New Mars clay study suggests planet was too dry, hot for life
A new study of magma-formed Martian clay by French and US scientists suggests that Mars possibly never had free-flowing water. The new study contradicts previous studies that suggested the early environment of Mars had water believed essential for life.
NASA's "Opportunity" Rover Finds New Evidence For Once-Habitable Mars
nedko.m writes "NASA's Mars rover 'Opportunity' found clay minerals in an ancient rock on the rim of the Endeavour Crater on Mars. The discovery suggests that neutral-pH water — slightly salty, and neither too acidic nor too alkaline for life — once flowed through the area, probably during the first billion years of Martian history. Opportunity's latest discovery fits well with one made recently on the other side of the planet by the rover's bigger, younger cousin Curiosity, which found strong evidence that its landing site could have supported microbial life in the ancient past. Such observations could help scientists map out Mars' transition from a relatively warm and wet world long ago to the cold and dry planet we know today"
Martian Rock Another Clue to a Once Water-Rich Planet
The clay-rich rock, which scientists named Esperance, is one of the oldest rocks that the rover Opportunity has looked at during its nine and a half years on Mars.
Adult consciousness in five-month-old babies
Babies become conscious of their environment by the time they are five months old, according to a study by French neuroscientists. Scientists have always wanted to know what do these small people know, and when do they know it.
Confirmed: Water Once Flowed On Mars
An anonymous reader writes "A new study based on observations last September by the Curiosity rover on Mars has confirmed that pebble-containing slabs of rock found on the Martian surface were part of an ancient streambed. The work provides some of the most definitive evidence yet that water once flowed on Mars. '[The pebbles'] smooth appearance is identical to gravels found in rivers on Earth. Rock fragments that bounce along the bottom of a stream of water will have their edges knocked off, and when these pebbles finally come to rest they will often align in a characteristic overlapping fashion. ...It is confirmation that water has played its part in sculpting not only this huge equatorial bowl but by implication many of the other landforms seen on the planet.' According to NASA, 'The stream carried the gravels at least a few miles, or kilometers, the researchers estimated. The atmosphere of modern Mars is too thin to make a sustained stream flow of water possible, though the planet holds ...
Could life exist on Mars?
The question of whether life is or ever existed on Mars remains unknown. However, scientists have shown that bacteria isolated from the Arctic could survive under Martian conditions.