Curiosity rover finds evidence of ancient streambed on Mars

September 30, 2012SPACE - The Curiosity rover has come across a place in Gale Crater where ankle-to-hip-deep water once vigorously flowed: an ancient streambed containing evidence of gravel that has been worn by water. At a press briefing today, members of the Mars Science Laboratory team said the rover has found “surprising” outcrops and gravel near the rover landing site that indicate water once flowed in this region, and likely flowed for a long time. “Too many things that point away from a single burst event,” said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. “I’m comfortable to argue that it is beyond the 1,000 year timescales, even though this is very early on in our findings.” From the size of gravel found by the rover, the science team can interpret the water was moving about 1 meter (3 feet) per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep. “Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them,” said Dietrich. “This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it.” What Curiosity found on Mars was described as conglomerate rock made up of water-transported gravels, meaning the gravel is now cemented into a layers of rock, and the sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream’s flow. “The shapes tell you they were transported and the sizes tell you they couldn’t be transported by wind. They were transported by water flow,” said Curiosity science co-investigator Rebecca Williams of the Planetary Science Institute. –Universe Today
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35 Responses to Curiosity rover finds evidence of ancient streambed on Mars

  1. charlie s says:

    Looks like some good dirt to pan out…lol

    • Korheg says:

      Lol I was thinking the same thing. I wonder if there’s gold on mars.

      • Phyllis says:

        somehow I believe our governments would have already stolen it all.

      • skywalker says:

        im sure that you can find all the same rare elements on mars as you can find on this planet. all the planets formed at roughly the same time from the same stuff, but its a long way to go to do some mining…..better goto the moon and join our cosmic cousins , they have been there mining the dark side for hundreds of years.

  2. Meema says:

    Earth is going to hell in a hand basket and we are spending millions of dollars trying to prove there once was water on Mars. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

    • Marybell says:

      It is beyond me the waste of money. What would they do if the pictures showed a hugh waterfall flowing into a river? I wish it were so. A load could be assembled to go and explore, made up of up aethists, politicans and the whole bunch in the white house .Now that would be the cat’s meow.

  3. GaurNitai says:

    Billions of dollars wasted… and the truth is hidden from humanity.

  4. Tell me about it Meema. Hold on to your hat, the `rover` cost 2.5 billion$ just to build the thing. What it cost to Launch it and put it in a hole on mars, Who knows? The next time the Yanks want to throw a couple of billion$ in a hole, Let me know, I will dig one in my backyard. They won`t need to go to the bother of building another rover. Cash will be fine.

  5. Lee H says:

    @ Meema, we as humans spend more money on our mobile phones than our governments spend on space exploration and fusion research. Rather hipocritical to say they aren’t getting their priorities right, when over 4 billion of us aren’t neither.

    I fear that we as a civilization have “missed the boat” in so far as space exploration is concerned, too many missed oportunities.

    • merle says:

      To Lee, You tell it as it is! We are all to blame….one man’s priority is another man’s disregard…and ever so shall it be.

  6. m c says:

    I believe there was water on mars and a whole lot more in the distant past.

    I sometimes wonder if the flood of Noah’s time was water from space maybe even mars, how it could happen i have no idea just that strange things happen in the universe.

    Although things did change on planet earth after the flood of noah’s time.

    • Valerie says:

      I feel this will be planet earth next, all dried up wasted. Where heading into something huge, complete destruction, step by step.

      • m c says:

        I agree that this planet is in an increasing state of flux and will continue to change right around us no matter what we do.

        There are still many many people that will deny its happening even up until its to late.

        We’ve been watching that TV show “TerraNova” and thats what happened it the show the earth was scortched.

    • M.A.D says:

      I think so also, the water on earth is from mars, I think the sun is a supper nova, as the sun got hotter the water went up into space, then as the world was born, came the grate flood,

    • Garth Colin Whelan says:

      any substance that can escape a planets gravity, is usually caused by solar wind. That would leave only Mercury and Venus to give us water by that method, which is extremely unlikely.

      The bible describes quite clearly on the second day of creation that God created the sky to separate the waters beneath, from THE WATERS ABOVE. The flood of Noah was both from rain, and from geysers. It is most likely the waters above were in the upper atmosphere forming like a canopy (many planets within our own solar system are like this, but with other gases, not water). The air pressure would have been around 6 times greater than they are now, to hold that amount of water. What would this make the earth like? 1) Longer life due to less radiation getting into the atmosphere. 2) Quicker healing of wounds (simple cuts healing within a day). 3) A more equal balance of heat all over the globe.

      Before the flood, the sea level was much lower than it is now. Where the oil under land and under the sea bed is now, would have been the surface of the earth before the flood. This oil is simply from decayed living matter that was alive before the flood. All the ground would have gotten buried from all the landslides, and from the mud that churned in miles deep flooding which when the flood waters subsided created, created a new higher ground level. There are evidences of beach heads deep down off the coast of many lands today, which would have been the pre-flood sea level.

  7. Tom says:

    Well i think spaceexploration is well spent $s.
    If man would stop playing wargames and invest silly amounts of money in wartoys and nuclearweapons etc we could solve a lot of the problems on earth AND fly to mars
    The advanced nukesystems we have is a economic black hole

  8. Meema says:

    Note to the last person alive on earth – Mars once had water – maybe. This nickel knowledge will not save you, but, be comforted, you died enlightened.

  9. TexasRedNeck says:

    Amazing, if it really is photo’s from Mars, But what’s the point in knowing if Mars or any other planet has or did have water, they can’t bring it here to earth. Why waste all this money to prove or disprove what’s on other planets. The scientist are acting like a bunch of rich kids playing with their toys while millions on earth are homeless and starving everyday. What a waste of taxpayers money just so a few can play with their “toys” while others have to do without. Is it worth it ?

  10. grace says:

    Does anyone actually believe they’re on Mars???

    • Desmond says:

      No! It looks like they landed the ROVER in the red sands in the middle of Australia. For a dry planet the stones look pretty clean and free of dust to me.

  11. tonic says:

    Perhaps all this is a dreadful waste of money, especially looking at all the waste of life, and resources across the globe.
    It’s also awesome that we can see another planet this closely. Maybe we need to know and understand why a neighbouring planet has died and is so devoid of life. Perhaps, it might come in handy some day.

    • Christopher says:

      Best comment! Knowledge is important, and eventually mankind will explore Mars, and the rest of this star system. I belive it will change everything we thought, and create more questions than answers.

  12. Dan S says:

    It is not entirely a waste of money at all. If we want to survive as a species we must explore beyond our planet and observe the certain types of environments that lay beyond our blue rock. This is what space exploration is about. By the time we advance enough with propulsion technologies to be able to take those long journeys as well as life-support technologies to make the vast trips, hopefully we will have much better understanding on how to leave this rock and survive as a species in the long term. It’s not all a conspiracy, you may think that, but it’s not.

    ~my 2 cents

  13. Common Sense says:

    How dare some of you say that this is wasted money. Do you not understand what the premise of dreaming and imagining is? These things may seem mundane to the average cell phone glued cultural magnet but to children and some of us, this means so much more.

    Digging up the past and paving a journey to our future is the most important thing there is. If you wish to complain, look at the budget of the war on the drugs, military expenses and money spent on manufacturing weapons and the rest of the common day filth that has taken us from the nature we were destined to be apart of. Stop thinking about money and grow up.

  14. Common Sense says:

    Let me also say that I don’t 100% agree with how these space programs are run, because no doubt there is much that is held back from us. I’d rather have a space program than not have one all the same, I only wish there wasn’t so much corruption and secrecy in all aspects of life.

  15. Wes says:

    We waste too much money on space, say they could build on mars many,many years from now. First we need light speed to get there quickly, spend trillions and trillions to build and travel there. Next how can you move millions of people there and feed them? Now if it’s a matter of life or death you can wait in line for the government to go first, weapons food next then animals and the rich. Then we would get to go maybe but leave all your weapons behind, only the government will be allowed to have them to keep others in line. Now after all this the Sun finally burns out and or you could be hit by a meteor which destroys that planet. Face it when this planet dies out so do we sorry.

  16. M.A.D says:

    We all need to understand that we are going to need some other place to call home some day, the earth is not for ever,

  17. Columbine says:

    For those who think NASA and the space program does nothing but waste money, read http://www.nasa.gov/50th/50th_magazine/benefits.html . Yes, it is a page put out by NASA – I use it because it is concise and contains factual information, not hearsay. Other information is out there on the web as well if you just take the time to look it up. I am reminded of the old proverb:

    Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a life time.

    We can throw our money at problems and continue to have problems that just keeps on growing, or we can spend money searching for solutions that actually FIX the problem. The space program has contributed a lot of good things to our current societies world wide. Your cell phone and possibly your internet connection are just two of many!! How do you think those satelites that carry the signals got up there? Research and developement by NASA and companies that work along side of, in competition to, or with NASA. Plus the added benefit of the space program providing thousands of jobs not just at NASA but at those companies that mine the minerals and make the stuff that’s used in every part of the space program, from janitorial services to food production to computers to rocket fuel to the rovers themselves. The total cost of that machine exploring Mars may be huge, but that money was spread around the United States and the world and may even be in YOUR pocket.

    And who knows what discoveries there may be that will help us here back on earth?

    • onthemark55 says:

      Speaking of fish, wouldn’t it be “money well spent” to study our oceans over space? We know so little about our own environment yet reach to the heavens for answers. Space exploration is important but not as important as understanding our habitat.

  18. Dennis E. says:

    They are looking for Mr. Spock to continue their ungodly assault on the fact that there is a creator
    and we are not love seeds left millions of years ago by visiting aliens……………

    • tonic says:

      There are other scientists, astronomers, and mathamaticians who are awestruck by the perfection of the universe, and cannot put any resolve on it, other than God.
      They cannot publish, because of the world we live in.

  19. Curiosity King says:

    I think this is utterly amazing. We are on the verge of finding other inhabited earth’s, we now know water was on Mars and soon may know that there was/is microbial life there too!
    I feel there is a lot of negative comments on this post from Christians about this news, saying we should be spending the money on the poor and starving, but I think really it has more to do with their faith being rattled by all this evidence.
    I am agnostic, and believe there are many inhabited worlds out there just like ours, and in the next few years we will find the first one in our galaxy.
    What would that do to religion???

  20. Lt Dan says:

    Not dried up and wasted…fried by the most severe electrical storm our Solar System has seen in ages.

    The Lightning Scarred Planet

  21. Theqygax says:

    They found what appears to be wear by a liquid, not necessarily water, or a high density gas (i.e. supercritical fluids). This is no big deal. “Oooo, erosion on another planet…” find water and then call it water. until then call it what you call it in the circle.

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