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Mars NASA Space Science

NASA's Gypsum Find Clear Evidence There Was Water On Mars 162

Posted by timothy
from the plaster-of-mars-would-be-really-expensive dept.
First time accepted submitter RCC42 writes "The Opportunity rover has found evidence that liquid water once flowed on Mars, through the discovery of gypsum — a mineral that can only be formed in the presence of water. Though other evidence in the past has suggested highly acidic water on Mars, this is the first evidence for water with a pH suitable for life as we know it."
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NASA's Gypsum Find Clear Evidence There Was Water On Mars

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @06:46PM (#38309252) Homepage Journal

    Persians first calculated the volume of the earth, as a sphere. Invented spherical trigonometry, and all kinds of things.

    Remember all that "Arab scientists and mathematicians" kind of talk? None of 'em were arabs. Mostly Persians, with roots in Khorasan - writing in Arabic.

    It's similar to calling Sir Issac Newton a "Latin Physicist" because of the language used in the "Principia".

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @06:55PM (#38309374) Journal

    Needless to say, Iranian civilization ain't what it used to be. This a major oil producing country with such inept leadership that they have to import refined fuels.

    Persia's high point was a long time ago.

  • by mark_elf (2009518) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @07:06PM (#38309464)

    That's good thinking. We need need to send people there to mine drywall. I'm with you.

    But seriously, these bots are doing so well we should just stop thinking about sending people places like Mars. There's no science in it, it's just a stunt. Unless there's a political reason to spend a truly immense amount of money just showing off (or military of course, in which case it will happen whether or not it's a good idea,) let's concentrate on unmanned missions. If we can afford to spend more, then buy things like the James Web telescope which we learn a lot more from.

  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @07:08PM (#38309482)

    If you want oil, go to titan.

    Lakes of liquid ethane.

    Transport cost might be a bit more than you bargained for... what with operating a tanker in orbit of a gas giant and all......

  • by inflex (123318) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:55PM (#38310448) Homepage Journal

    From what I recall, goats will eat a lot of things but they -way- they eat the grass tends to leave it intact/alive to resprout, however sheep gnaw it down so far that it kills the grass.

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @08:57PM (#38310460)
    It's interesting how fast some of us forget the facts.

    First, in the release of Department of State memos a year ago, we read of several countries and the US government admitting to a belief in the existence of an Iranian nuclear program. While the Arab Spring protests have probably trumped it for a time, it's worth noting that several countries, particularly Saudi Arabia [reuters.com], viewed Iran's nuclear program as their most pressing foreign policy issue (over such things as Israel). They have since threatened [worldpoliticsreview.com] to develop their own nuclear weapons.

    ' Second, Iran does indeed have sites that were built at great expense to resist known conventional weapons of the time. No civilian nuclear program justifies this expense.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency has assembled evidence [reuters.com] of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.

    Finally, we have acts of sabotage and murder against Iranian infrastructure and personnel associated with this program. Nobody does that for a hobby. An easy counter for Iran would be to throw open its entire nuclear infrastructure to show it wasn't developing nuclear weapons. Didn't happen.

    I can't help but notice that the story you link to has a mind-numbing fallacy in it. Because the US had overflown Iranian space for four years and the author chooses to ignore the copious evidence in support of the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, then Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapons program. That makes no sense.
  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @09:22PM (#38310652) Homepage Journal

    The US Dept of State is a reliable authority of unbiased information and analysis? Christ! You would have made a great Soviet.

    Then there's the entirely discredited IAEA citing. This was shredded. Another sad, neocon fairytale, like Condoleeza's "Smoking Gun in the form of a Mushroom Cloud". Oh. She represents an example of State Dept. accuracy and lack of bias, herself.

    Unbelievable, fabricated distortions about "nano-diamonds"

    Why do you witchhunt Iran, when the US is the evil regime that kills children with airborne shrapnel, on an almost daily basis?

    he IAEA Confirms My Nanodiamond Analysis [moonofalabama.org]

    Dennis Ross Fired Over IAEA Dud [moonofalabama.org]

    No International Action Following IAEA Report [moonofalabama.org]

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday December 08, 2011 @10:34PM (#38311094)

    To think that it goes from solid to gas instantly without any liquid form on a planet (Mars) where there are dry river beds, would be logical.

    Pressure is below the triple point for water so yes, it is logical to not expect liquid water on the exposed surface of Mars under current conditions. Ice directly sublimates to vapor.

    It's also worth noting that liquid water could be a temporary thing maybe occurring when ice is melted by volcanism. That could result in the river valleys without any long term water presence. Or the river valley could be caused by flowing carbon dioxide. The presence of gypsum supports the your explanation that flowing water was present on Mars at some point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 08, 2011 @11:47PM (#38311588)

    I kind think we should focus or efforts on more terrestrial matters

    Uh... offsite backup IS a terrestrial matter.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday December 09, 2011 @03:04AM (#38312424) Journal

    Frontiers need powerful symbols, and robots don't cut it. Pragmaticism is all well and good, but you need to keep people motivated enough - and not just scientists, but all those others that feed and clothe them.

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.

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