Monday, July 21, 2008

Water once "widespread" on Mars

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has relayed new data showing Mars was once drenched with water, and for hundreds-of-thousands of years, reports the BBC.

Images from the Mars Orbiter show minerals on the "ancient highlands" that only form in water. The same type of minerals also appear in-and-around craters and on the slopes of dormant volcanoes (see image) suggesting evidence of a wet Mars has been hiding just below the surface. And the evidence runs deep, up to 5 kilometers down, suggesting there was a lot of water on the Red Planet.

Mars' wet period probably ran from 4.6 billion to 3.8 billion years ago during the planet's "Noachian period."

(Image courtesy NASA)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.