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Mars NASA Space Science

Martian Gullies Explained By ... Sand 97

eldavojohn writes "There's a lot of evidence that a very long time ago some fluid once flowed on Mars, but the primary evidence of water today — gullies inside craters — is explainable by a much less exotic reason: flowing dust and sand. It would now seem that the news from 2006 that NASA had found definitive evidence of flowing water on today's Mars needs to be comprehensively reexamined. The Bad Astronomer lays claim that flowing sand and dust doesn't explain all recent hi-res imagery from the red planet, but it certainly does seem more plausible, considering what we know about Mars."
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Martian Gullies Explained By ... Sand

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  • by Anne_Nonymous ( 313852 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:10PM (#32086482) Homepage Journal

    Forget water. If you want to create a space stampede to Mars, announce the discovery of oil there.

  • Re:YEAH RIGHT! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mu51c10rd ( 187182 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:33PM (#32086970)

    to try and contaminate our precious bodily fluids.

    We do that well enough ourselves need for Martians to bother.

  • by Colonel Korn ( 1258968 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @12:39PM (#32087062)

    That's right wiener_dudes. No water on Mars. Ever. No life ... ever. No nothing. Here, but not there. No Princess Lea no sandworms. It's empty pals ... our solar-system and galaxy. All the universe is empty except earth of everything but horror. Just us. Alone. Always.

    Um...this article is talking about _some_ of the evidence for _recent_liquid_ water being called into question. There's a vast amount of solid water on Mars now and there's no question at all about that.

    So to rephrase for you: HUGE amounts of water on Mars. Right now. Unquestionably. Solid water plus definitely active at one time volcanoes = definite liquid water. Life? Maybe, maybe not.

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Tuesday May 04, 2010 @02:17PM (#32088598) Homepage

    This actually hits on one of my personal bugaboos - scientists that claim to know something "definitively" while the research or hypothesis is still warm from the metaphorical oven.

    And one of my personal bugaboos is people getting their panties in a twist over scientists claiming something that they're not and never have actually claimed.

    The word "definitive" appears nowhere except in this slashdot summary. It does not appear in the previous slashdot summary that the offending word links to, nor does it appear in the article that slashdot summary links to either, and certainly does not appear in the original statement by the scientists. In fact, the article says that more work needs to be done to determine if what they discovered was definitely water.

    So basically your whole rant about "science by press release" is baseless slander because you assumed a word in a /. summary twice removed from the original source was the actual word used by scientists, rather than click a couple links and learn that you were wrong.

    Good job.

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Wednesday May 05, 2010 @12:01AM (#32094034) Homepage
    Well, that would make scientists ecstatic also. Oil means there was life in the past. Enough life to produce oil would upset a lot of models and make things very interesting. I doubt that the discovery of oil on Mars would actually cause industry to be that much more interested than they would be now. The energy cost of moving the oil back to Earth would probably be much larger than that gained from getting the oil. I'm not even sure it would make industry much more practical on Mars since there's not much oxygen on Mars that you can use to burn the oil there.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers