RIVER DELTAS AT SIMILAR ALTITUDES HINT AT AN ANCIENT OCEAN

A huge ocean may formerly have covered nearly one-third of the Martian surface two scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder suggest.

In Nature Geoscience today, Gaetano di Achille and Bryan Hynek report how they analysed data that imply Mars was once covered by a huge ocean of water. Their evidence is a range of dry river deltas and valleys all at a similar elevation, meaning that the rivers fed into a single, great, body of water. This supports the idea that what are now the northern lowlands of Mars could have supported an ocean and therefore a water/atmosphere cycle much like Earth's.

Twenty years ago scientists scrutinising pictures of the Martian surface claimed to recognize extensive shorelines and networks of river valleys and outflow channels feeding in the same direction. Other scientists using thermal physics considered that such networks were likely carved by the workings of a complete water cycle, fuelled by an ocean of water.

So much water on Mars for many hundreds of millions of years may have helped originate, develop and sustain life forms, fossils of which could remain to be discovered by visiting space scientists. Where is the water now? How much remains on Mars? Might a useful fraction remain frozen in the subsoil?

Tags: Mars, Martian ocean, life on Mars?

Views: 62

Replies to This Discussion

So on a Presumption that a binary star may be the only gravitational state stable enough to create planets we move to the other part of the question.
There are calculations for this hypothosis (but they are going to take me a long time my physics leaves something to be desired), the figures for the size of the ellitical orbits under the gravitational influence of two stars is going to be fun.
We could shift Earth and Mars a little further from the Sun and keep within certain parameters. This would give us a figure for the gravitational levels on Mars, one of the first things I am looking at is the gravitational levels needed on Mars to maintain levels of atmospheric pressure by which any seas or bodies of water could be maintained. Although my hypothisis is a little out of left field in itself, to wonder about water and the atmospheric pressure needed to maintain it gets us towards the first part of the question.
It begins then to give one some figures for what sort of life could have existed, but would hazard a guess at simple organisms at best. We are probably the best example of that From the beginnings of continents to us has taken around 3bn years and many metamorphosise. Has Mars ever had those timescales to play with so to speak.
We must have some theory towards gravitational and atmospheric pressures on Mars conducive to water and thereby conducive to life.
Would'nt it be marvelous to be able to prove that under the right conditions life can exist on it's own terms without any sub-human theories about 'intelligent design'.
I guess it would all be down to your definition of life. Some form of molecular synthesis may have occurred that found utility in the surroundings. It may have even started to affect its environment. But could you still qualify that as life?

It's an abiogenisis argument. I, currently, am all in favour of the chemoton theory by Ganti.
Discussions like these always bring me back to the kinds of questions I have always asked man-in-the-sky people. If I give them that a god is real and follows the dictates of the Bible or Quran then why isn't our solar system just teeming with intelligent life? Why are there no Martains, Venusians, Saturnians etc.like in an old Flash Gordon movie? I mean, their god is so pro-life and all, then why aren't all of the planets suitable for it? Being a little more sensible I at least want them to tell me why, when it is obvious that at one time Mars had everything it needed for complex life forms to develope, the process stopped dead in it's tracks. Did their god A. Attempt to put life there and fail? B. Lose all interest in the project and quit? I'm still waiting to get more than a blank stare or the old "mysterious ways" excuse.
The reason the cloud magician is so mysterious is so no one will know how bad he/she/it fucked things up.
If the data are right then it is rational to expect that we should be able to find some signs of life in Mars.

Finding the remaining signs of life on this planet is a test for the theory that "there was life in Mars"

these findings can help us to understand the structure of sun and its changes, too.
I am curious as to whether or not the loss of the martian atmosphere is in any way tied to the events which formed our moon? Though I cannot substantiate the source, I recall hearing once that the earth and mars had possibly swapped orbits in the distant past. An impact of a planetesmal body with the early earth could have sent its orbit off... maybe tipped it inward where it did a little binary dance with mars before each settling off in their own perspective orbits. We may have even been seeded with life from that event which may have originated on mars.
Its all grossly speculative, but sure as hell is fun to think about.
If the earth is the only place where life exists,I'll have to start believe in miracle and also you should.
Intriguing new discovery, reported on the BBC web site:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10790648

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

AJY

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service