Quantcast
Connect with us

Boiling water may be the cause of dark streaks on Mars: study

Published

on

The results of Earth-bound lab experiments appear to back up the theory that dark lines on Martian slopes are created by water — though in an otherworldly manner, scientists said Monday.

A team from France, Britain and the United States constructed models and simulated Mars conditions to follow up on a 2015 study which proffered “the strongest evidence yet” for liquid water — a prerequisite for life — on the Red Planet.

That finding had left many scientists scratching their heads as the low pressure of Mars’ atmosphere means that water does not survive long in liquid form. It either boils or freezes.

Identifying water on the Red Planet is complicated by our limited understanding of natural processes under conditions so different to those on Earth.

In September last year, a team reported in the journal Nature Geoscience that curious lines running down slopes on the Martian surface in “summer” may be streaks of super-salty brine.

They said they had found evidence in the lines of “hydrated” salt minerals, which require water for their creation.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lines, up to a few hundred metres in length and typically under five metres (16 feet) wide, appear on slopes during warm seasons, lengthen, then fade as they cool.

“Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars,” NASA concluded at the time.

For the latest study, also published in Nature Geoscience, researchers took to the lab to try and explain how water could have made the lines.

– ‘Remarkably similar –

ADVERTISEMENT

The team, led by Marion Masse of the University of Nantes in France, included several of the authors of last year’s headline-making study.

They placed a block of ice on a 30-degree plastic slope covered with loose fine-grained sand, and allowed it to melt in a chamber in which Martian pressure and summer temperature was recreated.

They repeated the experiment under Earth conditions to compare the processes.

Under Martian pressure, they found, melting ice produced a liquid which boiled vigorously as it flowed downslope and filtered into the sand.

ADVERTISEMENT

The evaporating water vapour blasted grains upward, creating ridges which collapse onto themselves when they become too steep, forming channels.

“The morphologies produced on the sandy slopes in these experiments are remarkably similar to the streaks observed on Mars,” Wouter Marra of the geosciences faculty of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands commented on the study.

“This process in which unstable boiling water causes grains to hop and trigger slope failures may underlie some of the active landforms observed on the Martian surface.”

A video of the experiment can be seen below:

ADVERTISEMENT

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump will go far-right in 2020 election because he thinks that’s why the GOP lost in 2018

Published

on

Donald Trump Tampa rally

An MSNBC panel speculated that one of the things President Donald Trump will do when he announces his reelection campaign this week is run a rerun of 2016. The reason, the panel explained, is he thinks it's the one thing that has worked for him.

Sunday, it was announced that Trump was so furious with his lousy poll numbers that he fired the team of pollsters. Trump apologists claimed that the anger had more to do with the leak of the poll numbers to the public.

Either way, Trump is in trouble, whether he's willing to admit it or not. But his solution is characteristically "Trump."

Continue Reading

Facebook

WATCH: Trump stops ABC film crew to restart interview after his chief of staff coughed

Published

on

President Donald Trump was very displeased when his chief of staff had the audacity to cough or sneeze during his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos. The full interview finally aired on "20/20" Sunday, showing the president in the Oval Office and outside in the Rose Garden.

The ABC interview showed the moment where Mick Mulvaney coughed, and Trump stopped the interview abruptly.

The two were discussing why Trump wouldn't release his taxes.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Trump spends ABC interview trying to discredit Robert Mueller as ‘conflicted’

Published

on

President Donald Trump spent most of his interview with George Stephanopoulos blasting Special Counsel Robert Mueller, while he incorrectly quoted the report he published.

"I don't care what he says. It doesn't matter," Trump said when Stephanopoulos cited the Mueller report. "He wanted to show everyone what a good counsel he was. Now, he may have gotten confused said with that fact that I've always said, 'Robert Mueller was conflicted. He had numerous conflicts. One of them was the fact that he applied for to job to be the FBI director -- the head of the FBI. And, by the way --"

Stephanopoulos stepped in to say that former top aide Steve Bannon said that it never happened.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link