Feeds

Maybe Mars had 'warm' water after all

UK boffins point to meteorite evidence

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

UK researchers have unearthed a new argument in the yes-but-no-but-yes scientific debate about Martian water, saying that meteorite samples suggest water on the red planet was once warm enough for life.

In research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (abstract here), Dr John Bridges (Leicester University) and Dr Susanne Schwenzer (Open University) say structures found in a group of meteorites of Martian origin called nakhlites.

“This group of Martian meteorites contains small veins, which are filled with minerals formed by the action of water near the surface of Mars,” Dr Bridges says.

Examination of the “Lafayette nakhlite”, Dr Bridges says, reveals carbonates which would have formed by water rich in carbon dioxide at around 150°C, which later cooled to 50°C, at which point clays formed.

The structures in the nakhlites may have been caused by heat resulting from an impact on the surface of the planet, Dr Bridges states.

The Open University conducted modelling based on Dr Bridges’ observations, and these models suggest that subsurface water had both the right temperatures and nutrients to support microbial life. As the abstract states (in a lot more words):

“Our results show that environments associated with this type of fluid were habitable, unlike those associated with acid-sulphate fluids. Considering the timing of the nakhlite alteration, the most likely cause is impact-generated hydrothermal alteration of the nakhlite pile at the margins of an impact crater. The martian subsurface fluid forming phyllosilicates provided habitable temperatures and many of the nutrients required for life.” ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.