Tech & Science New island offers clues in search for life on Mars: NASA

06:21  14 december  2017
06:21  14 december  2017 Source:   afp.com

Mega-Landslides on Mars May Speed Down Slopes at 450 Mph

  Mega-Landslides on Mars May Speed Down Slopes at 450 Mph Powerful landslides may rumble down Martian slopes at up to 450 mph (725 km/h), sped along by slippery ice, a new study suggests. Researchers Fabio Vittorio De Blasio and Giovanni Battista Crosta, both of the University of Milano-Bicocca in Italy, modeled the dynamics of landslides on Mars, especially those inside Valles Marineris, the gigantic canyon system near the Red Planet's equator.The duo found that ice — at the landslides' bases and/or spread widely throughout the Martian soil — is likely a key player in these dramatic flows of Red Planet rock and dirt.

The world's newest island —formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago—may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars , NASA said Wednesday.

WELLINGTON: The world’s newest island — formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago — may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars , NASA said Wednesday.

Scientists say the Tongan island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai, created when an undersea volcano erupted in 2014, may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars© Provided by AFP Scientists say the Tongan island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai, created when an undersea volcano erupted in 2014, may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars The world's newest island -- formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago -- may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars, NASA said Wednesday.

The island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai rose from the seabed about 65 kilometres (40 miles) northwest of the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa in late 2014-early 2015.

Scientists initially expected the island -- created when vast quantities of rock and dense ash spewed from the Earth's crust -- to wash away within a few months.

Groundwater on Mars? Salty Antarctic Pond Could Reveal Clues

  Groundwater on Mars? Salty Antarctic Pond Could Reveal Clues A shallow, briny pond located in the most Mars-like region on Earth is probably being fed by groundwater seeping up, rather than moisture seeping down from the atmosphere, providing clues as to what stores of liquid water, if they exist, might look like on Mars.The Don Juan Pond, found in Wright Valley among the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, is one of the saltiest pools of water on the planet, even more so than the Dead Sea.

The world’s newest island — formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago — may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars , NASA said on Wednesday.

WELLINGTON: The world’s newest island , formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago, may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars , NASA said Wednesday.

But NASA said it had proved more resilient than expected, possibly because warm sea water combined with ash during the volcanic explosion to create a concrete-like substance known as "tuff".

While the island -- which initially measured one kilometre wide, two kilometres long and about 100 metres high -- has undergone significant erosion, it is now expected to last anywhere from six to 30 years.

Jim Garvin, the chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said it was a rare chance to study the life cycle of a newly created island.

He said Mars had many similar volcanic islands that appeared to have been surrounded by water when they were created.

Groundwater on Mars? Salty Antarctic Pond Could Reveal Clues

  Groundwater on Mars? Salty Antarctic Pond Could Reveal Clues A shallow, briny pond located in the most Mars-like region on Earth is probably being fed by groundwater seeping up.The Don Juan Pond, found in Wright Valley among the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica, is one of the saltiest pools of water on the planet, even more so than the Dead Sea. Covering an area of about 330 feet by 985 feet (100 by 300 meters) but just 4 inches (10 centimeters) deep, the pond contains enough salt for the water to remain liquid even at minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius), typical of temperatures on Mars.

Wellington - The world's newest island – formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific three years ago – may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars , NASA said on Wednesday.

Wellingto: The world´s newest island -- formed during a volcanic eruption in the remote Pacific four years ago -- may offer clues to how life potentially developed on Mars , NASA said Wednesday.

While the island -- which initially measured one kilometre wide, two kilometres long and about 100 metres high -- has undergone significant erosion, it is now expected to last anywhere from six to 30 years© Provided by AFP While the island -- which initially measured one kilometre wide, two kilometres long and about 100 metres high -- has undergone significant erosion, it is now expected to last anywhere from six to 30 years Garvin said such spots may be prime locations to look for evidence of past life because they combined a wet environment with heat from volcanic processes.

Examining how life gained a foothold on the Tongan island could help scientists pinpoint where to look for evidence of life on Mars, he said.

"Islands like this might have worked on Mars two or three billion years ago -- lakes and small seas filling depressions, persistent surface waters," he said.

"(It's) stuff we really strive to understand because it could have produced the conditions necessary for microbial life."

NASA's studies on the island were presented at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans this week.

It comes after US President Donald Trump on Monday directed NASA to send Americans to the Moon for the first time since 1972, in order to prepare for future trips to Mars.

Water on Mars: Ancient Mystery Surrounding Its Disappearance May Be Solved .
The Red Planet was once warm and wet, the evidence shows.Mars may be a barren, frozen world now, but a series of clues has indicated that it was once a much warmer—and wetter—planet. But where did all that water go? New research proposes that basaltic crusts formed by lava may have sucked up all that water like a giant, dry sponge.

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