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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

What Curiosity's uncovered on Mars

Usually I don't write midweek (I have one of those horrible 'job' things), or about Mars exploration - not because Mars isn't interesting or relevant though. Ancient Mars, whether it was warm and ocean covered as some theories go or an ice world with occasional floods as others think, was a huge part of the landscape of the ancient solar system. The reason I usually avoid it is because it gets so well served by the bigger news outlets and blogs, so there doesn't seem much need for me to shout about it too. As just one example of this:

Above: No, I'm not getting paid by Lego. It's just my way of sending a subtle hint to Santa...

 But recently the Curiosity Mars robot has found some things out about Gale crater on Mars that make it seem very likely there were not only streams but a lake there. The water seems to have come and gone. Curiosity Rover's Chief Scientist John Grotzinger described it as:

" [Not]  just a single lake that stood for millions of years, but rather a system of alluvial fans, deltas and lakes and dry deserts that alternated probably for millions if not tens of millions of years as a connected system."

Above: At present the water is definately going through a 'gone' phase....
If future results confirm this then it's a huge boost for hopes of finding ancient life on the red planet, and I'd be daft not to at least post a quick bit on the subject. I'll hand you over to NASA for a fuller explanation:

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