Skip to comments.Images reveal 'sea of ice' near Mars' equator
Posted on 02/26/2005 4:02:49 AM PST by FYREDEUS
Images reveal 'sea of ice' near Mars' equator Associated Press
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands Images relayed by a European space probe reveal the existence of a sea of ice close to the equator of Mars, scientists said Tuesday at a conference in the Netherlands.
The existence of water or ice would significantly increase the chance microscopic life may also be found on Mars. The evidence comes from photographs - not yet published - taken last year by the European Space Agency's Mars Express probe currently orbiting the red planet. Scientists have long theorized there was once water on Mars and data from NASA's Mars Rovers has recently appeared to confirm it. But most scientists believed the water had evaporated into the atmosphere early in the planet's history.
"The point is that the ice is very recent: it appears to still be there, covered beneath a layer of dust and ash," John Murray of Britain's Open University said in a telephone interview.
Photographs from the Mars Express showing what ESA scientists said is the most direct evidence yet of water in the form of ice on the red planet have been sent back and analyzed over the last few months.
Murray co-authored a paper detailing the findings which was to be published in the March 17 issue of Nature.
"You can see pack ice in formations that are remarkably similar, identical to ice floes in Antarctica," he said.
Murray said the ice is believed to have formed five million years ago - the blink of an eye, in geological terms - atop a body of water the size of Earth's North Sea.
The water is believed to have originated beneath the surface of Mars, near a series of fractures known as the Cerberus Fossae, where it gushed forth in a catastrophic flood after being warmed by the planet's core.
It collected in a vast area more than 800 kilometres long and wide, and 15 metres deep.
"If there were warm, wet places, then life could have developed," Murray said.
"That's the place we should look."
The findings were discussed at a major conference in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, which concludes Friday.
Even if we dont find Martian life there that much water could sustain a VERY BIG colony while we terraform Mars.
Let's send a Rover over there. Take a look.
One possible explanation for the absence of liquid water on the surface of the planet is that Mars, which unlike Earth does not have a protective magnetic field, is being shorn of its surface by the solar wind. An estimated 100,000 kilograms per day of Mars surface material is blown off the planet, according to Stas Barabash, lead scientists for the Mars Express ASPERA-3 experiment, which measures the phenomenon.---Quarter of Mars Scientists at European Meeting Believe Life Possible on Red Planet
I should post the whole article as a separate thread but I'm too lazy.
Anyway, that's pretty bizarre, that Mars is being blown away. I never knew that.
Terraforming a planet takes hundreds of years; we don't have the technology to do that.
And, who will pay for it?
Forget about terraforming, and look into bioforming humans into becoming Martians. That's closer to being doable.
Wait I am sure Mars is being blown away by eco-damage caused by humans, right?
That's OK, the court challenges will take that long anyway.
We dont have the WILL to do it...if we find the will we will find the ways and the means, technological and economic.
Yes especially if we discover ANY kind of life there. Remember the snail-darter? Just imagine the FUROR from 'Green' types starting "Save the Martian Mud-Microbe" campaigns LOL.
Maybe we should just SKIP Mars and colonize Europa...that would be kind of 'poetic' if it was The US who led the way; "America settles the New World of Europe-a" eh? ;-)
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