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December 08, 2011

NASA Rover Finds Convincing Evidence of Water on Ancient Mars

The Opportunity rover, which landed on Mars nearly eight years ago, has discovered a thin, bright mineral vein along the rim of a huge crater called Endeavour. This mineral is believed to be gypsum, that was deposited by liquid water billions of years ago. The mineral vein is about 20 inches long and about the width of a human thumb. NASA scientists believe that there was a fracture in the rock billions of years ago, water flowed through it, and the gypsum was precipitated from the water. The gypsum vein is also intriguing for scientists interested in whether or not Mars was ever capable of supporting life. Some of the ancient wet environments that Opportunity has found were likely very acidic. However, with this new discovery, gypsum formation is consistent with a more neutral pH level and gives hope to scientists who believe there was once life on Mars. For the full article, go to:

http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-rover-finds-convincing-evidence-water-ancient-mars-021402944.html

Posted by nzingas at December 8, 2011 09:44 PM

Comments

I saw this article as well, and I thought it was really interesting-- especially because it relates so much to what I'm learning in Astro right now about possibilities of life on Mars. While Mars is a frozen environment right now, even finding the evidence of liquid water like this is encouraging, and much of it comes somewhat from "recent" times in the entirety of our planet history.

Posted by: drdod at December 9, 2011 01:24 PM

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