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Water On Mars


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I've read that they won't even let the rovers get close. Something about not wanting to let our dirty Earth-ness contaminate it.

I think that was a roundabout way of telling us to take more showers. 

We shower our rovers well, pig.

In all seriousness, no rovers can even get to where the discovery was made if they wanted to. The nearest active one is Curiosity, which is sitting over at Mount Sharp and quite far away. (I think)

We may also really reconsider our sterilization of craft visiting Mars so that visiting those places will be safe(er).

Edited by MalletFace
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Water behaves kind of funny on Mars. It is like Dry Ice, it sublimates. That is because the Martian atmosphere is like 1/200th of Earths, or about 3.8 torr (3.8 mm of mercury.) On a good day Earth is 760 Torr or 760 mm of mercury. This means that sometimes as soon as the water ice melts, the water immediately boils off. At Martian atmospheric pressure that can happen at 10 degrees Celsius or for those of us more familiar with Fahrenheit, 50 degrees. Ice melts at 0 degress Celsius or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. With these salts dissolved in the water, as is evidenced by the brilliant colors on the sides of the mountain, the boiling point of the salt-water solution rises to room temperature of 20-25 degrees Celsius (68-76 degrees Fahrenheit.)

It is a stupendous discovery because it means there could be a vast amount of water on Mars, something which was written off during experiments with the Viking Probe program in the mid 1970's and the Martian rovers program. There could be vast, fantastic and incredible caves and cave formations under the ground there.

Even if Martian Rover Curiosity could make the trek, I think I read that the slope on the hill where these flow formations were found is too steep for it to climb.

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