In 2012, NASA landed the rover Curiosity in the Gale crater on Mars because the crater was thought by many scientists to be the site of an ancient lake on Mars more than 3 billion years ago. Since that time, the rover has been driving along, carrying out geological analyses with its suite of instruments for over 3,190 sols (martian days, equivalent to 3278 earth days). After analyzing the data, researchers from Department of Earth Sciences, the Faculty of Science at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), have proposed that the sediments measured by the rover during most of the mission did not actually form in a lake.
The researcher team suggested that the large mound of sedimentary rocks explored and analyzed for the last eight years actually represent sand and silt deposited as air-fall from the atmosphere and reworked by the wind. The alteration minerals formed by the interaction between water and the sand did not occur in a lake setting. The “wet” environment, they propose, actually represents weathering similar to soil formation under rainfall in an ancient atmosphere that was very different from the present one.
The discovery was published recently in Science Advances in a paper led by research postgraduate student Jiacheng Liu, his advisor Associate Professor Dr. Joe Michalski, and co-author Professor Mei Fu Zhou, all of whom are affiliated with the Department of Earth Sciences. The researchers used chemistry measurements and x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements, in addition to images of rock textures, to reveal how compositional trends in the rocks relate to geological processes.
“Jiacheng has demonstrated some very important chemical patterns in the rocks, which cannot be explained in the context of a lake environment,” said Dr. Michalski. “The key point is that some elements are mobile, or easy to dissolve in water, and some elements are immobile, or in other words, they stay in the rocks. Whether an element is mobile or immobile depends not only on the type of element but also on the properties of the fluid. Was the fluid acidic, saline, oxidizing, etc. Jiacheng’s results show that immobile elements are correlated with each other, and strongly enriched at higher elevations in the rock profile. This points toward top-down weathering as you see in soils. Further, he shows that iron is depleted as weathering increases, which means that the atmosphere at the time was reducing on ancient Mars, not oxidizing like it is in the modern day, rusted planet.”
Understanding how the Martian atmosphere, and the surface environment as a whole, evolved is important for the exploration for possible life on Mars, as well as our understanding of how Earth may have changed during its early history. “Obviously, studying Mars is extremely difficult, and the integration of creative and technologically advanced methodologies are necessary. Liu and co-authors have made intriguing observations via the utilization of remote sensing techniques to understand the chemical composition of ancient sediments that inform on their early development. Their data present challenges to existing hypotheses for both the depositional environment of these unique rock formations and the atmospheric conditions that they formed under – specifically, the authors show evidence for weathering processes under a reducing atmosphere in a subareal environment similar to a desert, rather than formation in an aqueous lake environment. Indeed, this work will inspire new and exciting directions for future research.” Assistant Professor from Department of Earth Science Dr. Ryan McKenzie added.
China successfully landed its first lander, Zhurong, on Mars in May this year. Zhurong is currently roving the plains of Utopia Planitia, exploring mineralogical and chemical clues to recent climate change. China is also planning a sample return mission likely to occur at the end of this decade.
About the research team at HKU:
The Department of Earth Sciences, Research Division for Earth and Planetary Science and the Laboratory for Space Research specializes in the applications of traditional Earth and environmental science techniques and skills for modern space science challenges. Dr. Joe Michalski operates the Planetary Spectroscopy and Mineralogy Laboratory at HKU, and is the Deputy Director of the Laboratory for Space Research.
We now know that we can Produce oxygen on other plants with a CO2 atmosphere, as the perseverence has succesfully provenzalisches. WOW!
Time scale. Time scale. Time scale… MAYBE BOTH scenarios apply, one following the other, more recent Discovery discovery… Is that REDUNDANT?
Wow the hight of stupidity. Billions of dollars down the dry hole.
That lake is the crater from a lightning strike not your imaginary water lake. Go to the Electric Universe and get educated.
Where is the “dry hole” when the article present science results.
And instead you propose pseudoscience with no results at all.
Gale crater is approximately 96 miles wide. Not sure what kind of lightning strike it would take to create a 96 mile crater there buddy.
Yes lightning created a 96 mile crater lol these people are asses.
You misunderstand! The Point of the Discovery mission was to find out such things. Too bad your standards aren’t as high when it comes to incredulous speculations about the power of electricity. You could use some education yourself.
Wow the hight (sic) of exploration. Billions of dollars spent on an ongoing effort to do things people could only dream of for a very long time. That deposit may be redistributed, but it will help in identifying future spots so they can be prioritized. Do the Electric Slide and get down.
I assume HKU is some university?? It is not defined.
Thanks for your question. HKU is The University of Hong Kong.
It was in the byline, but we should have included it in the body of the article. That has now been fixed.
And, who might you be? I don’t find your name listed with the SciTech editorial board, or mentioned in the article.
If the planet surface is three billion years old, it doesn’t matter if the eroded sediments have been redistributed or not, they are still that old. On Earth if early Archean sediments are eroded into a lake they are still 3.5 billion years old even if the lake bottom is Cenozoic in age. An atmosphere without oxygen is not automatically reducing but if it is life is precluded by virtue of lacking protection from the Sun’s damaging UV radiation. The iron minerals on Mars are oxidized. Iron depleted sediments are not the same as reducing. The absence of laminated, fissile shales on Mars is more telling. No liquid water for very long to synthesize clay minerals that would then be eroded. And no dark colored sediments that would indicate the presence of organic matter.
Lake waters are UV-protective. The early sediment deposits are under exploration – the wind deposits on top looks to be km thick (c.f. Gale mound).
I would have like to know their feeling on discovering they were actually on a different form of sediment and if that would change things in any way moving forward,
Learn to spell GENIUS! To Neil Barron…lol
They say earth and Mars are something a like but I do think mars has gravity like earth so where is gravity it has to be oxygen some where on Mars lol
Oxygen as an elemnt is in the Co2 atmosphere or in the water (and CO2) ices at the poles, say. Also in minerals such as silicates.
“elemnt” = element
“Co2” = CO2.
Wouldn’t ‘rainfall:’ pool. And if enough and enclosed, form a lake? Jeez even a puddle can be called a micro-lake.
Nice comment Mr. Towe. Logical suppositions based on the information currently available. Not emotional whining about subject matter barely understood as we often see.
For those who think money spent on space exploration is wasted…wow. let me see how briefly i can lead you to a better understanding:
1.We are quickly overpopulating this planet and depleting natural resources needed for our survival.
2. We are also destroying the most vital needs…our air water soil etc. I am the furthest thing from a liberal btw…
3. We will soon need somewhere to live besides Earth. Only way to get there and colonize is a competent space program…now with private companies too (!!)
3 steps is best i can help you folks above to quit picking fleas off your sisters at the zoo and join us nerdy types in supporting the only means of insuring humanity survives. You’re welcome.
Overpopulation and depletions are both arguable. We see reports that China, the earlier driver, may have passed “peak population”. And minerals have centuries of reserves.
I would worry about man made climate change, since it is now killing people in extreme hot weathers as it didn’t before. The economy is at risk too.
“I would worry about man made climate change, since it is now killing people in extreme hot weathers as it didn’t before.”
That is arguable. What happened to the people who lived through the extreme temperatures of the Dust Bowl era in the 1930s without air conditioning? What stresses people the most is the Heat Index, taking into account the humidity. We know almost nothing about historical heat indexes. Therefore, we can’t, with any factual support, know how many people died in the past from the ‘heat.’ There are large populations of people living in areas with regular high heat indexes that only infrequently kill urban dwellers in the mid-latitudes. Your statement is opinion, unsupported by reliable facts.
“8.52% [6.19–10.47] were cold-related and 0.91% [0.56–1.36] were heat-related).”
Clearly, cold-related deaths are an order of magnitude greater than heat-related. A warming Earth should result in fewer cold-related deaths and more heat-related. But because the cold-related are so much more abundant, there will probably be a net savings of lives. Also, there is more warming in the Winter than Summer, so that will further result in saving lives.
Correct me if I am wrong here but this news article is coming from Hong Kong which is now a part of China who just sent a space graft to Mars. Is China attempting to discredit USA ‘s rover ahead of their landing ATTEMPT?
You mean “tried to” since they landed before it was published? But note the international data and team.
Excuse me or us flea pickers here on earth, but this is not Star Trek. We have nowhere to go. This is it. We must learn to regulate our population here. We must learn to control our abusive nature here, not take it into space wasting what we have left here. We haven’t learned to treat this world right yet. How do you Survive as a human in an artificial enviroment dependent on resources taken from earth? WE cannot go to “new worlds”. Fix this one 1st, not just take it for granted, wear it out and think we can just duMP it. Recycle, reuse, improve mankind, not run for the hills and hope everything will be space dependent. We will no longer be humans in an artificial world. Fix earth. We messed it up. Be responsible and fix it! Star Trek is not acceptable. It is a dream world. Make planet earth a dream world. Let’svisit.it a place your aliens would love to visit.
Studying other planets like Mars – and we can go there, even if we can’t move a sizable population there – helps us here on Earth. And even if it didn’t, this is minute investment compared to, say, global movie production.
I wanted to say: Let’s make it a place your alIenS would like to visit.
Oh, and Mr. M. Thomas, we have an alien world right here at home we know very little about. OUR oceans. Learn to adjust humankind right here! There’s a whole new world just below our feet. They say we evolved from there, so let’s go visit our past, our ancestors. Space is not a newer place. Earth below is.
“They” don’t say we evolved on Earth, it is a commonly seen and so known fact. E.g. we are apes – more related to chimps than gorillas – so cannot have evolved elsewhere.
We’ll see how this plays out – it isn’t the first time this group has suggested that early Mars has been water poor (reductive) [ https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/813045 ].
The main evidence they propose for the lower deposits to be not lacustrine is arguable.
“The occurrence of fine laminations of mudstones in the Murray formation could indicate episodic deposition in a low-energy, lacustrine setting. However, ubiquitous cross-bedded sandstones (fig. S1) interbedded with the laminated mudstones (13) are difficult to explain through lacustrine processes alone, instead requiring several episodes of eolian-dominated activity. ” [This paper]
” The Murray Formation is a laminated mudstone overlain by a cross-bedded or clinoform sandstone, though in places the base is a conglomerate. Thus, the formation is interpreted to have been deposited in a lacustrine environment adjacent to a fluvial-deltaic one.” [“Gale (crater)”, Wikipedia]
We only pollute or destroy things because the big corperations,the big buisness people keep destroying it and making us destroy it. If they wanted to stop destoying it then spend that money on paying companies like oil,coal,nuecular,fisherman killing of whales. We only buy, and use,consume what is available to us. 2 overpopulation is the biggest scam ever.look how much vacant flat land is just in the mid west?, all of the parks presevations , antartica who got our vote to go there not allow us to go enjoy it and who gave them the go head to drill into ice shelf cracking it, who gave the knod to build cern and start up that world ending machine. Why is it ok for these people to destroy our planet possibly end reality in the blink of a eye or bring something here from anothet timeline or realm. You people who are allowed to play with our lives our Future are rediculous blaming it on all these things that we dont choose or want to do. We buyvwhats available we use whats available period. There is enough bare vacant land for the population to tripple and everyone have couple acres ea.plus all the people killed millions in other countries how transgenders lgbqt that means child birth is at historic low. Next two generations population will be lowest ever. So your big BRAIN NERDY idea is destroy and find something new not take care of what you got??? Brilliant ideas here. Where did you get your degree? Crackerjack box
And, you feel no responsibility or culpability for buying things you don’t really need, just because you can? Keep your money in your wallet and the ‘evil’ corporations supplying the populace with unnecessary things will go out of business.
M Thomas, don’t be naive my friend, mother nature might be a bit behind schedule, but long before we colonize some other planet, she’ll bring Earth back in line. Overpopulation “corrections” might be severe but they don’t take long.
As I’ve been pointing out all along . There is NO water on Mars. These false statements are designed by NASA to get further funding.
That last time I was on Mars I saw lots of water. Maybe you went to a different place. After all, we even have deserts here on Earth. 🙂
Seems like they discovered an unsupported by non-CCP science “theory”, not that NASA is incorrect. Maybe China tells us about where they landed, and NASA will tell us about where they landed. TryHards!
Doesn’t actually look like a lake. It looks like an impact crater that didn’t see a lot of weathering like it would have with an active climate. Sould be looking where canyons met lower elevation basins.
Thankfully rover operates 😇😏😷💘now where got the brain 🧠 😅 🙄 🙃 for ruffing it at Mars, move to Mars =survival mars. talk,talk and action. Glad to talk, go rovers science is listening 🕶🥼🦺🎓🌐
Mr. Bill H.Is a Man of Morals and Integrity. Tell it like it is sir. Aint to many people willing to take responsibility or be a team player when they are so busy being trying to rape hats left. People you better wake up. This planets justice will be swift and no one will argue the facts when we get wiped out. Money hasnt got value in a world thats dead. Wake up, Grow Up, and Make it Right Its Probably Too Late Already!!!
Is this thought absurd? JFK erra: Ok now we’re in space because our ego was so big as a nation we had to be the first on the moon. Really, the whole space thing wasn’t about the moon but instead using space for means of spying, communications and weaponizing it. Remember, we took down the Nazi’s and yet we divided up and took their top rocket scientists and nuclear physicist. Great- that worked out. But the question beggs to be answered… Do most Americans care more about the soil content on a planet we can’t easily or cheaply access, or might it be a better idea to scrap useless space projects and give that money back to the people to eleviate financial stress most face?
Your all bank rolling this, the rest of the world is reaping its benefits (if any) and yet we’re in a pandemic.
Sadly, this is the scientist in me speaking too.
All the best F.J. Schrank
Given a choice, the ‘lowest-common denominator’ would rather buy a six-pack and feed their mangy mutt. They have no interest in questions at a higher level than “What’s on TV tonight?”
There really are some winners on this site, aren’t there?
A couple of things that people seem to overlook, and based on the comments made here, the shortcoming of intelligence is very relevant. First of all in response to the dude possibly from Sweden or somewhere in northern Europe I would guess, who has mentioned more than once in his babbling some carbon dioxide atmosphere. Considering term dioxide is a small part of our atmosphere, and a part that really has no effect whatsoever on the temperature or the retention of heat, we do not have a carbon dioxide atmosphere! We have a nitrogen based atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is an invisible non harmful essential gas that has never been proven to have an influence on the temperatures either rising or cooling. It is essential because plants use it to help with the process of photosynthesis, which creates oxygen, which is also a small part of the gases that make up the atmosphere but is essential not only for animals to breathe but also for many things to happen such as combustion and other things. Also carbon dioxide, is not an element. That’s why it has a dash in the middle, and the first part of the name is carbon, representing the element carbon. And the second half being dioxide, which is representing the element oxygen which this molecule contains two parts of. That’s right carbon dioxide CO2 is a molecule made up of two elements.. on the other hand nitrogen which makes up by far the majority of our atmosphere, is also an element because it only talks about one element named nitrogen. So any other things that were theorized or imagined by the person who made these comments, cannot be taken seriously and must be ridiculed, and we almost feel sorry for this person, who is obviously challenged mentally. He needs to be referred to a thing called the chart of the elements. And listed on that chart are the elements. And you will not find CO2 on that chart. If you do not know fifth grade science, do not try to tell me about 7th grade lies such as overpopulation and man-made climate change, which catchy kind of popular theories, that people spend our money, wasting their time, trying to figure out how they can use these terms to manipulate, and control populations. We can fit every single person in the world give them a regular size lot and a single family home and they will not even fill up half of Texas. Humans are a very small part of the entirety of the top of the Earth. The only influence man has made on climate, or whether, has been done through systems such as harp and others where they seed clouds, and put chemicals into the air that are basically experiments to see what happens to the people who are in the areas that are sprayed with chemicals. Live on a plan we live in a planet that has unlimited natural resources, that are always being restored and made by the natural processes of the Earth, much quicker than we could ever deplete them. We do not make things extinct, everything becomes extinct at some point. And nothing we can do or change will make a bit of a difference, just like everything man has ever done, gets filtered out on a daily basis by the atmosphere and the protective mechanisms within it. Some people are having issues this year because it is warmer than normal, but we are going through a change it’s not the warmest the planet has ever been. Another hoax, is people fearing the melting of glaciers especially in Antarctica. Because under those glaciers in Antarctica they have found land that had grass and trees everything else. Which means, hello all you dopes, that at one point all of the ice was melted and the lands were not overflowing with water, there was land, and more of it because when ice melts water levels decrease. This too is elementary science. Any person that has ever claimed that if the Earth warms water levels will rise, is lying 100%, or else they are mentally retarded. Not challenged the mentally challenged have a chance to be brilliant those retards that say stuff like that have no brain they are run by greed and perpetuate the most easily disputed lie ever that anyone has ever said. The only time we have to worry about water covering the land, is during a nice age, because that is when water is expanded to its greatest amount and therefore covers the largest amount of land. If the climate happens to get warmer during a heating cycle yes ice on the earth becomes less not all of it will ever go away because just like right now we have almost as many growing glaciers as we have receding ones, but it’s not good to talk about the growing ones because then people may not continue to fund these faulty fiction writers, who claim to be scientists. The majority of them could not withstand a debate with a 7-year-old child much less someone who is educated. They never had girlfriends and they are jealous of people in society so they want to help the government to control and manipulate people. And their theories are so laughable, because that’s all they are is theories and what is a theory it’s science fiction, something made up it’s a guess it’s like a hypothesis but that’s such a big word you don’t want to use that. How these guys a few years ago said the oldest man was five million years ago then they said they found a skull or a bone fragment that was 20 million years older. 15 million years is not a ballpark or even close estimate. The guy at the county fair can guess your age within 2 years he should probably be doing the guesstimating of how old these things are because carbon dating is very inaccurate it doesn’t even work on the majority of the stuff they tell us it does, and anyone who understands half-lives and the breakdown of substances knows that there is so many flaws in what they call carbon dating but the scientists themselves do not even use those numbers seriously, only when writing up reports to go to the public because the public is so enamorate of scientists because the majority of the public doesn’t even want to try to do any research or work to discredit them or see if what they are saying is the truth. These guys sat around watch Doctor who came up with some ideas and a few big words if calculations don’t work out take out the numbers throwing a letter and get more funding. Climate change is about funding science departments and colleges and that’s all there is to it other than the departments that need to get funding from the public to pay for their salaries, you will find very few people in the scientific realm that even give global warming or climate change a passing thought other than to say yeah the climates always changing it always has and it always will. We can’t stop climate change all we can do is better prepare ourselves to deal with the changes in the climate. Man is not very powerful. Almost every scientific BS theory is perpetuated by the Man – gods, who want to believe that man is in control of everything even the invention of spirituality and spirits themselves. They believe that you can take a vacuum tube or a vacuum which I say take a aquarium turn it into a vacuum easily but taking the air out and everything else and set it aside and when there’s a bang in that thing that creates a universe, then you can tell me wrong otherwise every penny ever spent to try to figure out stupid theories like The Big bang theory like many other theories should all be refunded to the people who have been deceived by these clowns. And here it is when ice melts in and it goes in the ocean because it’s warmer the other things change too basically one thing called evaporation what happens when the ocean levels rise and the temperature is warmer we see a greater amount of racing which turns the water into paper which is a gas called water vapor, which forms a major part of the insulation of our atmosphere and that is how the water transfers from gas to liquid to solid continually cycling there is not more added to or taken from our atmosphere it’s just transformed from one physical state to another. Just remember Bill Nye is not a science guy he is an actor. Everything you see about Mars and these places is done with computer animation or stages and sounds screens. They cannot get any form of wave to make it possible to have cell phones come in on every place in the world, yet they have the public believing that they can run remote control vehicles on another planet, hahaha. Take the remote from your TV walk across the street and see how well it works on yours that’s how well anything on Earth is going to run something on Mars that’s how we know that this is completely ridiculous and made up. Also everyone knows as Obama told us that we cannot get out of lower Earth orbit because of the radiation belts that are supposedly between us and the Moon which would mean they are between us and Mars and if we can’t get anything to the Moon because of these radiation belts then we would not be able to get anything to Mars because of those same belts just like this SpaceX thing that is supposed to go to Mars how can I get to Mars if we can’t get to the moon are you guys that stupid to think the people will believe this crock of crap.. sad thing is millions of people do just like they believe that his vaccination can actually help people, when true numbers are coming out from the actual medical people not from spokespeople who are hoping to see stock increases. And we are finding out that like in the UK 60% of all hospitalizations from the Delta variety or variant, have been vaccinated people the other 40% were none vaccinated people. In Massachusetts 75% of the hospitalizations for this variant have been vaccinated people and only 25% were non-vaccinated. We have already had more vaccinated people die from getting the disease they were vaccinated against, then the amount a people who have died after being vaccinated for any other disease ever. That means vaccines that have been around since the twenties and thirties, have had less people die over the course of 90 to 100 years of those diseases, then we have had dye from people who are vaccinated in just a number of months. Do the math this is horrible they are forcing kids to get vaccinations when there has not been a single person in the world under 20 who has died from covid, unless they already had life threatening chronic disease such as leukemia. But society or one half of it would rather continue to believe the lies and they will fight to perpetuate these lies further, because they would rather die proving a lie than to admit they made a mistake, and were tricked by the people who started this, the ruling elites, who want to depopulate the Earth solely because it will make the population easier to control.
“We can fit every single person in the world give them a regular size lot and a single family home and they will not even fill up half of Texas.”
The world has a population of almost 8 BILLION people; Texas has an area of 792 MILLION acres. Dividing 7.92 x 10^8 acres by 7.9 x 10^9 people gives 1.0 x 10^-1, or about one-tenth of an acre per person. That includes mountains and lakes. Your statement said half of Texas. So, that cuts it down to about 0.05 acres per person.
I think it was Rush Limbaugh who first made that remark. It is an example of very shallow thinking. It leaves out the necessity of the infrastructure to support the people — roads to let them get to work, sidewalks to walk on, right-of-ways to supply water and electricity. Water treatment and sewage treatment plants. Stores to supply them with food and other daily necessities like toilet paper; warehouses to re-stock the retail stores. Parking lots for workers and shoppers. Parks and yards for recreation and the family pet. I could go on, but I think that even you have gotten the idea by now. I have also left out the necessity of land for manufacturing and agriculture. There is more to living than forcing every one to live in a ‘prison cell’ of less than 2200 square feet. Have you ever wondered why even today a typical suburban home is less than 2200 SF when Texas has a population of only 29 million people? It is because of the suitability of land for building and and the available necessary resources like water.