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    Thread: NASA Announces 'Slam Dunk' Sign Mars Had Liquid Water

    1. #1
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      NASA Announces 'Slam Dunk' Sign Mars Had Liquid Water

      NASA - NASA Mars Rover Finds Mineral Vein Deposited by Water

      Hooray, science.

      We need a team of Space Paleontologists up there, STAT.
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      Looks like pretty solid evidence.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    3. #3
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      I think it's suspected that Mars no longer has liquid water because its atmosphere was stripped away by solar winds when its magnetic field stopped working. This happened because Mars is smaller and so its core lost heat faster.

      This discovery is a good thing to hear about... does anybody know what is currently thought about the methane the planet produces?

      I'd imagine it's quite hard to search for the remains of extinct life. There's still Europa to think about, where life could exist at this very moment, in the geologically active liquid ocean hypothesised to exist under the surface.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      does anybody know what is currently thought about the methane the planet produces?
      I'm pretty sure the scientific consensus is leaning more toward the source being non-biological, If that's what you're trying to figure out.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I'd imagine it's quite hard to search for the remains of extinct life. There's still Europa to think about, where life could exist at this very moment, in the geologically active liquid ocean hypothesised to exist under the surface.
      It's actually not just feasible, but fairly likely based on circumstantial evidence. There are deep crevasses with seem to show signs of liquid water freezing similar to the way molten rock freezes on our surface. I just hope I get so see a probe tunnel down into the ocean beneath the surface in my lifetime. If extraterrestrial life is to be found in my lifetime, it's the place. And seeing how quickly life developed on earth, it's a real possibility that there is life under the surface.

      There is a great quote by Dr Hawking that I can't find. It went something along the lines of "if life was improbable, we would have expected it not as appear so quickly on Earth" but I can't find the actual quote

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      Xei
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      I find that tenuous (like most of what Hawking says when he talks about things outside the realm of theoretical physics). It could be that complex life requires a relatively stable chemical environment, but abiogenesis requires an active chemical environment. In which case, finding ourselves on a planet where life emerged around the beginning is just the anthropic principle at work. It's very hard to make objective judgements about life when we've only got one data point. In fact it wouldn't even be particularly true what he's saying even if we assume a linear probability distribution through time of the emergence of life; we only know it emerged during the first 20% or so, which probabilistically changes very little at all. Certainly it's not enough to draw a conclusion from.

      I can't wait for Europa either... it would be such a huge moment for mankind, and although it wouldn't be a surprise to any of us, it would give a huge boost to rationalism and humanism. The fact Europa would be geologically active is a very good sign, bearing in mind the very novel life forms (quite possibly the first life forms) we find around hydrothermal vents on Earth. I believe there's supposed to be a mission around 2020, but I don't know the details. I watched a documentary once about how they could use a probe with a heated metal nose to melt a tunnel through the ice under the force of gravity, which'd seal back up after it.

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