Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

River was 900 miles long and 1,000 feet deep.

Mars is still an amazing planet, but billions of years ago, it must have been something even more remarkable. The Mars Express spacecraft has produced a stunning new image of a massive riverbed that was once filled with water providing more evidence of the rich, and watery history of the Red Planet.

One of the amazing new pictures of the Reull Vallis on Mars.

One of the amazing new pictures of the Reull Vallis on Mars.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Mars, Reulle Vallis, river, water, life


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists are very interested in Mars for two reasons. First, the planet was once wet with large quantities of water flowing over the surface, but today it appears to be much drier. Certainly, nearly all of the surface water is gone, both evaporating into space and seeping into the frozen ground. What little remains is locked in the polar caps and in pockets of underground ice. Why this happened, and what are the implications for Earth is an important question, if we can answer this, then we can better understand the Earth.

The second reason is to ask if Mars can support human colonization sometime in the future. If water still exists on Mars, then where can it be found and can it be extracted to support colonization? It is thought by scientists that at some point, the future of humanity lies amongst the stars. To prepare the way, pioneering work must be done. This is part of that work.

Incidentally, the search for life is more of a secondary quest, with the best hopes being that some form of microbial life once existed on the planet during its warmer, wetter past. However, the likelihood of such a discovery varies from virtually nil to almost certain depending on which scientists are asked and their perspective on the data. Nonetheless, this is not the primary focus on Mars.

The great "river-like structure" as scientists describe the canyon in the image, is Reull Vallis, a broad, dry river flanked by ancient bluffs. Measurements suggest the river would have been 4 miles wide and as much as 1,000 feet deep, meandering for 900 miles before empyting into the vast primeval Hellas basin.

The river, like any other on Earth, was fed by smaller tributaries, which also appear in the high-resolution photographs. They also say the region shows evidence that it was once covered with glaciers.

Water likely flowed though Reull Vallis somewhere around 3.5 to 1.8 billion years ago, before Mars finally became a dry planet. Mars didn't become dry all at once, but gradually lost its surface moisture and became cold over a long period spanning millions to billions of years. Why this happened remains a mystery.

For scientists, seeing that Mars had a more Earth-like climate than previously thought encourages them to redouble their research. Dedicated as ever, they hope to decipher to the silent testament of Mars's dry rivers and to learn what they have to say about Earth's future. 

---


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


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Technology

Anywhere in the world in four hours or less: Space plane receives approval from European Space Agency Watch

Image of Reaction Engines proclaim that the technology is the biggest step in air travel since the jet engine was invented.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

A futuristic plane that could fly anyone anywhere in the world in four hours or less, as well as carry spaceships out of the atmosphere without using rockets, has come closer to reality. The European Space Agency has given approval to the Skylon plane this ... continue reading


BURP! There! Proof of life existing on the planet Mars Watch

Image of If the gas were coming from living microbes on Mars, the finding would mark one of the biggest discoveries in history.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Belches...and worse, could have just proven the evidence of life on Mars. NASA's Curiosity Rover has detected mysterious spikes of methane. These rude outbursts can't be explained away by geology or other theories. The rover has been on Mars since 2012. ... continue reading


Are you a receptionist, security guard or retail clerk? You could soon be replaced by a ROBOT Watch

Image of Royal Caribbean cruise lines have installed new bionic bars with machine robots that fix passengers their drinks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Automation works well if it spares humans from dangerous and monotonous tasks. While many have lost their line of work in assembly lines to nimble-fingered machines, the next wave of robotic replacement may soon well take the place of jobs requiring a more ... continue reading


Catch me if you can: A new device aims to catch wandering Alzheimer's patients and bring relief to caregivers Watch

Image of Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million people in the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Approximately five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's. 65 percent of those patients wander. They get up in the middle of the night and take off. Many times these patients get lost or injured. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kenneth ... continue reading


Americans have a new champion for privacy -- Microsoft. Software giant squares off with Feds over private customer data held overseas Watch

Image of Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Americans concerned about their privacy have a new champion, and he comes from an unlikely stable - the ranks of Microsoft. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is preparing to fight against the U.S. government as they demand Microsoft hand over private, encrypted ... continue reading


Scientists believe they've found first physical evidence of mysterious 'Dark Matter' Watch

Image of After the spectrum from the Perseus cluster and Andromeda were analyzed, scientists saw spikes where nothing should exist.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Scientists came up with the concept of "Dark Matter," an elusive physical property more than 70 years ago. After years of searching, scientists have now uncovered evidence that Dark Matter may in fact exist - in an area where it should theoretically exist. LOS ... continue reading


The death of political ads on TV approaches as more people turn to the internet for media Watch

Image of The political TV ad is dying as more people move online for their media.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're planning to go into politics, don't ignore the internet and what an incredibly powerful tool it is. The internet is not only essential, it is a crucial multiplier of force, allowing a candidate to maximize limited financial resources. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Water DID NOT come to Earth from comets, Rosetta probe concludes Watch

Image of The heretofore unprecedented close-up look at a comet is helping scientists answer the fundamental question of whether a bombardment of these primitive bodies brought water to Earth billions of years ago.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Europe's Rosetta mission, which made history by landing on Comet 67P last month, has come up with a controversial finding that is currently being debated by scientists. According to the Rosetta's latest findings, water did not come to the Earth from comets. LOS ... continue reading


Mars rover uncovers astonishing evidence of water, life on Mars Watch

Image of The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

The Curiosity rover has since found evidence of standing water, along with energy and the key elements with the right atomic charges to prove long-term of evidence of water on Mars. Scientists have reached the conclusion that at least some of the planet must ... continue reading


IT'S HEADED OUR WAY! Mountain-sized asteroid to enter Earth's orbit Watch

Image of The asteroid, calculated at 370 meters in diameter, could hit the Earth with an explosion 1,000 times greater than the surprise 2013 impact of a bus-sized meteor in Russia.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

Russian astrophysicist Vladimir Lipunov says his astronomical team has located a huge, mountain-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the Earth's every three years. Known as 2014 UR116, the asteroid poses no immediate threat of collision - PHEW, but its sudden ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter