this flat face on the boulder?</font></strong> <br />#<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/2/10/22d59978-1ce6-4c91-aa73-d2ab22e8a153.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br />&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>View from Mars Pathfinder in Ares Vallis clearly showing many rocks & boulders aligned in the same direction. Evidence of massive flash flooding.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p>#<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/13/2c60c9e9-69fa-4f9f-8d56-7f9ca8d757a9.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Certainly Viking 1 in Chryse Planitia some 800 KM to the NW also imaged ponding & some stacked but much smaller rocks, but the Viking 1 site lacked the leaning boulders, the boulders there appear to be more random, less rock sorting & also generally lacked the rounded corners, suggesting to me at least, that the Viking 1 site experienced inundation but not the energe</strong></font> <font size="2"><strong>tic flooding events that Mars Pathfinder found evidence for.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Viking 1 view towards Big</strong></font>&nbsp;<font size="2"><strong> Joe boulder in Chryse Planitia. Note how the rocks appear to be sharper &&nbsp;</strong></font>#<font size="2"><strong>more haphazard than those in Ares Vallis.</strong></font><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/3/a8defe78-f98e-4712-b3ec-eacb52ddae1f.Medium.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>Below Viking 1 looking towards an impact crater in Chryse Planitia. A few rocks appear stacked, but are not aligned as at the Mars Pathfinder site some 800 KM to the S E.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/15/1f3febc7-ee7d-4dc1-afd8-2faac7aca067.Medium.jpg" alt="" />&nbsp;</p><p><font size="2"><strong>However both point to a much wetter & warmer Mars in the very remote past.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>MER B Opportunity also with the confirmation of the Grey Hematite in large quantities & cross bedding of the layering, als</strong></font> <font size="2"><strong>o suggests long term inundation. MER A Spirit in the Columbia Hills withi</strong></font> <font size="2"><strong>n Gusev Crater, in the southern 'tropics' has found evidence of hydration through volcanism such as geysers, fumeroles. The basalt on the Gusev Crater floor though disappointed many scientists, hoping for lake beds, in fact for many others like myself was a huge boost in gathering data for the volcanic timescale & chemistry on the red planet (mind you I am a volcano head, so I would say that). &nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Below, MER B Opportunity, the bleak smoo</strong></font> <font size="2"><strong>th plains of Meridiani Planum. Was this a sea bed?</strong></font></p><p><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/6/efb280b8-a0ed-4add-96f3-d0402f2261f2.Medium.jpg" alt="" /> <br /><font size="2"><strong><br />#Below. MER B Opportunity, layering in the Eagle Crater. Crossbedding & Hematite Rich 'blueberries abound.</strong></font><br />&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/2/6/f2ea3b35-7f7b-4522-864c-d18b77022cf8.Medium.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/2/6cd6f3ce-ecd9-4890-b2ef-998061127c8d.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><font size="2"><strong>More recently Mars Phoenix Lander has shown ample evidence of long term hydration through the rock hard icy regolith beneath the first few CM of 'dry' regolith, not to men</strong></font><font size="2"><strong>tion the many polygons, sorted stones & the general smooth terrain clearly visible on the images. In some ways show some similarities with the Viking 2 site in Utopia Planitia, though Utopia is not as far north or gets as cold during the Winter, but the Phoenix site is not nearly as rocky as the landscape Viking 2 showed.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Below MER A Spirit, some of the volcanic rocks on the floor of Gusev Crater.&nbsp;</strong></font></p><p><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/1/e8736b2d-282a-4516-81b1-8a2af667ff29.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><font size="2"><strong>MER A Spirit wheels uncovered hydrated sulphurous salts, perhaps even Epson Salts???</strong></font></p><p><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/15/ac243d3d-37b5-44ba-afcb-e53ef18c3565.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Phoenix Mars Lander, views of Scandia Colles, Vastitas Borealis. Was this once a sea bed, before Mars lost most of its atmosphere?</strong></font><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/11/6/9bb137e7-c87e-4bda-86b2-cfd85f7dba3f.Medium.jpg" alt="" /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/2/7/a285013a-5be6-404f-b714-7e3422e3bae1.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br />#</p><p><font size="2"><strong>None though appear to show evidence of recent rain.</strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>My strong point is with volcanic processes rather than hydration processes, but I think the gist of what I have said is correct. I am sure Jon Clark will correct anything I have gotten wrong. <br /></strong></font></p><p><font size="2"><strong>Andrew Brown.&nbsp;</strong></font></p> <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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JonClarke

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<p>Overal a&nbsp;good case can be made&nbsp;standing water, perhaps even oceans, on Mars in the first billion years of its history, with an active hydrological cycle, runoff channels,&nbsp;and hydrated weathering of surface rocks.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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dryson

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<p>Water or flowous liquid was present.&nbsp; This can be seen by the fact that there are cracks in the rocks theirself. As the H2O evaporated the structure of the object would have become less cohesively stable. This is because the H2O would have held the object together and with the evaporation of the H2O or any other evaporable liquid, the space occupied by the liquid would have caused a weaker structure overall, thus causing cracks in the rock or surface.</p><p>&nbsp;I know this for certain because when I was younger I would make mud balls and bowls because I wanted to see first hand how it had been done thousands of years ago by natives and primitives. </p><p>&nbsp;If you would like for to explain i will. </p><p>&nbsp;FYI - The person that caused my post to crash and not be able to be pasted here is the same person that stole my post from EvE online under the guise of the internet having an error. I know from previous experience that if you copy a post and the forum crashes you are still able to paste the copied post to a notepad. Who ever it is you are engaged in a criminal activity. </p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Wasn't there recently an article posted on space.com which claimed evidence had been found that there may still have been rainy/mist on Mars as recent as a few hundred million years ago?&nbsp; I could be wrong, but I'm SURE I read that.Not that a little rain/mist would make the planet earthlike, since I believe the article stated the water was still not stable on the surface, just that the atmosphere was enough denser for rains. <br />Posted by baulten</DIV></p><p>Sorry for the slow response - I missed your question when you posted it.</p><p>It is qute possible that there were relatively brief periods of rain on Mars during the last few billion years, associated with periods of denser atmosphere during major volcanic events.&nbsp; Diretc evidence for such events is likely to be subtle, and has noty been seen, as yet. </p><p>Of course snow still falls on Mars at high latitudes and, perhaps, high elevations.&nbsp; Evey million years or so the obliquity (axial tilt)&nbsp;of Mars increases to such a point that the equator is colder than the poles and snow will fall at the equator.</p><p>Melting of snow packs is one explanation for some of the recent gullies that have been seen.</p><p>Jon<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;FYI - The person that caused my post to crash and not be able to be pasted here is the same person that stole my post from EvE online under the guise of the internet having an error. I know from previous experience that if you copy a post and the forum crashes you are still able to paste the copied post to a notepad. Who ever it is you are engaged in a criminal activity. &nbsp; <br />Posted by dryson</DIV></p><p>if you have specific technical issues or allegations against people here place take them to the moderators.</p><p>Jon</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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dryson

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Sorry for the slow response - I missed your question when you posted it.It is qute possible that there were relatively brief periods of rain on Mars during the last few billion years, associated with periods of denser atmosphere during major volcanic events.&nbsp; Diretc evidence for such events is likely to be subtle, and has noty been seen, as yet. Of course snow still falls on Mars at high latitudes and, perhaps, high elevations.&nbsp; Evey million years or so the obliquity (axial tilt)&nbsp;of Mars increases to such a point that the equator is colder than the poles and snow will fall at the equator.Melting of snow packs is one explanation for some of the recent gullies that have been seen.Jon <br />Posted by jonclarke</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I am quite certain there were large amounts of water on Mars at one time.&nbsp; Water and wind affect the environment in two totally different aspects. Look at pictures of what wind erosion compared to water erosion does to the landscape. The apply that knowledge of difference to Mars. Although at first the two will appear to be the same, but once you start to look at the same picture over and over again and can imagine what the wind vs the water would have done to the area in your mind, you then be able to overlay each mediums affect with fairly decent accuracy thus resulting in a visual picture of the what was happening on Mars all the years ago. </p>
 
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