Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Giant Begeekmoth

Speaking of Mars-sized objects, the most Mars-sized of them all is Mars. And speaking of water, the evidence that Mars once had plenty of it continues to grow, as do tantalizing possibilities of the at least past existence of what can go along with water.
Minerals in the soil of Mars show it was covered once by lakes, rivers and other bodies of water that could have supported life, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday. ...

Last month the Mars Phoenix Lander found ice on the surface of the planet, but it is frozen hard and covered by red dust. Writing in the journal Nature, a team of scientists shows that the ice is left over from warmer, wetter times.

"This is really exciting because we're finding dozens of sites where future missions can land to understand if Mars was ever habitable and if so, to look for signs of past life," said John Mustard of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who worked on the study. ...

"What does this mean for habitability? It's very strong," Mustard said. "It wasn't this hot, boiling cauldron. It was a benign, water-rich environment for a long period of time."
And as you check out more info on the Phoenix Lander, don't forget that Spirit and Opportunity are still out there, at Day #1619 and Day #1598, respectively, of their "90-day missions," perhaps better called their "three hour tours."

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