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Tuesday, November 16, 2004|
|Possible Deltas Found on Mars|
Mars Global Surveyor has returned images that look surprisingly like
deltas at the end of rivers, which are caused by sedimentary deposits.
The images also show meanders, series of S-shaped curves of a stream
caused by sedimentary deposits and changing gradients. "Meanders are
key, unequivocal evidence that some valleys on early Mars held
persistent flows of water over considerable periods of time," said Dr.
Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, the operator
of the MGS's cameras. The fan is 13 by 11 km's in size. "This latest
discovery by the intrepid Mars Global Surveyor is our first definitive
evidence of persistent surface water," said Dr. Jim Garvin, NASA's Lead
Scientist for Mars Exploration. "It reaffirms we are on the right
pathway for searching the record of Martian landscapes and eventually
rocks for the record of habitats. Such localities may serve as key
landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars Science Laboratory
in 2009. These astounding findings suggest that 'following the water'
with Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, and soon with the Mars
Exploration Rovers, is a powerful approach that will ultimately allow
us to understand the history of habitats on the red planet." As of now,
no liquid water has been found on the surface, but recent findings have suggested that there is a strong possibility for subsurface water and ice.
|A possible delta on Mars|
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- posted by Jim @ 10:00 EST