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Follow the Water

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA Rover Finds Old Streambed on Martian Surface

This set of images compares the Link outcrop of rocks on Mars (left) with similar rocks seen on Earth (right). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS and PSI

Read between the lines. Scientifically, Water means Life as we know it. That’s why evidence of such, is on the top of the list, of what we look for on other planets.

September 27, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence — images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels — is the first of its kind.

Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream’s flow.

“From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep,” said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. “Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it.”  – http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-305#7

“The importance of liquid water as an organizing principle in the exploration for extraterrestrial life often is articulated in the simple expression ‘follow the water.'” – Astrobiology: Water and the Potential for Extraterrestrial Life, http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/A-Bi/Astrobiology-Water-and-the-Potential-for-Extraterrestrial-Life.html

 

Categories: Mars, Space Tags:

#MarsGale

August 16, 2012 Leave a comment

Curiosity on Mars: A Wall of Gale Crater 

“If you could stand on Mars, what would you see? The above image is a digitally re-colored approximation of what you might see if the above Martian landscape had occurred on Earth. Images from Mars false-colored in this way are called white balanced and useful for planetary scientists to identify rocks and landforms similar to Earth. The image is a high resolution version of a distant wall of Gale Crater captured by the Curiosity rover that landed on Mars last week. A corresponding true color image exists showing how this scene actually appears on Mars. The robotic Curiosity rover continues to check itself over and accept new programming from Earth before it begins to roll across Mars and explore a landscape that has the appearance of being an unusually layered dried river bed.”

Image Credit: NASAJPL-CaltechMSSS

Categories: Astronomy, Mars, NASA

Mars in the Loop

August 9, 2012 Leave a comment

“This composite of images spaced some 5 to 7 days apart from late October 2011 (top right) through early July 2012 (bottom left), traces the retrograde motion of ruddy-colored Mars through planet Earth’s night sky. To connect the dots in Mars’ retrograde loop, just slide your cursor over the picture (and check out this animation).

But Mars didn’t actually reverse the direction of its orbit. Instead, the apparent backwards motion with respect to the background stars is a reflection of the motion of the Earth itself. Retrograde motion can be seen each time Earth overtakes and laps planets orbiting farther from the Sun, the Earth moving more rapidly through its own relatively close-in orbit. On March 4th, 2012 Mars was opposite the Sun in Earth’s sky, near its closest and brightest at the center of this picture. Just arrived on the surface of the Red Planet, the Curiosity rover was launched on November 26, when Mars was near the crossover point of its retrograde loop.

Of course, Mars can now be spotted close to Saturn and bright star Spica, near the western horizon after sunset.”


Image Credit & CopyrightCenk E. Tezel, Tunç Tezel (TWAN)

Categories: Astronomy, Mars, Space Tags: , ,

“A bunny rabbit holding the American flag.”

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

“Thanks to Romain Desort for this exclusive picture.” via Ubisoft

Reconnaissance Orbiter gets an eye-full.

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment


making our presence known

“The four main pieces of hardware that arrived on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover were spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image about 24 hours after landing. http://go.nasa.gov/OXjKz6

Categories: Mars, Space
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