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Mars Science

Ancient Flood Channels Cut Deep Into Mars 46

Posted by samzenpus
from the high-water-mark dept.
astroengine writes "Relatively recently, water blasted out from an underground aquifer on Mars, carving out deep flood channels in the surface that were later buried by lava flows, radar images complied from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter probe shows. The channels are at least twice as deep as previous estimates for Marte Vallis, an expanse of plains just north of the Martian equator that is the youngest volcanic region on the planet. "We see similar channels elsewhere on Mars and they are not filled with lava so it's important to be able to compare different channel systems, and also similar systems on Earth, to give us clues about how they formed," lead researcher Gareth Morgan, with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, told Discovery News."
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Ancient Flood Channels Cut Deep Into Mars

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  • by Trogre (513942)

    to the first person who likens these to the erroneous "canals".

    • Re:A slap (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 08, 2013 @07:42AM (#43114569)

      You know, I reckon these might be canals, that Maritans used to get water from the shrinking icecaps at the poles to the drying cities in the more temperate zones. What do you think?

      • And that lava was probably from their rocket-ships taking off when they left the planet to colonize earth. I'm pretty sure I saw the ruins of Atlantis in one of those pics...

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Good thing there's no more free flowing water. It would kill the sandworms.
        • by ulzeraj (1009869)

          I would kill to have some mod points to mod up this fellow AC who have read past the first book of Dune.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You know, I reckon these might be canals, that Maritans used to get water from the shrinking icecaps at the poles to the drying cities in the more temperate zones. What do you think?

        I think every Martian will agree that weaponizing lava was a really bad idea.

      • by Trogre (513942)

        Paf!

  • Mars looks like any earthly desert.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Did anyone else read "Ancient Food Channels"?

  • Gold! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Sterculius (2856655)
    Recently. So just a few weeks ago water was gushing all over Mars. When they are really ready for people ot populate Mars, they will claim to have found huge deposits of gold.
  • Bored with Mars (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Viol8 (599362) on Friday March 08, 2013 @07:03AM (#43114447)

    Am I the only person bored with the obsessive focusing on Mars by people desperate to find life? Maybe mars had life in the past but now its a dead dustball. There is more change of life in the ice moons of the outer solar system as they have oceans NOW. A few more missions to them and a few less to mars might be a better use of scientific resources.

    • Re:Bored with Mars (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wonda (457426) on Friday March 08, 2013 @07:18AM (#43114489)

      mars is nice dirt, you can dig in it etc, the icemoons are.. ice, so it's much harder to dig and there's nothing much to see on the surface, so they might just think it's too hard for now, even if you find a hole in the ice that just means you lost your robot :).

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        The could still do radar mapping and on europa there seems to be some sort of ice tectonics happening which means any life may well be frozen into ice on or not far from the surface.

    • by khallow (566160)
      There's always underground as well which may have a water environment that Earth bacteria can survive in today.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      There's more to it than life. There was and still is water buried in the subsurface of Mars. If we ever want to visit another planet or Moon, Mars is going to be a lot more hospitable than, say, Europa, which exists in a deep gravity well (Jupiter), is surrounded by an intense radiation belt, takes a lot more energy to get to (or out of), and has effectively no atmosphere.

      If there's no life on Mars, good. Then we can establish whatever life we want there.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I suspect the reasons for this are:
      1. Mars is the most Earth-like planet (other than Earth) we've encountered.
      2. We don't really know how to land on Europa, Titan, etc. Mars, on the other hand, is a place we've been able to land on since the 1970's, and we now know how to land really sophisticated mobile probes to get really detailed looks at everything that seems interesting.
      3. Mars is a likely target for eventual human colonization. It would help to understand the place as much as possible before we make

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      I don't think their water is like our water, but did anybody else think that the pictures might look like lava fissures rather than channels?

    • Europa is insanely hard to land on because you have to remove all the hardware once the mission is over to avoid contamination (he mission would also have to plutonium powered and you don't want to leave 10 pounds of that nasty stuff on the surface). Speaking of which, it would be insanely hard to sterilize a probe so that zero bugs are brought to Europa from Earth. And the probe would need extreme radiation hardening. Also you have to prevent the probe from melting the ice it is roving / sitting on. Wh
    • by Nyder (754090)

      Am I the only person bored with the obsessive focusing on Mars by people desperate to find life? Maybe mars had life in the past but now its a dead dustball. There is more change of life in the ice moons of the outer solar system as they have oceans NOW. A few more missions to them and a few less to mars might be a better use of scientific resources.

      I'm not bored with it. This is what science is. You have to do a lot of boring work before you might, and just might, hit the big pay day.

      Was there life on mars? We are trying to find out, have some patience.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I knew there were ancient civilizations on Mars, I knew it! And Food Channels would line up nicely with the end of civilization. What? Oh, never mind.

  • Mars Express (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What saddens me is that Mars Express was sent by the ESA and is orbiting Mars as we speak carrying RADAR for just this kind of thing (MARSIS). How many times have we seen their results in the news? I expect the next time there's a good idea for a Mars mission it'll struggle for funding because non-one remembers anything good coming from Mars Express. I'm sure there's plenty of really good science going on, but we never hear about it.

    We just can't get our PR act together over here.

  • >>Relatively recently
    >>Ancient

    Does not compute.

    • >>Relatively recently
      >>Ancient

      For once, the Slashdot headline is actually more sensible.
      You have to read three paragraphs of TFA to find that "relatively recently" means "500 million years ago". It's only "recent" in comparison to the other, billions of years old, water channels previously known.

  • were there rover tracks beside the outbreak?

That does not compute.

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