NASA Mars rover uncovers signs of ancient streambed near equatorial landing site

leekohler

macrumors G5
Original poster
Dec 22, 2004
14,165
19
Chicago, Illinois
This is very cool.

Scientists say NASA’s newest Mars rover has found signs that a stream once flowed across the surface near the site where it landed.

Curiosity touched down in a crater near the Martian equator last month. The red planet today is dusty and dry but scientists think it was once warmer and wetter.

Evidence of an ancient stream came from analyzing the size and shapes of pebbles and gravel near Gale Crater. Mission scientists said Thursday it appeared the water was fast-moving and deep.

Images from space have provided hints of a watery past at Curiosity’s landing site. The latest discovery on the ground confirms that.

Curiosity is headed toward a spot where three types of terrain meet. Its ultimate destination is a mountain rising from the center of the crater.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/scientists-nasa-mars-rover-uncovers-signs-of-ancient-streambed-near-equatorial-landing-site/2012/09/27/09ff56a0-08d7-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
47,411
31,712
The Far Horizon

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Well, I don't buy it. I won't be convinced this was a water way until they find '67 Chevy rusting away, or a old shopping cart, or an old rubber boot. Who ever heard of a waterway without trash in it?

OK Ok --- just kidding.... this is very cool.

At some point, once they decide that Mars did in fact support life, there is going to be an interesting debate. How complex did Martian life become? Single cell? Did it evolve to stage of lichen? Or should we be starting to look for some sort of fossilized remains? Even soft animals with no bones can leave fossilized remains.

Wouldn't it be amazing if Curiosity just happened to find a bit of fossil?
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,292
2,293
Sunny, Southern California
Well, I don't buy it. I won't be convinced this was a water way until they find '67 Chevy rusting away, or a old shopping cart, or an old rubber boot. Who ever heard of a waterway without trash in it?

OK Ok --- just kidding.... this is very cool.

At some point, once they decide that Mars did in fact support life, there is going to be an interesting debate. How complex did Martian life become? Single cell? Did it evolve to stage of lichen? Or should we be starting to look for some sort of fossilized remains? Even soft animals with no bones can leave fossilized remains.

Wouldn't it be amazing if Curiosity just happened to find a bit of fossil?
When I read this, I was sooo picturing the beginning sequence to the movie "Heavy Metal". Different car, but that is what came to mind.

Very cool story.
 

Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
752
179
Titletown USA
What? Wait, when did this happen? I must have been too busy watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" to notice.

(You know I'm kidding, Curiosity is freakin' awesome!)