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Walking on Water: Man on Cydonia
Rivers raged on Mars late into its history
March 27, 2019, University of Chicago

[Image: riversragedo.jpg]
A photo of a preserved river channel on Mars, taken by an orbiting satellite, with color overlaid to show different elevations (blue is low, yellow is high). Credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. Arizona/UChicago 

Long ago on Mars, water carved deep riverbeds into the planet's surface—but we still don't know what kind of weather fed them. Scientists aren't sure, because their understanding of the Martian climate billions of years ago remains incomplete.

A new study by University of Chicago scientists catalogued these rivers to conclude that significant river runoff persisted on Mars later into its history than previously thought. According to the study, published March 27 in Science Advances, the runoff was intense—rivers on Mars were wider than those on Earth today—and occurred at hundreds of locations on the red planet.

This complicates the picture for scientists trying to model the ancient Martian climate, said lead study author Edwin Kite, assistant professor of geophysical sciences and an expert in both the history of Mars and climates of other worlds. "It's already hard to explain rivers or lakes based on the information we have," he said. "This makes a difficult problem even more difficult."

But, he said, the constraints could be useful in winnowing the many theories researchers have proposed to explain the climate.

Mars is crisscrossed with the distinctive tracks of long-dead rivers. NASA's spacecraft have taken photos of hundreds of these rivers from orbit, and when the Mars rover Curiosity landed in 2012, it sent back images of pebbles that were rounded—tumbled for a long time in the bottom of a river.

It's a puzzle why ancient Mars had liquid water. Mars has an extremely thin atmosphere today, and early in the planet's history, it was also only receiving a third of the sunlight of present-day Earth, which shouldn't be enough heat to maintain liquid water "Indeed, even on ancient Mars, when it was wet enough for rivers some of the time, the rest of the data looks like Mars was extremely cold and dry most of the time," Kite said.

[Image: 5c9b61e86e58e.jpg]
Marked photo of a preserved river channel on Mars, taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, with color overlaid to indicate elevation (blue is low, yellow is high.) The range of elevation in the scene is approximately 35 meters. Credit: NASA/JPL/Univ. Arizona/UChicago
Seeking a better understanding of Martian precipitation, Kite and his colleagues analyzed photographs and elevation models for more than 200 ancient Martian riverbeds spanning over a billion years. These riverbeds are a rich source of clues about the water running through them and the climate that produced it. For example, the width and steepness of the riverbeds and the size of the gravel tell scientists about the force of the water flow, and the quantity of the gravel constrains the volume of water coming through.

Their analysis shows clear evidence for persistent, strong runoff that occurred well into the last stage of the wet climate, Kite said.

The results provide guidance for those trying to reconstruct the Martian climate, Kite said. For example, the size of the rivers implies the water was flowing continuously, not just at high noon, so climate modelers need to account for a strong greenhouse effect to keep the planet warm enough for average daytime temperatures above the freezing point of water.

The rivers also show strong flow up to the last geological minute before the wet climate dries up. "You would expect them to wane gradually over time, but that's not what we see," Kite said. The rivers get shorter—hundreds of kilometers rather than thousands—but discharge is still strong. "The wettest day of the year is still very wet."

It's possible the climate had a sort of "on/off" switch, Kite speculated, which tipped back and forth between dry and wet cycles.

"Our work answers some existing questions but raises a new one. 
[Image: source.gif]
Which is wrong: the climate models, the atmosphere evolution models, or our basic understanding of inner solar system chronology?" he said.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Explosive bursts of methane helped ancient Mars keep liquid water flowing, study finds

More information: E.S. Kite el al., "Persistence of intense, climate-driven runoff late in Mars history," Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7710 , 

Journal reference: Science Advances [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Chicago

Read more at:

All three are wrong Gangup you crater counting geniuses
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

Quote:It's possible Mars climate had a sort of --  on Slap2 off" -- switch,
Kite speculated, 

which tipped back and forth between dry and wet cycles.

from the last post
a quote
from just below the last image:

Quote:Which is wrong: 

the climate models Whip 

the atmosphere evolution models  Tp

or our basic  Gangup understanding Nonono  of inner solar system chronology? 

We all know the answer to that question.

All three of the above.
And they are NOT going to find this out landing ANYWHERE except Cydonia.


S   P   R   E   A    D            I    T           E      V     E     R     Y     W     H     E     R     E  

I wrote ESA and asked THEM to land in Cydonia with their EXOMARS lander.  I mentioned that as fellow HiWish member Elon Musk is going to land at Cydonia Latitude just a few degrees West in longitude.

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
or our basic understanding of inner solar system chronology?

Thats the one, I think that whatever cosmic event took place here on Earth 12000 years ago, also took place on Mars, and possibly Venus. Something very big went through our Solar System, and I think that whatever hit Earth was only part of it.
(03-27-2019, 10:57 PM)EA Wrote: Rivers raged on Mars late into its history
March 27, 2019, University of Chicago

"Our work answers some existing questions but raises a new one. 
[Image: source.gif]
Which is wrong: the climate models, the atmosphere evolution models, or our basic understanding of inner solar system chronology?" he said.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: Explosive bursts of methane helped ancient Mars keep liquid water flowing, study finds

More information: E.S. Kite el al., "Persistence of intense, climate-driven runoff late in Mars history," Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7710 , 

Journal reference: Science Advances [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Chicago

Read more at:

All three are wrong Gangup you crater counting geniuses

Sum bill nye's and those scienty type guys count craters and some researchers study them.

New evidence of deep groundwater on Mars
March 28, 2019, University of Southern California

[Image: newevidenceo.jpg]
Recurrent Slope Linae on the Palikir Crater walls on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
In mid-2018, researchers supported by the Italian Space Agency detected the presence of a deep-water lake on Mars under its south polar ice caps. Now, researchers at the USC Arid Climate and Water Research Center (AWARE) have published a study that suggests deep groundwater could still be active on Mars and could originate surface streams in some near-equatorial areas on Mars.

The researchers at USC have determined that groundwater likely exists in a broader geographical area than just the poles of Mars and that there is an active system, as deep as 750 meters, from which groundwater comes to the surface through cracks in the specific craters they analyzed.

Heggy, who is a member of the Mars Express Sounding radar experiment MARSIS probing Mars subsurface, and co-author Abotalib Z. Abotalib, a postdoctoral research associate at USC, studied the characteristics of Mars Recurrent Slope Linea, which are akin to dried, short streams of water that appear on some crater walls on Mars.

Scientists previously thought these features were affiliated with surface water flow or close subsurface water flow, says Heggy.

"We suggest that this may not be true. We propose an alternative hypothesis that they originate from a deep pressurized groundwater source which comes to the surface moving upward along ground cracks," Heggy says.

"The experience we gained from our research in desert hydrology was the cornerstone in reaching this conclusion. We have seen the same mechanisms in the North African Sahara and in the Arabian Peninsula, and it helped us explore the same mechanism on Mars," said Abotalib Z. Abotalib, the paper's first author.

The two scientists concluded that fractures within some of Mars' craters, enabled water springs to rise up to the surface as a result of pressure deep below. These springs leaked onto the surface, generating the sharp and distinct linear features found on the walls of these craters. The scientists also provide an explanation on how these water features fluctuate with seasonality on Mars.

The study, to be published on March 28, 2019, in Nature Geoscience, suggests that groundwater might be deeper than previously thought in areas where such streams are observed on Mars. The findings suggest that the exposed part of these ground fractures associated with these springs as the primary location candidates to explore Mars' habitability. Their work suggests that new probing methods should be developed to study these fractures.


Previous research to explore groundwater on Mars relied on interpreting the returned electromagnetic echoes sent from the radar-probing experiments from orbit onboard Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. These experiments measured the reflection of the waves from both the surface and the subsurface whenever penetration was possible. However, this earlier method did not yet provide evidence of groundwater occurrence beyond the 2018 South Pole detection.

The authors of this current Nature Geoscience study used hi-resolution optical images and modeling to study the walls of large impact craters on Mars. The goal was to correlate the presence of fractures with the sources of streams that generate short water flows.

Heggy and Abotalib, who have long studied subsurface aquifers and groundwater flow movement on Earth and in desert environments, found similarities between the groundwater moving mechanisms in the Sahara and on Mars.

"Groundwater is strong evidence for the past similarity between Mars and Earth—it suggest they have a similar evolution, to some extent," says Heggy.

He says this deep source of groundwater is the most convincing evidence of similarities between the two planets—it suggest both may have had wet periods long enough to create such an active groundwater system.

For Heggy, an advocate for water science and water science education in arid areas, this particular study is not about colonization. But he says these rare and puzzling water flows on Mars are of big interest to the science community.

"Understanding how groundwater has formed on Mars, where it is today and how it is moving helps us constrain ambiguities on the evolution of climatic conditions on Mars for the last three billion years and how these conditions formed this groundwater system. It helps us to understand the similarities to our own planet and if we are going through the same climate evolution and the same path that Mars is going. Understanding Mars' evolution is crucial for understanding our own Earth's long-term evolution and groundwater is a key element in this process. "

The new study suggests that the groundwater that is the source of these water flows could be at depths starting at 750 meters deep. "Such depth requires us to consider more deep-probing techniques to look for the source of this groundwater versus looking for shallow sources of water, " says Heggy.

[Image: 1x1.gif] Explore further: First evidence of planet-wide groundwater system on Mars

More information: A deep groundwater origin for recurring slope linea on Mars, Nature Geoscience (2019). , 

Journal reference: Nature Geoscience [Image: img-dot.gif] [Image: img-dot.gif]
Provided by: University of Southern California

Read more at:
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
I don't think the ground water is 750 feet deep.   Nonono

They are still NOT "thinking" Naughty  and putting out even more Horsepoop 

When Pence was asked how they were going to GET to the Moon he said he didn't know. Doh  

That means putting a man and/or woman on the Moon while Trump is still in office.

Pence said he will "buy" what is needed and restructure NASA if they cannot get it done by 2024.

He better keep Elon Musk running things "out there":

Never Admit Something Aborts/ Just Puffin Lie   -rhw007

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Quote:So while there is water everywhere in the solar system, the fact that it is hidden away inside minerals means that there is not always a drop to drink.
A surprising new study, published in Science Advances, suggests that a type of asteroid we didn't think contained very much water could be responsible – simultaneously demonstrating that the solar system is probably a lot wetter than had previously been thought.

MAY 2, 2019
How did the Earth get its water? Asteroid sample gives a surprising answer
by Monica Grady, The Conversation
[Image: howdidtheear.jpg]Asteroids known as ‘S-type’ contain a lot more water than we thought. Credit: Oliver Denker/Shuttestock
Water is essential for life on Earth and is one of our most precious natural resources. But considering how our planet formed, it is quite surprising how much water we still have. The Earth aggregated from a cloud of gas and dust – a protoplanetary disk – and was incandescently hot for the first few million years. Its surface was kept molten by impacts from comets and asteroids. Earth's interior was also (and still is) kept liquid by a combination of gravitational heating and the decay of radioactive isotopes.

That means that if there were any initial water (and organic compounds) on the Earth, it should have boiled off quickly. So how come there's plenty of water on our planet today – where did it actually come from? A surprising new study, published in Science Advances, suggests that a type of asteroid we didn't think contained very much water could be responsible – simultaneously demonstrating that the solar system is probably a lot wetter than had previously been thought.
Scientists have long debated exactly where the Earth's water comes from. One theory suggests that it might have been captured from the asteroids and comets that collided with it. Another argues that water was always present in the rocks of the Earth's mantle and was gradually released to the surface through volcanoes.
Thanks to the Japanese Hayabusa mission we now have fresh evidence. The spacecraft brought back a precious cargo of grains retrieved from the surface of asteroid 25143 Itokawain 2010. The researchers behind the new study were able to analyse the water content of two grains. They used a sophisticated piece of kit called an ion microprobe, which bombards a sample with a beam of ions (charged atoms) in order to probe the composition of its surface.
The experiment was not easy – the grains are tiny, less than 40 microns (one millionth of a metre) across, and each grain was made up of several different minerals. The ion microprobe had to be focused on one specific mineral within each grain so that the authors could gather the required data. The species of mineral that they analysed was an iron and magnesium-bearing silicate known as a pyroxene, which is almost entirely free of calcium.
[Image: 1-howdidtheear.jpg]

itokawa. Credit: NASA/JPL
This type of substance is not usually associated with water – indeed, it is regarded as a Nominally Anhydrous Mineral (NAM). The lattice of a pyroxene crystal does not contain vacant sites for water molecules in the same way that, for example, a clay mineral does – so its structure is not necessarily conducive to taking up water. However, the sensitivity of the technique that the authors used was such that they could detect and measure tiny quantities of water.

The results were surprising: the grains contained up to 1,000 parts per million of water. Knowing the composition of Itokawa, the researchers could then estimate the water content of the entire asteroid, which translated to between 160 and 510 parts per million of water. This is more than had been anticipated – remote measurements of two similar bodies (also S-typeasteroids) found that one contained 30 and the other 300 parts per million water.
Unlikely source
Water is made from hydrogen and oxygen. But those elements occur as different isotopes – meaning they can have a different number of neutrons in their atomic nucleus (neutrons are particles that make up the nucleus together with protons). The researchers looked at the hydrogen isotopic composition of the water and discovered it was very close to that of Earth, suggesting the water on Earth has the same source as that of the Hayabusa grains.
The results raise several interesting questions, the first of which is how so much water came to be in nominally anhydrous minerals? The authors suggest that, during their formation, the grains absorbed hydrogen from the protoplanetary disk, which, at the high temperatures and pressures of the solar nebula, combined with oxygen in the minerals to produce water.
[Image: 2-howdidtheear.jpg][/size]

Original morphology of the two studied Itokawa particles. Credit: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), edited by Z. Jin

So far, so reasonable. But how is it possible that the water has remained in the minerals? They after all came from an S-type asteroid – one that forms in the inner and hotter part of the solar system. Itokawa has had a complex history of thermal metamorphism and collision, reaching temperatures at least as high as 900°C. But the researchers used computer models to predict how much water would be lost in these processes – and it turned out to be less than 10% of the total.
Earth's water
But how does all this relate to Earth's water? The researchers speculate that following the grains' uptake of water from the protoplanetary disk, the minerals aggregated and stuck together to form pebbles and eventually larger bodies such as asteroids.
If this mechanism worked for asteroids, it could also hold true for the Earth – maybe its original water came from these minerals coming together to help form the Earth. While water was then lost during the Earth's early history, it was added again during collisions by the numerous S-type asteroids – as implied by the similarity in hydrogen isotopic composition between Earth and Itokawa.
This fresh look at an old problem – the origin of Earth's water – has produced a surprising conclusion, one that suggests a large population of inner solar system asteroids might contain a lot more water than had been realised.
So while there is water everywhere in the solar system, the fact that it is hidden away inside minerals means that there is not always a drop to drink.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...

I wonder why they don't specify which pyroxene they think they have.

Quote:The species of mineral that they analysed was an iron and magnesium-bearing silicate known as a pyroxene, --- > which is almost entirely free of calcium.

"free of calcium" sets limits on the rock composition and definition.
I wonder if it is simply olivine or forsterite with low calcium pyroxene.

MAY 10, 2019
New water cycle on Mars discovered
by Max Planck Society
[Image: newwatercycl.jpg]Billions of years ago, Mars could have looked like this with an ocean covering part of its surface. Credit: NASA/GSFC
Approximately every two Earth years, when it is summer on the southern hemisphere of Mars, a window opens: Only in this season can water vapor efficiently rise from the lower into the upper Martian atmosphere. There, winds carry the rare gas to the north pole. While part of the water vapor decays and escapes into space, the rest sinks back down near the poles. Researchers from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany describe this unusual Martian water cycle in a current issue of the Geophysical Research Letters. Their computer simulations show how water vapor overcomes the barrier of cold air in the middle atmosphere of Mars and reaches higher atmospheric layers. This could explain why Mars, unlike Earth, has lost most of its water.

Billions of years ago, Mars was a planet rich in water with rivers, and even an ocean. Since then, our neighboring planet has changed dramatically. Today, only small amounts of frozen water exist in the ground; in the atmosphere, water vapor occurs only in traces. All in all, the planet may have lost at least 80 percent of its original water. In the upper atmosphere of Mars, ultraviolet radiation from the sun split water molecules into hydrogen (H) and hydroxyl radicals (OH). The hydrogen escaped from there irretrievably into space. Measurements by space probes and space telescopes show that even today, water is still lost in this way. But how is this possible? The middle atmosphere layer of Mars, like Earth's tropopause, should actually stop the rising gas. After all, this region is usually so cold that water vapor would turn to ice. How does the Martian water vapor reach the upper air layers?
In their current simulations, the Russian and German researchers find a previously unknown mechanism reminiscent of a kind of pump. Their model comprehensively describes the flows in the entire gas envelope surrounding Mars from the surface to an altitude of 160 kilometers. The calculations show that the normally ice-cold middle atmosphere becomes permeable to water vapor twice a day—but only at a certain location, and at a certain time of year.
[Image: 1-newwatercycl.jpg]

Vertical distribution of water vapor on Mars during the course of a Mars year, here shown at 3 am local time. Only when it is summer on the southern hemisphere can water vapor reach higher atmospheric layers. Credit: GPL, Shaposhnikov et al.: Seasonal „Water“ Pump in the Atmosphere of Mars: Vertical Transport to the Thermosphere
The orbit of Mars plays a decisive role in this. Its path around the sun, which lasts about two Earth years, is much more elliptical than that of our planet. At the point closest to the sun (which roughly coincides with the summer of the southern hemisphere), Mars is approximately 42 million kilometers closer to the sun than at its furthest point. Summer in the southern hemisphere is therefore noticeably warmer than summer in the northern hemisphere.
"When it is summer in the southern hemisphere, at certain times of day, water vapor can rise locally with warmer air masses and reach the upper atmosphere," says Paul Hartogh from MPS, summarizing the results of the new study. In the upper atmospheric layers, air flows carry the gas along the longitudes to the north pole, where it cools and sinks down again. However, part of the water vapor escapes this cycle: under the influence of solar radiation, the water molecules disintegrate and hydrogen escapes into space.

Another Martian peculiarity can fortify this unusual hydrological cycle: huge dust storms that span the entire planet and repeatedly afflict Mars at intervals of several years. The last such storms occurred in 2018 and 2007 and were comprehensively documented by space probesorbiting Mars. "The amounts of dust swirling through the atmosphere during such a storm facilitate the transport of water vapor into high air layers," says Alexander Medvedev from MPS.
[Image: newwatercycl.gif][/size]

Time and again, Martian dust stroms span the entire planet, as here in June 2018. The image was taken from the NASA's rover Curiosity. Storms of this kind can facilitate the transport of water into the upper atmosphere of Mars. Credit: NASA
The researchers calculated that during the dust storm of 2007, twice as much water vapor reached the upper atmosphere as during a stormless summer in the southern hemisphere. Since the dust particles absorb sunlight and thus heat up, the temperatures in the entire atmosphere rise by up to 30 degrees. "Our model shows with unprecedented accuracy how dust in the atmosphere affects the microphysical processes involved in the transformation of ice into water vapor," explains Dmitry Shaposhnikov of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, first author of the new study.
"Apparently, the Martian atmosphere is more permeable to water vapor than that of the Earth," Hartogh concludes. "The new seasonal water cycle that has been found contributes massively to Mars' continuing loss of water."[/size]


Explore further
Dust storms linked to gas escape from Martian atmosphere[/size]

More information: Dmitry S. Shaposhnikov et al. Seasonal Water "Pump" in the Atmosphere of Mars: Vertical Transport to the Thermosphere, Geophysical Research Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082839
Journal information: Geophysical Research Letters [/url]

Provided by [url=]Max Planck Society

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
RE: Walking on Water: Man on Cydonia
Nice Birthday surprise.  Food-smiley-004  Eye'll drink to that!

MAY 22, 2019
Massive Martian ice discovery opens a window into red planet's history
by University of Texas at Austin
[Image: massivemarti.jpg]A vertically exaggerated view of Mars' north polar cap. Researchers with The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona estimate that if melted, the massive ice deposits discovered in this region would cover the planet in 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water. Credit: SA/DLR/FU Berlin; NASA MGS MOLA Science Team
Newly discovered layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars' north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona.

The team made the discovery using measurements gathered by the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). SHARAD emits radar waves that can penetrate up to a mile and a half beneath the surface of Mars.
The findings, published May 22 in Geophysical Research Letters, are important because the layers of ice are a record of past climate on Mars in much the same way that tree rings are a record of past climate on Earth. Studying the geometry and composition of these layers could tell scientists whether climate conditions were previously favorable for life, researchers said. The team found layers of sand and ice that were as much as 90% water in some places.
If melted, the newly discovered polar ice would be equivalent to a global layer of water around Mars at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep.
"We didn't expect to find this much water ice here," said lead author Stefano Nerozzi, a graduate research assistant at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) who is completing his Ph.D. at the Jackson School of Geosciences. "That likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps."
[Image: 1-massivemarti.jpg]

A view of Mars showing the planet's northern polar ice cap. A new study led by The University of Texas at Austin has found remnants of ancient ice caps buried in the north polar region. Credit: ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla
The findings were corroborated by an independent study using gravity data instead of radar, led by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Nerozzi was a co-author. The papers have been published simultaneously in Geophysical Research Letters.
The authors think that the layers formed when ice accumulated at the poles during past ice ages on Mars. Each time the planet warmed, a remnant of the ice caps became covered by sand, which protected the ice from solar radiation and prevented it from dissipating into the atmosphere.
Scientists have long known about glacial events on Mars, which are driven by variations in the planet's orbit and tilt. Over periods of about 50,000 years, Mars leans toward the sun before gradually returning to an upright position, like a wobbling spinning top. When the planet spins upright, the equator faces the sun, allowing the polar ice caps to grow. As the planet tilts, the ice caps retreat, perhaps vanishing entirely.

Until now, scientists thought that the ancient ice caps were lost. The paper shows that in fact significant ice sheet remnants have survived under the planet's surface, trapped in alternating bands of ice and sand, like layers on a cake.
Co-author Jack Holt, a professor at the Lunar & Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona, said that the study provides new, important insights into the exchange of water ice between the poles and the midlatitudes, where his research group previously confirmed the presence of widespread glaciers, also using the SHARAD instrument.
[Image: 2-massivemarti.jpg][/size]

A composite image showing alternating layers of ice and sand in an area where they are exposed on the surface of Mars. The photograph, taken with the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, was adjusted to show water ice as light-colored layers and sand as darker layers of blue. The tiny bright white flecks are thin patches of frost. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
"Surprisingly, the total volume of water locked up in these buried polar deposits is roughly the same as all the water ice known to exist in glaciers and buried ice layers at lower latitudes on Mars, and they are approximately the same age," he said.
Holt, who was a UTIG scientist and research professor for 19 years before joining the University of Arizona in 2018, has been a co-investigator with SHARAD since the spacecraft arrived at Mars in 2006.
Nerozzi said that studying this record of past polar glaciation could help determine whether Mars was ever habitable.
"Understanding how much water was available globally versus what's trapped in the poles is important if you're going to have liquid water on Mars," Nerozzi said. "You can have all the right conditions for life, but if most of the water is locked up at the poles, then it becomes difficult to have sufficient amounts of liquid water near the equator."[/size]


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Image: Radar footprints over buried Mars lake[/size]

More information: S. Nerozzi et al. Buried ice and sand caps at the north pole of Mars: revealing a record of climate change in the cavi unit with SHARAD, Geophysical Research Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1029/2019GL082114
Journal information: Geophysical Research Letters [/url]

Provided by [url=]University of Texas at Austin
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
JUNE 17, 2019
Meteors help Martian clouds form
by University of Colorado at Boulder
[Image: mars.jpg]Credit: CC0 Public Domain
How did the Red Planet get all of its clouds? CU Boulder researchers may have discovered the secret: just add meteors.

Astronomers have long observed clouds in Mars' middle atmosphere, which begins about 18 miles (30 kilometers) above the surface, but have struggled to explain how they formed.
Now, a new study, which will be published on June 17 in the journal Nature Geoscience, examines those wispy accumulations and suggests that they owe their existence to a phenomenon called "meteoric smoke"—essentially, the icy dust created by space debris slamming into the planet's atmosphere.
The findings are a good reminder that planets and their weather patterns aren't isolated from the solar systems around them.
"We're used to thinking of Earth, Mars and other bodies as these really self-contained planets that determine their own climates," said Victoria Hartwick, a graduate student in the Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences (ATOC) and lead author of the new study. "But climate isn't independent of the surrounding solar system."
The research, which included co-authors Brian Toon at CU Boulder and Nicholas Heavens at Hampton University in Virginia, hangs on a basic fact about clouds: They don't come out of nowhere.
"Clouds don't just form on their own," said Hartwick, also of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU Boulder. "They need something that they can condense onto."
On Earth, for example, low-lying clouds begin life as tiny grains of sea salt or dust blown high into the air. Water molecules clump around these particles, becoming bigger and bigger until they form the large puffs that you can see from the ground.
But, as far as scientists can tell, those sorts of cloud seeds don't exist in Mars' middle atmosphere, Hartwick said. And that's what led her and her colleagues to meteors.
Hartwick explained that about two to three tons of space debris crash into Mars every day on average. And as those meteors rip apart in the planet's atmosphere, they inject a huge volume of dust into the air.
To find out if such smoke would be enough to give rise to Mars' mysterious clouds, Hartwick's team turned to massive computer simulations that attempt to mimic the flows and turbulence of the planet's atmosphere.
And sure enough, when they included meteors in their calculations, clouds appeared.
"Our model couldn't form clouds at these altitudes before," Hartwick said. "But now, they're all there, and they seem to be in all the right places."
The idea might not be as outlandish as it sounds, she added. Research has shown that similar interplanetary schmutz may help to seed clouds near Earth's poles.
But she also says that you shouldn't expect to see gigantic thunderheads forming above the surface of Mars anytime soon. The clouds her team studied were much more like bits of cotton candy than the clouds Earthlings are used to.
"But just because they're thin and you can't really see them doesn't mean they can't have an effect on the dynamics of the climate," Hartwick said.
The researchers' simulations, for example, showed that middle atmosphere clouds could have a large impact on the Martian climate. Depending on where the team looked, those clouds could cause temperatures at high altitudes to swing up or down by as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
And that climactic impact is what gets Brian Toon, a professor in ATOC, excited. He said that the team's findings on modern-day Martian clouds may also help to reveal the planet's past evolution and how it once managed to support liquid water at its surface.
"More and more climate models are finding that the ancient climate of Mars, when rivers were flowing across its surface and life might have originated, was warmed by high altitude clouds," Toon said. "It is likely that this discovery will become a major part of that idea for warming Mars."


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Watch martian clouds scoot, thanks to NASA's Curiosity[/size]

More information: High-altitude water ice cloud formation on Mars controlled by interplanetary dust particles, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0379-6 ,
Journal information: Nature Geoscience [/url]

Provided by 
University of Colorado at Boulder

[size=undefined]JUNE 17, 2019

Dust storms on Mars

by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

[Image: duststormson.jpg]Comparison images of Mars taken by Hubble (left) and showing a global dust storm that engulfed it (right). Astronomers studying dust storms in the Aonia-Solis-Valles Marineris region over eight years have found a distinct periodicity in their occurrence. Credit: NASA
Dust is a critical component in the Martian atmosphere. It influences the atmosphere's circulation by heating or cooling it and is in turn redistributed around the planet by atmospheric winds. In this dust cycle, dust storms play a particularly important role. Storms are traditionally classified into local, regional and planet-encircling dust storms, with small, local storms occurring throughout the year but global storms being most active during the northern fall and winter seasons. A dust storm that spreads over a large enough region and that lasts long enough can significantly affect the visibility, thermal structure and atmospheric circulation. Such major dust storms often result from dust storm sequences that follow specific trajectories and display coherent development histories.

CfA astronomers Michael Battalio and Huiqun Wang analyzed eight Martian-year's worth of data on storms in the Aonia-Solis-Valles Marineris region taken from the Mars Daily Global Maps, a set of daily images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments. The scientists chose this particular region because it hosts the most important dust storm activity in the Martian southern hemisphere outside of the conventional dust storm season.
The astronomers found that the storm sequences could be divided into two groups, confirming a theory that implies dust storms can regenerate and sustain themselves. The first group covered large regions and lasted more than six Martian days, while the second group covered more local regions for shorter times.
The scientists also found a distinct periodicity of fifteen to twenty Martian days in the storm activity, perhaps related to a periodicity seen in the Martian southern hemisphere's energy transport mechanisms. They note that the Earth's southern hemisphere has a twenty-five day oscillation.
The astronomers conclude by noting that these results may provide insight into the inter-seasonal variability of dust activity on Mars, and call for further studies to compare with the Earth's corresponding mechanisms.


Explore further
Dust storms on Mars[/size]

More information: Michael Battalio et al. The Aonia-Solis-Valles dust storm track in the southern hemisphere of Mars, Icarus (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.10.026
Journal information: Icarus 

Provided by [url=]Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics[/size]

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Geological Evidence of Planet‐Wide Groundwater System on Mars

Post by Dr. F. Salese, Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Geoscience, Utrecht University.
by Tjalling de Haas on July 1, 2019 

Groundwater had a greater role in shaping the Martian surface and may have sheltered primitive life forms as the planet started drying up. Observations in the northern hemisphere show evidence of a planet‐wide groundwater system. The elevations of these water‐related morphologies in all studied basins lie within the same narrow range of depths below Mars datum (Image 1) and notably coincide with the elevation of some ocean shorelines proposed by previous authors. Most previous studies on Mars relevant groundwater have proposed models, but few have looked at the geological evidence of groundwater upwelling in deep closed basins in the northern hemisphere equatorial region. Geological evidence of groundwater upwelling in these deep basins is a key point that will help to validate present-day models and to better constraint them in the future.

[Image: figure-1.png?w=600]
Image 1: Morphologies inside several basins. a) Crater #15 shows the presence at the same time of delta, sapping valleys, debris and hummocky terrain. The basin floor is flat. b) Crater #12 shows stepped delta, terraces, shorelines and flow structures at about the same topographic elevations. c) Sapping valley and related stepped delta in crater #18. d) Sapping valley and related stepped delta along with fan and exhumed channels in crater #12. e) Crater #16 shows well-preserved outcrops of debris flow. f) Sapping valley with related delta at -4100m inside crater #22.

In order to understand if groundwater influences are expressed on a local, regional, or global scale, we focus our detailed geological analyses on the structure and stratigraphy of enclosed craters located in the northern equatorial regions, near the dichotomy boundary with floors below −4,000 m elevation. All the selected basins are located between 0°N and 37°N to limit the effects of current day ice on the observed morphological forms and deposits (Image 2). We focused on the northern hemisphere because this is where a large fraction of groundwater upwelling is predicted to have occurred (Andrews-Hanna et al., 2007, 2010; Michalski et al., 2013).

[Image: figure-2.jpg?w=600]

Image 2: Distribution of studied basins on Mars. Their distribution follows the dichotomy boundary and they are clustered in the Arabia and Amazonia quadrangles along two parallel lines aligned NNE-SSW in the first case and NNW-SSE respectively with high concentration in Arabia Terra and Amazonia.

Our work reveals evidence of some previously unrecognized water-formed features (delta, shorelines, sapping valleys, etc.) that have never been considered holistically, from the scale of the individual basin to the planet-scale context. These features are likely to have resulted from a process of groundwater upwelling followed by water table fluctuations and eventual groundwater recession (Image 3). The presence of a large number of water-formed features in all these deep basins (Image 1) is a compelling sign that Mars once had large amounts of water stored as groundwater that debouched into the intercepting craters to form lacustrine systems (Palucis et al., 2016).

The geological evidence presented in this work corroborates the Andrews-Hanna et al. (2010) theory of global-scale groundwater upwelling and supports the model presented by Michalski et al. (2013) but contests the assertion that McLaughlin crater is the only basin presenting geological evidence of groundwater upwelling. Although they focused on McLaughlin crater due to the strong spectroscopic evidence for upwelling, the authors also suggest there could be other craters presenting geomorphological evidence of groundwater upwelling that were not investigated in their work.

[Image: figure-3.png?w=600]

Image 3: Conceptual model, of Martian basins evolution and their relations with the groundwater storage, from the oldest (bottom) to the most recent stage (top). The model consists of three chronological stages. In the first stage, the crater was flooded and as a consequence sapping valleys with deltas, terraces, shorelines, and channels formed. During the second stage, there was a net drop in water levels (although there may have been a number of higher frequency water level fluctuations) and new landforms were created as a consequence of this process. In the final stage the crater became dry and exposed exhumed channels on the craters’ floors as well as all the landforms developed in the previous two stages. This model also introduces for the first time in the Martian geological literature the possible presence of “dike confined water” that can make the groundwater level shallower than the basal one, allowing the formation of sapping valleys and other water related morphologies even if, for instance, the groundwater basal level is deeper than the head of the sapping valleys.

If life once existed on Mars, it could have been preferentially confined to some protective water related niches (e.g., Carrozzo et al., 2017; Hamilton et al., 2018). Evidence of the past existence of long-standing bodies of water on Mars, such as lakes or deltas, has significant implications both for climate and life: groundwater-fed lakes could warm Mars’ climate (Tosca et al., 2018) and increase the chance that life forms might have existed and presently remain buried in the sediment. These deep basins (due to a lower gravity that implies less compaction of the pore space and lower heat flow that reduces the temperature constraints, see Michalski et al., 2013) arguably offer the best chance of finding evidence of past prebiotic chemistry or even past microbial life on the Red Planet.
 Further Reading
Tosca, N. J., Ahmed, I. A. M., Tutolo, B. M., Ashpitel, A., & Hurowitz, J. A. (2018). Magnetite authigenesis and the warming of early Mars. Nature Geoscience, 11(9), 635–639.‐018‐0203‐8
Carrozzo, F. G., Di Achille, G., Salese, F., Altieri, F., & Bellucci, G. (2017). Geology and mineralogy of the Auki Crater, Tyrrhena Terra, Mars: A possible post impact‐induced hydrothermal system. Icarus, 281, 228–239.
Hamilton, C. W., Mouginis‐Mark, P. J., Sori, M. M., Scheidt, S. P., & Bramson, A. M. (2018). Episodes of aqueous flooding and effusive volcanism associated with Hrad Vallis, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 123(6), 1484–1510. 2018je005543
Andrews‐Hanna, J. C., & Lewis, K. W. (2011). Early Mars hydrology: 2. Hydrological evolution in the Noachian and Hesperian epochs. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, E02007.
Andrews‐Hanna, J. C., Phillips, R. J., & Zuber, M. T. (2007). Meridiani Planum and the global hydrology of Mars. Nature, 446(7132), 163–166.
Andrews‐Hanna, J. C., Zuber, M. T., Arvidson, R. E., & Wiseman, S. M. (2010). Early Mars hydrology: Meridiani playa deposits and the sedimentary record of Arabia Terra. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, E06002.

Palucis, M. C., Dietrich, W. E., Williams, R. M. E., Hayes, A. G., Parker, T., Sumner, D. Y., et al. (2016). Sequence and relative timing of large lakes in Gale crater (Mars) after the formation of Mount Sharp. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 121, 472–496.

Sources: https://planetarygeomorphology.wordpress...m-on-mars/

Again, NEVER A STRAIGHT ANSWER do not WANT to find liquid water. PERIOD !!!  CYDONIA HAS WATER !!!

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Mars 2020 Rover: T-Minus One Year and Counting

[Image: PIA23311-16.jpg]

Engineers at JPL install a sensor-filled turret on the end of the rover's seven-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) robotic arm. The image was taken on July 11, 2019. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

› Full image and caption

News | July 17, 2019

The launch period for NASA's Mars 2020 rover opens exactly one year from today, July 17, 2020, and extends through Aug. 5, 2020. The mission will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and land at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

"Back when we started this project in 2013, we came up with a timeline to chart mission progress," said John McNamee, Mars 2020 project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "That every single major spacecraft component on a project with this level of innovation is synching right now with that timeline is a testament to the innovation and perseverance of a great team."

In this image, taken on July 11, 2019, engineers at JPL install a sensor-filled turret on the end of the rover's 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) robotic arm. The rover's turret includes HD cameras, the Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) science instrument, the Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), and a percussive drill and coring mechanism.

On Mars, the arm and turret will work together, allowing the rover to work as a human geologist would: by reaching out to interesting geologic features, scraping, analyzing and even collecting them for further study via Mars 2020's Sample Caching System, which includes 17 motors and will collect samples of Martian rock and soil that will be returned to Earth by a future mission.

JPL is building and will manage operations of the Mars 2020 rover for the NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington. NASA will use Mars 2020 and other missions, including to the Moon, to prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. The agency intends to establish a sustained human presence on and around the Moon by 2028 through NASA's Artemis lunar exploration plans.

If you want to send your name to Mars with NASA's 2020 mission, you can do so until Sept. 30, 2019. Add your name to the list and obtain a souvenir boarding pass to Mars here:

For more information about the mission, go to:

News Media Contact
DC Agle
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.



You know just above to the right of this crater IS Cydonia, why not land a bit further up and to the right ?

Clock is now ticking

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
AUGUST 1, 2019
Ancient drop of water rewrites Earth's history
3.3 billion years ago[Image: NervousHappygoluckyIndianhare-size_restr...654372.gif]

by Wits University
[Image: ancientdropo.jpg]Credit: Wits University
The remains of a microscopic drop of ancient seawater has assisted in rewriting the history of Earth's evolution when it was used to re-establish the time that plate tectonics started on the planet.

Plate tectonics is Earth's vital—and unique—continuous recycling process that directly or indirectly controls almost every function of the planet, including atmospheric conditions, mountain building (forming of continents), natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes, formation of mineral deposits and the maintenance of our oceans. It is the process where the large continental plates of the planet continuously move, and the top layers of the Earth (crust) are recycled into the mantle and replaced by new layers through processes such as volcanic activity.
Where it was previously thought that plate tectonics started about 2.7 billion years ago, a team of international scientists used the microscopic leftovers of a drop of water that was transported into the Earth's deep mantle—through plate tectonics—to show that this process started 600 million years before that. An article on their research that proves plate tectonics started on Earth 3.3 billion years ago was published in the high impact academic journal, Nature, on 16 July.
"Plate tectonics constantly recycles the planet's matter, and without it the planet would look like Mars," says Professor Allan Wilson from the Wits School of Geosciences, who was part of the research team.
"Our research showing that plate tectonics started 3.3 billion years ago now coincides with the period that life started on Earth. It tells us where the planet came from and how it evolved."
Earth is the only planet in our solar system that is shaped by plate tectonics and without it the planet would be uninhabitable.
For their research, the team analysed a piece of rock melt, called komatiite—named after the type occurrence in the Komati river near Barberton in Mpumalanga—that are the leftovers from the hottest magma ever produced in the first quarter of Earth's existence (the Archaean). While most of the komatiites were obscured by later alteration and exposure to the atmosphere, small droplets of the molten rock were preserved in a mineral called olivine. This allowed the team to study a perfectly preserved piece of ancient lava.
"We examined a piece of melt that was 10 microns (0.01mm) in diameter, and analysed its chemical indicators such as H2O content, chlorine and deuterium/hydrogen ratio, and found that Earth's recycling process started about 600 million years earlier than originally thought," says Wilson. "We found that seawater was transported deep into the mantle and then re-emerged through volcanic plumes from the core-mantle boundary."
The research allows insight into the first stages of plate tectonics and the start of stable continental crust.
"What is exciting is that this discovery comes at the 50th anniversary of the discovery of komatiites in the Barberton Mountain Land by Wits Professors, the brothers Morris and Richard Viljoen," says Wilson.


Explore further
Scientists discover how and when a subterranean ocean emerged[/size]

More information: Alexander V. Sobolev et al. Deep hydrous mantle reservoir provides evidence for crustal recycling before 3.3 billion years ago, Nature (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1399-5
Journal information: Nature [/url]

Provided by [url=]Wits University
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote: "According to our calculations, around 60 percent of the water on Earth today comes from this source. That is the only way oceans could eventually form," says Varas-Reus. Volatile substances from the meteorites contributed to the formation of the earth's protective atmosphere. "This created the conditions for life on Earth to develop in its present form."

AUGUST 13, 2019
Meteorite strikes made life on Earth possible
by University of Tübingen
[Image: meteoritestr.jpg]Clean lab facilities of the Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, University of Tübingen (from left to right): Dr. María Isabel Varas-Reus, Dr. Stephan König and Aierken Yierpan. Credit: University of Tübingen
Meteorites from the far reaches of the solar system delivered large amounts of water, carbon and volatile substances to the Earth. Only then could the Earth host life. Dr. María Isabel Varas-Reus, Dr. Stephan König, Aierken Yierpan and Professor Dr. Ronny Schönberg from Tübingen University's Isotope Geochemistry Group, and Dr. Jean-Pierre Lorand from the Université de Nantes, provide evidence for this scenario in a new study. Using a method recently developed at the University of Tübingen, the researchers measured selenium isotopes in rocks derived from the Earth's mantle. Identical isotope signatures in these rocks and in certain types of meteorites revealed the origin of the selenium as well as large amounts of water and other vital substances. The study has been published in the latest Nature Geoscience.

Strictly speaking, there shouldn't be any selenium in the Earth's mantle. "It is attracted to iron. That is why, in the early history of our planet, it went down into the iron-rich core," Dr. María Isabel Varas-Reus explains. There was no more selenium in the Earth's outer layer. "The previous selenium signatures were completely erased there. The selenium found in the Earth's mantle today must therefore have been added after the formation of the Earth's core. Geologically speaking, "at the last moment of the formation of the Earth, after our moon had also formed," Varas-Reus adds. It's hard to say exactly when—it could have been between 4.5 and 3.9 billion years ago.
Complex measurements
In various places, the research team took samples of mantle rocks, which have been brought to the surface by plate tectonic processes and had remained unchanged with regard to its selenium isotope composition since the formation of the Earth. The researchers determined the isotope signature of the selenium in these rocks. Isotopes are atoms of the same chemical element with different weights. "It has been possible for some time now to measure selenium isotopes in high concentrations—for example in samples from rivers," says Varas-Reus. "However, the selenium concentration in high-temperature rocks is very low. Samples must be dissolved out at high temperatures, and selenium is volatile. This makes the measurements difficult." But recently it became possible to measure selenium isotopes in high-temperature rocks. Dr. Stephan König and his group of researchers developed a complex method as part of his ERC grant, the O2RIGIN project funded by the European Research Council.
It has long been suspected that meteorites added substances to the Earth's mantle. "But we thought they were meteorites from the inner solar system," Varas-Reus says. "So we were very surprised that the selenium isotope signature of the Earth's mantle closely matched a certain type of meteorite from the outer solar system. These are carbonaceous chondrites from the solar system beyond the asteroid belt, from the area of the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The selenium isotope signatures of various meteorites were collected by the geologist Dr. Jabrane Labidi, a former O2RIGIN collaborator, in a previous study.
The research team was also able to quantify what else—apart from selenium—these meteorites brought with them when they hit the early Earth. "According to our calculations, around 60 percent of the water on Earth today comes from this source. That is the only way oceans could eventually form," says Varas-Reus. Volatile substances from the meteorites contributed to the formation of the earth's protective atmosphere. "This created the conditions for life on Earth to develop in its present form."


Explore further
Formation of the moon brought water to Earth[/size]

More information: María Isabel Varas-Reus et al. Selenium isotopes as tracers of a late volatile contribution to Earth from the outer Solar System, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0414-7
Journal information: Nature Geoscience [/url]

Provided by [url=]University of Tübingen

[size=undefined][Image: anewtimeline.jpg]

A new timeline of Earth's cataclysmic past
Welcome to the early solar system. Just after the planets formed more than 4.5 billion years ago, our cosmic neighborhood was a chaotic place. Waves of comets, asteroids and even proto-planets streamed toward the inner solar ...

[size=undefined][Image: 5-mars.jpg]

Methane not released by wind on Mars, experts find
Wind erosion has been ruled out as the primary cause of methane gas release on Mars, Newcastle University academics have shown.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
AUGUST 20, 2019
Ancient Mars was warm with occasional rain,        Doh turning cold
by Goldschmidt Conference
[Image: ancientmarsw.jpg]Mars 2020 rover concept. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists have long known that water was abundant on ancient Mars, but there has been no consensus on whether liquid water was common, or whether it was largely frozen in ice.

Was the temperature high enough to allow the water to flow? Did this happen over an extended period, or just occasionally? Was the surface a desert or frozen? Warm conditions make it much more likely that life would have developed independently on the surface of ancient Mars. Now a new comparison of patterns of mineral deposition on the red planet with similar depositions on Earth lends weight to the idea that early Mars had one or more long periods dominated by rainstorms and flowing water, with the water later freezing.
Presenting the findings today at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Barcelona, Professor Briony Horgan (Purdue University) said, "We know there were periods when the surface of Mars was frozen; we know there were periods when water flowed freely. But we don't know exactly when these periods were, and how long they lasted. We have never sent unmanned missions to areas of Mars which can show us these earliest rocks, so we need to use Earth-bound science to understand the geochemistry of what may have happened there.
Our study of weathering in radically different climate conditions such as the Oregon Cascades, Hawaii, Iceland, and other places on Earth, can show us how climate affects pattern of mineral deposition, like we see on Mars. Here on Earth, we find silica deposition in glaciers which are characteristic of melting water. On Mars, we can identify similar silica deposits in younger areas, but we can also see older areas which are similar to deep soils from warm climates on Earth. This leads us to believe that on Mars 3 to 4 billion years ago, we had a general slow trend from warm to cold, with periods of thawing and freezing.
"If this is so, it is important in the search for possible life on Mars. We know that the building blocks of life on Earth developed very soon after the Earth's formation, and that flowing water is essential for life's development. So evidence that we had early, flowing water on Mars, will increase the chances that simple life may have developed at around the same time as it did on Earth. We hope that the Mars 2020 mission will be able to look more closely at these minerals, and begin to answer exactly what conditions existed when Mars was still young."

Analysis of the surface geology of Mars supports a trend from a warm to a cold climate, but the climate models themselves don't support this, due to the limited heat arriving from the young Sun. "If our findings are correct, then we need to keep working on the Mars climate models, possibly to include some chemical or geological, or other process which might have warmed the young planet," said Horgan.
The research team compared Earth data to Martian minerals detected using the NASA CRISM spectrometer, currently orbiting Mars, which can remotely identify surface chemicals where water once existed. They also took data from the Mars Curiosity Rover. Professor Horgan is a co-investigator on the Mars 2020 mission, due to be launched in July 2020 and to begin to explore the Jezero Crater in February 2021.
Commenting, Professor Scott McLennan (Stony Brook University) said, "What is especially exciting about this work is that it used well understood Earth based geological processes from regions that are good analogs for Mars. The results not only make sense from the perspective of developing climate evolution models for Mars but also demonstrated a possible mechanism for forming the most interesting and perplexing and non-crystalline components that have been found in all of the samples analyzed so far by the Curiosity rover." (Professor McLennan was not directly involved in this work; this is an independent comment.)
Ancient valley networks and lake deposits on Mars are clear evidence that liquid water was once abundant on the surface, but whether the climate was warm and wet or cold and icy is poorly understood. We suggest that the mineralogical record of Mars may provide new constraints on the paleoclimate. Here we report on a series of studies using samples from Mars analog terrains on Earth to better understand the effects of climate on weathering mineralogy. Weathering in alpine glacial settings of the Oregon Cascades is driven by frequent melt, and water and sediments have low residence times in the glacial system. Abundant alteration products in proglacial terrains include silica coatings on bedrock and poorly crystalline silicates in glacial sediments. Preliminary results from mafic sediments at cold-based margins of the Antarctic ice sheet also show poorly crystalline silicates, consistent with weathering by transient melt. In contrast, sediments from warm-based zones show enrichments in crystalline clay minerals, which we hypothesize form due to longer residence times under the ice sheet.
Similar trends are observed in terrestrial mafic soils, from crystalline clay minerals in warm climate soils to poorly crystalline phases in cold climate soils. Silica signatures have been identified from orbit on Mars in Amazonian periglacial terrains, and the Curiosity rover has identified silica-rich poorly crystalline materials in Hesperian lake sediments in Gale crater. We suggest that these amorphous phases on Mars could have formed in cold climates during punctuated melt events. However, the most common Noachian alteration signatures are crystalline clay minerals in compositionally zoned stratigraphies, for which the closest terrestrial analogs are deep weathering profiles only known to form under persistent rain-dominated climates. These observations suggest at least one long-lived climatic optimum in the Noachian, but in situ analysis of Noachian detrital sediments by Mars 2020 will be necessary to determine if icy conditions otherwise prevailed.


Explore further
New studies of clay formation provide clues about early Martian climate[/size]

More information: Was Ancient Mars Warm and Wet or Cold and Icy? Mineral Signatures of Climate in Rover, Orbiter, and Terrestrial Analog Studies, … 3-20190327161631.pdf
Provided by Goldschmidt Conference[/size]

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
AUGUST 22, 2019
Salt deposits on Mars hold clues to sources of ancient water
by Louise Lerner, University of Chicago
[Image: saltdeposits.jpg]A satellite image of salt deposits on top of Mount Sharp on the surface of Mars. NASA’s Curiosity rover is scheduled to explore them in 2020. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
For centuries, miners have burrowed into the earth in search of salt—laid down in thick layers from ancient oceans long since evaporated. When scientists saw huge deposits of salt on Mars, they immediately wondered whether it meant Mars too once had giant oceans. Yet it's remained unclear what those deposits meant about the Red Planet's climate.

A new study by UChicago researchers shakes up the picture of Martian salt—and offers new ways to test what Mars' water would have looked like.
"They're not in the right places to mark the deaths of oceans, but they date from when Mars' climate transitioned from the early era of rivers and overspilling lakes to the cold, desert planet we see today," said study author Edwin Kite, assistant professor of geophysical sciences at the University of Chicago and an expert in both the history of Mars and climates of other worlds. "So these salt deposits might tell us something about how and why Mars dried out."
The salt in Martian deposits isn't the same as the salt of Earth's oceans—it's actually more similar to Epsom salts, made out of two ingredients: magnesium and sulfuric acid. Figuring out how those two chemicals combined can give us information about what Mars' climate used to look like.
One possibility is that Mars had water that circulated deep underground, carrying magnesium to the surface where it reacted with sulfuric acid. That means the planet would have been warm enough to allow groundwater to flow.
[Image: 1-saltdeposits.jpg]

An image taken by NASA's Curiosity rover shows salt formations on Mount Sharp on the surface of Mars, visible as the mid-toned rocks making up the slopes of the mountain. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS
The other option is that the magnesium was simply blown in as dirt. In this case, the climate could be as cold as the coast of Antarctica.
Kite's team focused on the groundwater scenario, building models to see whether it would be realistic. The researchers' analysis zeroed on the fact that there's so much Martian salt that it couldn't been deposited as a one-time dry-out—the water would have to repeatedly pick up salts, evaporate, turn back into liquid water, and repeat the cycle. Each time this happened, as the water drained into the ground, it would have carried out a little bit of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere with it.
The problem is, while too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere warms the planet—as we're finding out on Earth—too little will freeze it. If too much carbon was locked into the ground and the resulting atmosphere was too thin to keep Mars warm, the groundwater movement would halt as the planet froze. And the analysis found the cycle would lock up a lot of carbon.
This doesn't sound promising for the groundwater scenario, Kite said, but it doesn't disprove it. "Most of our model runs disfavored groundwater, but we also found a few 'loopholes' that could allow Mars to keep enough carbon in the atmosphere," he said.
Fortunately, there would be signals that NASA's Curiosity rover (currently on Mars) could test when it arrives at a salt deposit—hopefully in 2020.
"Curiosity has an excellent instrument package, so it's possible we could get some very interesting data," said study co-author Mohit Melwani Daswani, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at UChicago now at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.[/size]


Explore further
Rivers raged on Mars late into its history[/size]

More information: Edwin S. Kite et al. Geochemistry constrains global hydrology on Early Mars, Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2019.115718
Journal information: Earth and Planetary Science Letters [/url]

Provided by [url=]University of Chicago

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:"Water is one of the most commonly found materials, and it's been studied for years and years and you would think that there was nothing more to learn about this molecule. But here's yet another surprise," said Zare, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X.

AUGUST 26, 2019
Chemists discover water microdroplets spontaneously produce hydrogen peroxide  Cry
by Stanford University
[Image: stanfordchem.jpg]Richard Zare and his lab have shown that water microdroplets spontaneously - and unexpectedly - produce hydrogen peroxide. Credit: L.A. Cicero/Stanford University
Water is everywhere on Earth, but maybe that just gives it more space to hide its secrets. Its latest surprise, Stanford researchers report Aug. 26 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is that microscopic droplets of water spontaneously produce hydrogen peroxide.

The discovery could pave the way for greener ways to produce the molecule, a common bleaching agent and disinfectant, said Richard Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science and a professor of chemistry in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences.
"Water is one of the most commonly found materials, and it's been studied for years and years and you would think that there was nothing more to learn about this molecule. But here's yet another surprise," said Zare, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X.
The discovery was made serendipitously while Zare and his lab were studying a new, more efficient way to create gold nanostructures in tiny water droplets known as microdroplets. To make those structures, the team added an additional molecule called a reducing agent. As a control test, Zare suggested seeing if they could create gold nanostructures without the reducing agent. Theoretically that should have been impossible, but it worked anyway—hinting at an as yet undiscovered feature of microdroplet chemistry.
PIPEnter fullscreen


In this demonstration, a test strip turns blue when sprayed with water microdroplets, indicating the presence of hydrogen peroxide. Credit: Jae Kyoo Lee and Hyun Soo Han
The team eventually traced those results to the presence of a molecule called hydroxyl—a single hydrogen atom paired with an oxygen atom—that can also act as a reducing agent. That equally unexpected result led Katherine Walker, at the time a graduate student in Zare's lab, to wonder whether hydrogen peroxide—a molecule with two hydrogen and two oxygen atoms—was also present.
To find out, Zare, Walker, staff scientist Jae Kyoo Lee and colleagues conducted a series of tests, the simplest of which involved spraying ostensibly pure water microdroplets onto a surface treated so that it would turn blue in the presence of hydrogen peroxide—and turn blue it did. Additional tests confirmed that water microdroplets spontaneously form hydrogen peroxide, that smaller microdroplets produced higher concentrations of the molecule, and that hydrogen peroxide was not lost when the microdroplets recombined into bulk water.
The researchers ruled out a number of possible explanations before arriving at what they argue is the most likely explanation for hydrogen peroxide's presence. They suggest that a strong electric field near the surface of water microdroplets in air triggers hydroxyl molecules to bind into hydrogen peroxide.
Although the results are something of a basic science curiosity, Zare said, they could have important practical consequences. Hydrogen peroxide is an important commercial and industrial chemical, most often manufactured through an ecologically unfriendly process. The new discovery could help make those methods greener, Zare said, and it could lead to simpler ways to disinfect surfaces—simply spraying water microdroplets on a table or floor might be enough to clean it.
"I think it could be one of the most important things I've ever done," Zare said.


Explore further
Scientists create gold nanoparticles in water[/size]

More information: Jae Kyoo Lee el al., "Spontaneous generation of hydrogen peroxide from aqueous microdroplets," PNAS (2019).
Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [/url]

Provided by [url=]Stanford University

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
'Martian CSI' reveals how asteroid impacts created running water under red planet
[Image: martiancsire.jpg]A graphical model of how asteroid impacts help create temporary sources of running water on the Mars. The nakhlite meteorites are a suite of igneous rocks that crystallised around a complex volcanic edifice on Mars 1.3-1.4 billion years ago. New quantitative textural analysis of these meteorites has revealed evidence for an impact generated hydrothermal system on Mars 633 million years ago. These meteorites were then ejected from Mars during a second impact 11 million years ago. Credit: University of Glasgow
Modern analysis of Martian meteorites has revealed unprecedented details about how asteroid impacts help create temporary sources of running water on the red planet.

This study helps to narrow down the potential location of the impact crater on the Martian surface which blasted some of those Martian rocks into space millions of years ago.
The findings are the outcome of a kind of "Martian CSI' which uses sophisticated techniques to reconstruct major events that shaped the rock since it formed on Mars around 1.4 billion years ago.
The paper, titled "Boom boom pow: shock-facilitated aqueous alteration and evidence for two shock events in the Martian nakhlite meteorites," is published in Science Advances. The research was funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
In the new paper, University of Glasgow planetary scientists and colleagues from Leeds, Italy, Australia and Sweden describe how they used a technique known as electron backscatter diffraction to examine slices of two different Martian meteorites known as "nakhlites."
The nakhlites are group of volcanic Martian meteorites named after El Nakhla in Egypt, where the first of them fell to Earth in 1911. Excitingly, these meteorite's preserve evidence of the action of liquid water on the Martian surface approximately 633 million years ago. However, the process which generated these fluids has been a mystery until now.
Dr. Luke Daly, Research Associate in Solar System Science at the University of Glasgow's School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, is the paper's lead author.
Dr. Daly said: "There's a huge amount of information about Mars locked inside the little pieces of the red planet which have fallen to Earth as meteorites, which new analytical techniques can allow us to access.
"By applying this electron backscatter diffraction technique, we've been able to look very closely at the orientation and deformation of minerals across the whole area of these samples of Martian rock to look for patterns.
"What we've seen is that the pattern of deformation in the minerals matches exactly the distribution of weathering veins that formed from the Martian fluids. This coincidence provide us with exciting data about two big events from the history of those rocks. The first is that, about 633 million years ago, they were hit by an asteroid that deformed them into part of an impact crater.

"This impact was big enough and hot enough to melt the ice under the Martian surface and send it rushing through newly-formed cracks in the rock—effectively forming a temporary hydrothermal system below the surface of Mars, which altered the composition of the minerals in the rocks, close to these cracks. It suggests an asteroid impact was the mystery mechanism for generating liquid water in the nakhlites long after the volcano that formed them on Mars had become extinct.
"The second exciting thing it tells us is that the rocks must have been hit twice. A second impact about 11 million years ago had the right combination of angle and force to blast the rocks off the surface of the planet and begin their long journey through space towards Earth."
The team believe that their findings provide new insight into the formation of the Martian landscape. Regular asteroid bombardments could have had similar effects on underground ice throughout the course of Martian history, creating temporary hydrothermal systems all over the planet and important sources of liquid water.
Their analysis also provides important clues which could help pinpoint exactly where on Mars the nakhlites originated.
Dr. Daly added: "We're currently trying to understand Martian geology through these meteorites without knowing what part of Mars' surface these so-called nakhlites came from. Our new findings tightly constrain the possible origins of the nakhlites—we now know that we're looking for a complex volcanic edifice, about 1.3-1.4 billion years old, with one crater around 633 million years old and another one about 11 million years old. Very few places on Mars could fit that bill."
"It's a piece of interplanetary detective work which is still ongoing but we're keen to crack the case."
The researchers, from the University of Glasgow, Leeds University, Uppsala University, Oxford Instruments Nanoanalysis, Università di Pisa, the University of New South Wales, and Curtin University, looked at samples from two nakhlites.
One, known as Miller Range 03346, was found and recovered from the Miller range mountains in Antarctica in 2003 by the Antarctic Search for Meteorites expedition. Prof. Gretchen Benedix, a co-author on this study, was part of the expedition that recovered Miller Range 03346. The second, "Lafayette," was found in Purdue University's collection of rock samples in 1931.

Explore further
Analysis of Martian meteorites has uncovered 90 million years' worth of new information about one of the red plan

[b]More information:[/b] L. Daly et al. Boom boom pow: Shock-facilitated aqueous alteration and evidence for two shock events in the Martian nakhlite meteorites, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw5549
[b]Journal information:[/b] Science Advances [/url]

Provided by [url=]University of Glasgow
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
That picture from the UnCurious Curiosity from above and from MSSS it seems the sky on Mars is REALLY ...not..

the Red planet..... no no no ... BLUE SKIES ON MARS !!! Drool

Stupid Rebels can't figure out what is right and wrong RebelSmilie Fireworks

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]

Strange alien world found to have water vapor and possibly rain clouds
Exoplanet K2-18 b lies in the habitable zone of its host star some 110 light-years from Earth.

[Image: 190911-k2-18b-ew-158p_28b5714f5bdf31971b...t-760w.jpg]
This artist's impression shows the planet K2-18b, its host star and an accompanying planet in this system.M. Kornmesser / ESA/Hubble

Sept. 11, 2019, 12:24 PM CST / Source:
By Chelsea Gohd,
In a major first, scientists have detected water vapor and possibly even liquid water clouds that rain in the atmosphere of a strange exoplanet that lies in the habitable zone of its host star about 110 light-years from Earth.
A new study focuses on K2-18 b, an exoplanet discovered in 2015, orbits a red dwarf star close enough to receive about the same amount of radiation from its star as Earth does from our sun.

Previously, scientists have discovered gas giants that have water vapor in their atmospheres, but this is the least massive planet ever to have water vapor detected in its atmosphere. This new paper even goes so far as to suggest that the planet hosts clouds that rain liquid water.
"The water vapor detection was quite clear to us relatively early on," lead author Björn Benneke, a professor at the Institute for Research on Exoplanets at the Université de Montréal, told in an interview. So he and his colleagues developed new analysis techniques to provide evidence that clouds made up of liquid water droplets likely exist on K2-18 b. "That's in some ways the 'holy grail' of studying extrasolar planets … evidence of liquid water," he said.
This study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, was published Tuesday (Sept. 10) in the preprint journal
[b]Related: These 10 Exoplanets Could Be Home to Alien Life[/b]
[/url]A weird world
Because this study has found evidence for liquid water and hydrogen in this exoplanet's atmosphere and it lies within the habitable zone, there is a possibility that this world is habitable. Previous studies have found that other gases that are vital for life as we know it in hydrogen-rich atmospheres of certain planets.
Such studies have suggested that planets with hydrogen-rich atmospheres could host certain forms of life, Benneke said. However, K2-18 b's large atmosphere is extremely thick and creates high-pressure conditions, which "likely prevents life as we know it from existing on the planet's surface," a news release reads.
So, while Benneke does not rule out the possibility that this exoplanet could, in theory, support some sort of life, there is "certainly not some animal crawling around on this planet," Benneke said. This is especially true, given the fact that "there is nothing to crawl on," because the planet doesn't really have a surface, he added.


[Image: 190903-chime-telescope-mn-1005_0ee206779...-60x60.jpg]

"Most of that planet, by volume, the vast majority is this gas envelope," he said. As Benneke described, the planet is most likely some sort of core, potentially a rocky one, surrounded by a massive, hydrogen gas envelope that has some water vapor in it.
While these researchers found evidence for liquid water clouds on K2-18 b, because of its lack of surface, rain wouldn't pool on the planet. As rainfall travels through the thick gas surrounding the planet's core, it would become so warm that the water would evaporate back up into the clouds where it would condense and fall again, Benneke said.
Without a real surface, so to speak, landing on the planet would also be nearly impossible to land on, especially because the gas is so thick and has such an incredibly high pressure that any Earth-created spacecraft sent there would be destroyed.
"There are millions of bars of pressure, it would just be crushed and squeezed," Benneke said.
The birth of K2-18 b?
Benneke suggests that, possibly, this planet formed by rock accreting immense amounts of gas, "like a vacuum cleaner," he said. This gas accretion would have more than doubled the planet's radius and increased its volume eightfold. (Today, for comparison, K2-18 b is about nine times as massive as Earth and about twice as large.)
To come to these conclusions, the research team analyzed data from Hubble Space Telescope observations that they made between 2016 and 2017 of the K2-18 b planet passing in front of its star eight times. This technique allows scientists to detect distinct signatures of molecules like water in a planet's atmosphere.
This team plans to expand this research even further by studying K2-18 b with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to launch in 2021.
This type of research, Benneke said, is leading toward a final goal of "being able to study real, true Earth-like planets."
"We are not quite there yet," he said, but "this is really exciting."

SEPTEMBER 11, 2019
Research redefines lower limit for planet size habitability
by Leah Burrows, Harvard University
[Image: researchrede.jpg]In this artist’s concept, the moon Ganymede orbits the giant planet Jupiter. A saline ocean under the moon’s icy crust best explains shifting in the auroral belts measured by the Hubble telescope. Astronomers have long wondered whether Jupiter’s moons would be habitable if radiation from the sun increased. Credit: NASA/ESA
In The Little Prince, the classic novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the titular prince lives on a house-sized asteroid so small that he can watch the sunset any time of day by moving his chair a few steps.

Of course, in real life, celestial objects that small can't support life because they don't have enough gravity to maintain an atmosphere. But how small is too small for habitability?
In a recent paper, Harvard University researchers described a new, lower size limit for planets to maintain surface liquid water for long periods of time, extending the so-called habitable zone or "Goldilocks zone" for small, low-gravity planets. This research expands the search area for life in the universe and sheds light on the important process of atmospheric evolution on small planets.
The research was published in the Astrophysical Journal.
"When people think about the inner and outer edges of the habitable zone, they tend to only think about it spatially, meaning how close the planet is to the star," said Constantin Arnscheidt '18, first author of the paper. "But actually, there are many other variables to habitability, including mass. Setting a lower bound for habitability in terms of planet size gives us an important constraint in our ongoing hunt for habitable exoplanets and exomoons."
Generally, planets are considered habitable if they can maintain surface liquid water (as opposed to frozen water) long enough to allow for the evolution of life, conservatively about 1 billion years. Astronomers hunt for these habitable planets within specific distances of certain types of stars—stars that are smaller, cooler and lower mass than our sun have a habitable zone much closer than larger, hotter stars.
The inner edge of the habitable zone is defined by how close a planet can be to a star before a runaway greenhouse effect leads to the evaporation of all surface water. But, as Arnscheidt and his colleagues demonstrated, this definition doesn't hold for small, low-gravity planets.

[Image: 1-researchrede.jpg]
This illustration shows the lower bound for habitability in terms of planet mass. If an object is smaller than 2.7 percent the mass of Earth, its atmosphere will escape before it ever has the chance to develop surface liquid water. Credit: Harvard SEAS
The runaway greenhouse effect occurs when the atmosphere absorbs more heat that it can radiate back out into space, preventing the planet from cooling and eventually leading to unstoppable warming that finally turns its oceans turn to steam.
However, something important happens when planets decrease in size: As they warm, their atmospheres expand outward, becoming larger and larger relative to the size of the planet. These large atmospheres increase both the absorption and radiation of heat, allowing the planet to better maintain a stable temperature. The researchers found that atmospheric expansion prevents low-gravity planets from experiencing a runaway greenhouse effect, allowing them to maintain surface liquid water while orbiting in closer proximity to their stars.

When planets get too small, however, they lose their atmospheres altogether and the liquid surface water either freezes or vaporizes. The researchers demonstrated that there is a critical size below which a planet can never be habitable, meaning the habitable zone is bounded not only in space, but also in planet size.
The researchers found that the critical size is about 2.7 percent the mass of Earth. If an object is smaller than 2.7 percent the mass of Earth, its atmosphere will escape before it ever has the chance to develop surface liquid water, similar to what happens to comets today. To put that into context, the moon is 1.2 percent of Earth mass and Mercury is 5.53 percent.
The researchers were also able to estimate the habitable zones of these small planets around certain stars. Two scenarios were modeled for two different types of stars: a G-type star like our own sun and an M-type star modeled after a red dwarf in the constellation Leo.
The researchers solved another long-standing mystery in our own solar system. Astronomers have long wondered whether Jupiter's icy moons Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto would be habitable if radiation from the sun increased. Based on this research, these moons are too small to maintain surface liquid water, even if they were closer to the sun.
"Low-mass water worlds are a fascinating possibility in the search for life, and this paper shows just how different their behavior is likely to be compared to that of Earth-like planets," said Robin Wordsworth, associate professor of environmental science and engineering at SEAS and senior author of the study. "Once observations for this class of objects become possible, it's going to be exciting to try to test these predictions directly."

Explore further
Habitable type planets found around nearby small mass star

[b]More information:[/b] Constantin W. Arnscheidt et al. Atmospheric Evolution on Low-gravity Waterworlds, The Astrophysical Journal (2019). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab2bf2
[b]Journal information:[/b] Astrophysical Journal 

Provided by [url=]Harvard University
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
Quote:Strikingly, the two halves of the enzyme communicate with each other via a string of water molecules that connects both halves. This water network allows the two halves to 'talk' to one another and share information about their catalytic state. This is crucial to the enzyme's function as only one half of the enzyme can ever be active at a given time.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
A molecular string phone at work
by Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter
[Image: amolecularst.jpg]Time-lapse images show that the enzyme ‘breathes’ during turnover: it expands and contracts aligned with the catalytic sub-steps. Its two halves communicate via a string of water molecules. Credit: Joerg M. Harms, MPSD

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a 'breathing' motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein. This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

All life is dynamic and so are its molecular building blocks. The motions and structural changes of biomolecules are fundamental to their functions. However, understanding these dynamic motions at a molecular level is a formidable challenge. How is a protein able to accelerate a chemical reaction, which would take years to proceed without help?
To this end the researchers turned to an enzyme that splits the strongest single-bond in organic chemistry: the C-F bond. Fluorinated carbons can be found in materials such as Teflon or GoreTex and in many pharmaceuticals and pesticides. Fluorinated compounds have a particular influence in climate change, exceeding the effectiveness of CO2by orders magnitude. Therefore, the ability to better understand and eventually control the turnover of C-F bonds is of particular interest to climate change and bioremediation.
The researchers used time-resolved X-ray crystallography to take molecular snapshots during the turnover reaction of this natural enzyme at physiological temperatures. This time-lapse movie revealed eighteen time points from 30 milliseconds to 30 seconds, covering all key catalytic states that lead to the breaking of the C-F bond. Surprisingly, the movie also shows that the enzyme 'breathes' during turnover, that is it expands and contracts aligned with the catalytic sub-steps.
Strikingly, the two halves of the enzyme communicate with each other via a string of water molecules that connects both halves. This water network allows the two halves to 'talk' to one another and share information about their catalytic state. This is crucial to the enzyme's function as only one half of the enzyme can ever be active at a given time.
These dynamic changes have proven crucial to the enzyme's function. The researchers expect many other systems to exploit similar mechanisms for their activities.

[Image: 48737617983_7feb61b8f4_z.jpg]
Strange alien world found to have water vapor and possibly rain clouds
Exoplanet K2-18 b lies in the habitable zone of its host star some 110 light-years from Earth.
Sept. 11, 2019, 12:24 PM CST / Source:
By Chelsea Gohd,

[Image: 48737619158_8bb86a0179_z.jpg]
[b]More information:[/b] Pedram Mehrabi et al. Time-resolved crystallography reveals allosteric communication aligned with molecular breathing, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw9904
[b]Journal information:[/b] Science [/url]

Provided by 
Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter 

Researchers... have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a 'breathing' motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein. This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology. Arrow

SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

Do animals control earth's oxygen level?

[Image: 5d77b80e9705c.jpg]The history of animal life and the environment is preserved in rocks that formed in ancient oceans. Credit: Artem Kouchinsky
No more than 540 million years ago there was a huge boom in the diversity of animals on Earth. The first larger animals evolved in what is today known as the Cambrian explosion. In the time that followed, the animals evolved and grew larger, but concurrently with the evolution of animals, the oxygen level in the atmosphere dropped and this temporarily slowed radiation. However, subsequent oxygenation and growth of algae added energy to the food chain and got the explosion of life going.

In a new scientific study, researchers from the GLOBE Institute at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, have now found that the animals themselves probably contributed to an adjustment of the oxygen level and thus indirectly controlled their own development.
"For the first time, we have succeeded in measuring 'Earth's heartbeat'—understood as the dynamics between the oxygen level and the productivity on Earth. We have found that it is not just the environment and the oxygen level that affect the animals, but that, most likely, the animals affect the oxygen level," says Associate Professor Tais Wittchen Dahl from the GLOBE Institute.
To understand what controls the oxygen level on Earth, the researchers have looked at limestone deposited on the ocean floor during the Cambrian explosion 540-520 million years ago. The ratio of uranium-238 to uranium-235 in the old lime has revealed how much oxygen there was in the oceans at that time. The researchers have thus been able to see some massive fluctuations between two extreme conditions, where the ocean floor was covered by oxygenated or oxygen-depleted bodies of water, respectively. It is these global-scale fluctuations that they believe the animals themselves have contributed to.
During the Cambrian explosion, the marine animals evolved. They became larger, began to move on the ocean floor, ate each other and developed skeletons and shells. In particular, the new ability to move is interesting because the animals ploughed through the mud on the ocean floor, and—as a result—much of the phosphate contained in the water was instead bound in the ocean floor. Phosphate is a nutrient for algae in the oceans, and algae make photosynthesis, which produces oxygen.
"Less phosphate produced fewer algae, which over geological time led to less oxygen on Earth, and due to the oxygen-poor conditions, the larger animals moved away. Once the animals were gone, the oxygen level could go up again and create favourable living conditions, and then the process repeated itself," explains Wittchen Dahl.
"In this way, the mud burrowing animals themselves helped control the oxygen level and slow down the otherwise explosive evolution of life. It is entirely new that we can render it probable that such dynamics exist between the animals and the environment. And it is a very important discovery in order to understand the mechanisms that control the oxygen level on Earth."
Understanding the mechanisms that control the oxygen level on our planet is not just important for life on Earth. A better understanding of the dynamics between oxygen and life¬-Earth's heartbeat—will also bring us closer to an understanding of possible life on other planets.
"Oxygen is a biomarker—some of what you look for when you look for life elsewhere in the universe. And if life in itself helps control the oxygen level, it is much more likely that there will also be life in places where oxygen is present," says Wittchen Dahl.
Interpreting the million-year-old dynamics is the closest we can come to making a global experiment. As it is not possible to test how you might influence the global oxygen level today, scientists must instead resort to the past to gain an understanding of the dynamics that make up Earth's heartbeat—and in this way perhaps make it a little easier to understand life on our own and on other planets.

Explore further
Plate tectonics may have driven Cambrian Explosion, study shows

[b]More information:[/b] Tais W. Dahl et al, Atmosphere–ocean oxygen and productivity dynamics during early animal radiations, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1901178116
[b]Journal information:[/b] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 

Provided by [url=]University of Copenhagen

Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
(01-23-2007, 09:02 PM)EA Wrote: Water is Fuel

Water is a Tool

Water is Life

Water is in Cydonia
SEPTEMBER 23, 2019
DNA is held together by hydrophobic forces
[Image: dnaisheldtog.jpg]For DNA to be read, replicated or repaired, DNA molecules must open themselves. This happens when the cells use a catalytic protein to create a hydrophobic environment around the molecule. Credit: Yen Strandqvist/Chalmers University of Technology
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have disproved the prevailing theory of how DNA binds itself. It is not, as is generally believed, hydrogen bonds which bind together the two sides of the DNA structure. Instead, water is the key. The discovery opens doors for new understanding in research in medicine and life sciences. The findings are published in PNAS.

DNA is constructed of two strands consisting of sugar molecules and phosphate groups. Between these two strands are nitrogen bases, the compounds that make up genes, with hydrogen bonds between them. Until now, it was commonly thought that those hydrogen bonds held the two strands together.
But now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology show that the secret to DNA's helical structure may be that the molecules have a hydrophobic interior, in an environment consisting mainly of water. The environment is therefore hydrophilic, while the DNA molecules' nitrogen bases are hydrophobic, pushing away the surrounding water. When hydrophobic units are in a hydrophilic environment, they group together to minimize their exposure to the water.
The role of the hydrogen bonds, which were previously seen as crucial to holding DNA helixes together, appear to be more to do with sorting the base pairs so that they link together in the correct sequence. The discovery is crucial for understanding DNA's relationship with its environment.
"Cells want to protect their DNA, and not expose it to hydrophobic environments, which can sometimes contain harmful molecules," says Bobo Feng, one of the researchers behind the study. "But at the same time, the cells' DNA needs to open up in order to be used."
"We believe that the cell keeps its DNA in a water solution most of the time, but as soon as a cell wants to do something with its DNA, like read, copy or repair it, it exposes the DNA to a hydrophobic environment."
Reproduction, for example, involves the base pairs dissolving from one another and opening up. Enzymes then copy both sides of the helix to create new DNA. When it comes to repairing damaged DNA, the damaged areas are subjected to a hydrophobic environment, to be replaced. A catalytic protein creates the hydrophobic environment. This type of protein is central to all DNA repairs, meaning it could be the key to fighting many serious sicknesses.
Understanding these proteins could yield many new insights into fighting resistant bacteria, for example, or potentially curing cancer. Bacteria use a protein called RecA to repair their DNA, and the researchers believe their results could provide new insight into how this process works—potentially offering methods for stopping it and thereby killing the bacteria.

In human cells, the protein Rad51 repairs DNA and fixes mutated DNA sequences, which otherwise could lead to cancer. "To understand cancer, we need to understand how DNA repairs. To understand that, we first need to understand DNA itself," says Bobo Feng. "So far, we have not, because we believed that hydrogen bonds were what held it together. Now, we have shown that instead it is the hydrophobic forces which lie behind it. We have also shown that DNA behaves totally differently in a hydrophobic environment. This could help us to understand DNA, and how it repairs. Nobody has previously placed DNA in a hydrophobic environment like this and studied how it behaves, so it's not surprising that nobody has discovered this until now."
The researchers also studied how DNA behaves in an environment that is more hydrophobic than normal, a method they were the first to experiment with. They used the hydrophobic solution polyethylene glycol, and changed the DNA's surroundings step-by-step from the naturally hydrophilic environment to a hydrophobic one. They aimed to discover if there is a limit where DNA starts to lose its structure, when the DNA does not have a reason to bind, because the environment is no longer hydrophilic. The researchers observed that when the solution reached the borderline between hydrophilic and hydrophobic, the DNA molecules' characteristic spiral form started to unravel.
Upon closer inspection, they observed that when the base pairs split from one another (due to external influence, or simply from random movements), holes are formed in the structure, allowing water to leak in. Because DNA wants to keep its interior dry, it presses together, with the base pairs coming together again to squeeze out the water. In a hydrophobic environment, this water is missing, so the holes stay in place.
"Hydrophobic catalysis and a potential biological role of DNA unstacking induced by environment effects" is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Explore further
Using mutant bacteria to study how changes in membrane proteins affect cell functions

[b]More information:[/b] Bobo Feng et al, Hydrophobic catalysis and a potential biological role of DNA unstacking induced by environment effects, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1909122116
[b]Journal information:[/b] Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [/url]

Provided by 
Chalmers University of Technology
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
Ice islands on Mars and Pluto could reveal past climate change
by Joshua Rapp Learn, American Geophysical Union
[Image: iceislandson.jpg]Examples of crater deposits from the daytime THEMIS IR mosaic in the southpolar region of Mars. (a) circumpolar crater filling deposits in an unnamed crater (b) “Stacked” circumpolar crater filling deposits in South crater. © Marginal deposit in Elim crater. (d) The south polar layered deposits overprinting an unnamed crater. (e) Irregular deposit in unnamed crater. (f) West-east topographic profile from MOLA data through the circumpolar crater filling deposits in (a), with location represented by the dashed line in (a). (From Sori, et al., 2019, JGR: Planets)
Many of the craters of Mars and Pluto feature relatively small ice islands unattached to their polar ice caps.

These ice islands could be records of past climate change on Mars and Pluto, and could also provide clues about the workings of Martian water and ice, said Mike Sori, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona and the lead author of a new study in AGU's Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets detailing the new findings.
Most previous work on ice on Mars had examined the northern polar ice cap on the planet, where other researchers noticed that small domes of ice dozens of miles across persisted inside craters beyond the reach of the main ice sheet.
Sori wanted to see if these features were unique to the planet's north pole, and to find out more about these understudied features.
"It's a mountain within a hole," he said.
The study's authors used different types of instruments from orbiting space craft to examine these features, including images showing the features and topography maps made by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA).
They found 104 large impact craters that had deposits inside, including 31 with relatively circular, domed ice cones in craters in the southern polar region. The other craters had more irregular deposits.

[Image: 1-iceislandson.jpg]
Locations of circumpolar crater filling deposits (dark blue points), marginal deposits (black points), and irregular deposits (light blue points) on a southern polar projection of elevation represented by MOLA-derived colored shaded relief. (From Sori, et al., 2019, JGR: Planets)
Sori and his co-authors focused on the 31 more regular ice cones for this work since they were most confident that these formations were composed mostly of frozen water.
"They don't appear as bright white stuff in images, so it's not super obvious that they're ice if you just look at them," he said.
Once the study authors determined these ice mountains seemed to be a recurring process on Mars, they widened their study to see if they could find similar features elsewhere in the solar system. They looked at Pluto, which has a big bright ice sheet called Sputnik Planitia.
Even though Pluto's ice is made of frozen nitrogen, the ice sheets were about the same size: about 1,000 kilometers in diameter and a few kilometers thick. Pluto also has similar crater topography.
While the available images of Pluto aren't as good as those of Mars, Sori and his colleagues measured five craters with ice deposits in an area roughly the same distance from Pluto's main ice sheet as those they found on Mars.

[Image: 2-iceislandson.jpg]
HiRISE images of circumpolar crater filling deposits, shown as insets in daytime THEMIS IR mosaics. (a) Enhanced color portion of HiRISE image ESP_031749_1080 showing dunes on the circumpolar crater filling deposits in Richardson crater (89 km crater diameter, 72.5ºS, 180.2ºE). (b) Enhanced color portion of HiRISEimage ESP_057439_1075 showing layer exposures of the circumpolar crater filling deposits in Burroughs crater (110 km crater diameter, 72.3ºS, 116.6ºE). (From Sori, et al., 2019, JGR: Planets)
"Broadly speaking it was reasonably similar," Sori said, adding that the researchers couldn't measure topography on Pluto as well due to poorer data.

The shapes aren't exactly dome-shaped on Pluto either, but Sori said it's still interesting that Pluto's ice islands are deposited in craters.
"There's some sort of climate reason or topography reason why holes in the ground are good place for ice to go," he said.
The researchers aren't totally sure why this is, but Sori said that in Mars' southern polar region the ice islands are usually to the west of the center of the craters, which is the way the wind blows there.
"Wind has to play some sort of role," Sori said.

[Image: 3-iceislandson.jpg]
Map of five outliers of nitrogen ice within impact craters on Pluto. Labels are to the lower left of each crater on a LORRI image mosaic. Topography data comes from New Horizons stereo images (Schenk et al., 2018).
How or why the ice islands form is also a mystery. For example, researchers don't know if craters collect ice or retain ice. They found a few of the ice mounds that are still connected a little to the main ice sheet on Mars, and it's possible that the other ice mounds were once part of the main ice sheet. If so, this would mean the ice sheets were once bigger on Mars and Pluto, and that they are gradually declining, with the craters retaining some small amount of the ice that once covered them.
While Earth doesn't have many craters like Pluto or Mars, Sori said there is a crater in Greenland that has an ice mound connected still to the main ice sheet, and that it may be part of the same phenomenon happening on Mars and Pluto.
Along the vines of the Vineyard.
With a forked tongue the snake singsss...
If they had stayed and STUDIED poor Pluto they "might" have a better idea than keeping everything "Enigmatic" until you set your boots down on it. PERIOD ! Doh 

Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]
Former NASA Scientist Says Life on Mars May Have Been Discovered in the 1970s

NASA hasn't looked for more examples, in over four decades of research.       Sheep

[Image: viking-view_resize_md.jpg]

Information regarding astronauts and spacecraft being sent to Mars has been bubbling up in recent months. NASA maintains its project on the search for life out there in our universe, and so updates, as well as new inventions and spacecraft, have been some of the agency's primary goals. 
However, a recent article by former NASA scientist, Gilbert Levin, states that life on Mars was already discovered back in 1976.

According to Levin, NASA's Viking mission in the 1970s already discovered traces of life on the red planet. He is curious as to why NASA has not pushed the research further.


The Viking mission

Levin was a part of the research team that was searching for life on Mars. On July 30, 1976, the Labeled Release (LR) returned the initial mission's test results back to Earth.

Quote:Scientist Gilbert Levin still believes we have proof of life on Mars
— Alejandro Rojas (@alejandrotrojas) October 14, 2019

In an amazing turn of events, the results were positive. In the end, the team discovered that four positive results returned from the two Viking spacecraft. These results had gone through five different controls to ensure they were correct.

What did the team discover? Microbial respiration on Mars.

However, when NASA ran the Viking Molecular Analysis Experiment, it failed to ascertain organic matter — the essence of life. NASA then stated that the LR had found a substance that mimics life, but not life itself.

Surprisingly, for the following 43 years of NASA's Mars exploration programs, the agency has not included life detection instruments on its landers.

This is surprising, especially to Levin, as NASA pushes forward with its search for alien life.


Life on Mars

In his article, Levin is not saying that life on Mars, as we know it on Earth, is unquestionable. What Levin is saying is that it would be incredibly surprising for there is no life, whatsoever, on the red planet.

There have been some monumental discoveries on Mars and in our universe, since the Viking's 1976 mission. However, none have yet been centered on directly gauging if there is life on Mars.

[Image: mars_resize_md.jpg]

Danielson Crater on Mars. Source: European Space Agency/Flickr

Given the positive results of a well-known and accepted microbiological test, diverse controls of these tests, duplication of information — as the Viking's mission included two spacecraft landing at different locations on Mars — it is strange that NASA has sat on this information for 43 years and not moved forward with this particular research.

Levin's article is a fascinating and informative read, which you can read more about here.


btw it is strange that NASA has sat on this information for 43 years and not moved forward with this particular research.


Bob... Ninja Assimilated
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video:]

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