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Scientists: Gale Crater never had flowing surface water and was always cold

The uncertainty of science: According to a new analysis of the data from Curiosity and Martian orbiters, scientists now propose that the climate in Gale Crater was never warm, but ranged from Icelandic conditions to far colder.

More importantly, the data suggests that none of chemistry there that required the presence of water was formed by fluvial processes, or flowing water. From the abstract:

We show that the geochemistry and mineralogy of most of the fine‐grained sedimentary rocks in Gale crater display first order similarities with sediments generated in climates that resemble those of present‐day Iceland, while other parts of the stratigraphy indicate even colder baseline climate conditions. None of the lithologies examined at Gale crater resemble fluvial sediments or weathering profiles from warm (temperate to tropical) terrestrial climates. [emphasis mine]

As must be repeated, the mineralogy found by Curiosity points to the presence of water once in Gale Crater, now gone. The initial assumption has always been that this water must have been liquid, as found on Earth. This new research is noting that the conditions show little evidence that liquid water ever existed, but was instead held in frozen lakes and glaciers.

In the coming years I think we are going to learn a lot about the glaciers and ice on Mars, both past and present, and how they reshaped Mars in ways that are alien to processes found on Earth.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

One comment

  • LocalFluff

    This is pretty big news: “NO liquid water found on Mars!”

    In Scandinavia the glaciers of the last ice age grinded the bedrock into smooth wavelike forms. Where I grew up there was a very comfortable “sofa” at the lake, smoothly polished out of the dead hard granite. Here’s a random picture of an archipelago.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFHmmCpW1yY&t=3s

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