Evidence of liquid water found on Mars

Rather than attempt to write about this, I’m just going to embed a couple of tweets from NASA.

Water, of course, is the elixir of life.  The probability of some kind of life existing on Mars seems to have just increased.

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9 Responses to Evidence of liquid water found on Mars

  1. Jay Dee says:

    This is the news we have been waiting for. I couldn’t be more excited.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. James Pailly says:

    I found it interesting when the one guy said that if he were a Martian microbe, he’d prefer to live deeper underground and closer to the poles… somewhere where there might be fresh water. This perchlorate infused saltwater near the surface is still not ideal for life.

    Like

  3. Steve Morris says:

    Big news! So just under the surface there may well be salty groundwater flowing. Testing a sample for microbes would seem to be the next step.

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  4. Wyrd Smythe says:

    This seemed pretty tenuous based on what details I’ve heard so far… Spectrographic analysis of parts of the surface return results that are consistent with water flowing over them. (IOW, it could turn out to be something else.) The surface in question was crater walls, and they don’t have any idea where the water might be coming from. I got the impression it starts high and flows low, so the question of its origin is compelling (condensation of some kind?). Finally, water is not the same as life (extreme example: Pluto). Mars isn’t shielded from solar radiation as the Earth is, so it’s a fairly hostile environment.

    This sort of reminded me of the early BICEP2 results… we’ll see how this one pans out!

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    • It’s always possible. Until a rover sticks an instrument somewhere and it comes out wet, it will be based on interpretation of the evidence. The question is whether, as with BICEP2, someone can find a more mundane explanation for the observations.

      The surface of Mars is a pretty hostile place for life (although with extremophiles, who can say for sure), but underground might be a different story.

      “extreme example: Pluto”
      With all the underground water throughout the solar system, if simple life isn’t found somewhere, I think it will give us a pretty strong indication that it is rare in the universe.

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      • Wyrd Smythe says:

        Indeed. And Europa is probably the best chance at finding some form of life. I’m pretty cynical when it comes to Mars. It sounds like the planet has been hostile to life for a very long time.

        My sense is that life is a local reversal of entropy, which is allowed given a source of energy. Life needs energy (there is even a theory that (free) energy always leads to some form of life), and Mars strikes me as energy low. But given the energy from Jupiter’s radio belt plus serious tidal heating, plus protection of under-ice seas, Europa wouldn’t surprise me at all.

        Unfortunately the Monolith told us to keep our hands off Europa. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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