Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/28/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Land formations definitely confirm the presence of water on the red Planet at one time

The Curiosity rover has found conclusive proof that water at one time existed on the Red Planet. The rover, which touched down to begin its mission on August 6, has found land formations which suggest that Mars was at one time a host of rivers, lakes and streams.

Mars imagery of a rock outcrop has been dubbed Hottah, after Hottah Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. Lead scientist John Grotzinger has likened it as if someone took a jackhammer and lifted up a sidewalk.

Mars imagery of a rock outcrop has been dubbed Hottah, after Hottah Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. Lead scientist John Grotzinger has likened it as if someone took a jackhammer and lifted up a sidewalk.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

9/28/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Curiosity, Mars, rock formation, space mission, water, exploration

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 2,000-pound super-rover has sent back imagery of a rock outcrop that has been dubbed Hottah, after Hottah Lake in Canada's Northwest Territories. Lead scientist John Grotzinger has likened it as if someone took a jackhammer and lifted up a sidewalk.

The consensus is that "this is a rock that was formed in the presence of water," Grotzinger said. "We can characterize that water as being a vigorous flow."

Curiosity has also come across rounded gravels, which appear to have been subjected to a sediment transport process, carried by either water or wind. The gravels seem too large to have been transported by wind, meaning it's likely that this is a stream bed.

Link, a second rock outcrop holds similar evidence. Scientists used data from Curiosity and the orbiters at Mars to enhance their understanding of the area. The water flowing in these rock formations was probably somewhere between ankle and hip deep.

Scientists believe the water and sediment flowed down the crater into an alluvial fan -- a geological formation created by material that water transports. This fan appears to have extended down to the area where the rover landed.

An estimate of when water actually flowed on Mars would be "thousands to millions of years," researchers said.

Scientists have previously used data from past Mars missions to speculate about channels on the planet, and whether water could have flowed in them, the first direct observation of streambed material.

One factoid makes the Curiosity team feel yet even curiouser and curiouser: There are no plate tectonics on Mars, meaning the planet does not have moving plates underneath the surface that cause quakes. So why does this Hottah rock formation look the way it does?

Grotzinger says that "Somewhere near this outcrop, a small impact occurred and lifted the beds up and rotated them," he said.

Scientists made their judgments about the rocks strictly based on photos.

Curiosity is now three-quarters of the way between Hottah and Glenelg, its next stop. Glenelg was chosen as a target because it has three types of terrain, including layered bedrock, making it a potentially interesting place for Curiosity to try out its drill.

One unsolved mystery -- whether life could have been supported on Mars remains elusive. Water is a necessary ingredient, but an energy source and carbon are also essential.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

Ten Commandments to be removed from capitol grounds Watch

Image of


The Capitol Preservation Commission in Oklahoma, who is responsible for managing the placement of artwork on public property, has voted to remove a Ten Commandments monument from its capitol grounds. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reuters reported the Preservation ... continue reading

Rumored co-recipients of next Nobel Peace Prize criticized: one responsible for hundreds of American soldiers' deaths in Iraq Watch

Image of Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are rumored to be co-recipients of 2016's Nobel Peace Prize (Laurent Gillieron/EPA).


Secretary of State John Kerry is rumored to be receiving a Nobel Peace Prize after finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal due to his close relationship with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kerry's efforts to seal the nuclear ... continue reading

SHOOTERS LAST WORDS TO VICTIM: You're going to see God in one second Watch

Image of Survivors embrace and pray in the aftermath of the shooting which left 9 people and the shooter dead.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation continues to mourn the mass shooting of nine students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Although the shooter's motive remains a mystery, religion may have been a factor in the killings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Officials have ... continue reading

Heroic teacher warned classrooms to evacuate during the Oregon college shooting Watch

Image of Oregon shooting aftermath


A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg left 10 people dead with one teacher shot in the head by a gunman described only to be in his 20's. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Terrifying and traumatic stories were shared by the survivors of the recent open ... continue reading

Christian Targets: College shooting leaves at least 10 dead Watch

Image of Victims were rushed to a nearby hospital (Roseburg News).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday, which left at least ten people dead. Reports have come forward that the shooter was targeting Christian students. ROSEBURG, OREGON (Catholic ... continue reading

Did Pope Francis succeed in stopping an execution? Man skirts the death penalty for the fourth time in a row Watch

Image of Richard Glossip escapes the death penalty yet again.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Richard Glossip escaped the death penalty at the last minute once again, this time due to questions about lethal injection protocols. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hours before Glossip's sentence NBC News announced a letter sent from Pope Francis asking Glossip's ... continue reading

Husband killer executed after many failed appeals, including one from Pope Francis Watch

Image of Kelly Gissendaner's legal team filed three appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and all were denied.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not even an appeal from a representative of Pope Francis could stop her execution. After a five-hour delay, convicted husband killer Kelly Gissendaner was executed in Georgia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her lawyers filed appeals to both the state and ... continue reading

Face-to-face with evil: How one undercover reporter felt talking to late-term abortionist Shelley Sella Watch

Image of Planned Parenthood.


The founder of the Center for Medical Progress felt he came face-to-face with "evil" while giving an undercover interview with late-term abortionist Shelley Sella. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - David Daleiden of the Medical Progress Center revealed how he felt ... continue reading

Did Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis have a private meeting with Pope Francis? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, now infamous for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and going to jail for her beliefs, claims to have met Pope Francis in a private meeting during his visit to the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Davis' ... continue reading

Was the Pope's visit to Philadelphia a success? A local chef weighs in Watch

Image of


With Pope Francis's papal visit to Philadelphia, several security measures were set, including the closure of schools and establishments following a blocking-off of of major roads. Unfortunately, the security measures hurt local businesses. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 4th, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More