Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/18/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Technology

This San Francisco based company's one invention will REVOLUTIONIZE the developing world! Watch

Image of Much of the developing world relies on cheap, inefficient and dangerous scooters, as a main form of transportation.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cars are ubiquitous in the Western world, especially in the United States. However, many developing parts of the world lack the infrastructure to support automobile usage on a large scale, and poorer families lack the financial means to purchase a car or gasoline ... continue reading


'Big Brother' is watching you on your iPhone Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on some dubious, privacy robbing practices of the United States government, now thinks that Apple's iPhone has "special software." This gadget, he says, lets authorities remotely gather information ... continue reading


Doomsday is approaching! The symbolic Doomsday Clock moves closer to the fatal end Watch

Image of This is the closest the world has been to Doomsday since 1953.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Doomsday is the closest it's been since 1953, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." The clock now stands at three minutes to midnight. Midnight represents the end of the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Doomsday Clock, created ... continue reading


Search giant, Google, has daring plans to infiltrate the competitive wireless cellphone service market Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The wireless phone game may soon be changing up. Currently there are four major names competing for customers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. However, Google reportedly has plans to enter the business of cellular service. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was ... continue reading


High-tech drug smuggling: Drone found bearing meth near San Ysidro Port of Entry Watch

Image of Plastic webbing and strips of black tape was used to secure the drug packages to the drone, police said. The aircraft itself had six propellers and a lithium battery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug smuggling has entered the high-tech age. A drone carrying methamphetamine, a stimulant that goes under the street names of "crank" and "Tina," crashed in Mexico near the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unmanned ... continue reading


California-based rocket company gets big bucks influx from Google, Fidelity Watch

Image of SpaceX leader Elon Musk says that the revenue generated by the venture could go toward building a city on Mars. This, he says, would further his long-held goal of turning humanity into a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California-based rocket company SpaceX has received a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity. The sudden influx of cash now brings the company's worth to more than $10 billion. SpaceX intends to construct a globe-spanning satellite constellation. LOS ... continue reading


Is it world domination? No, it's just Netflix Watch

Image of Netflix, the Internet streaming giant, has posted higher than expected growth and revenue for 2014.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Online streaming giant Netflix has finished 2014 with 57.4 million subscribers, up more than four million from their third quarter figures; making this their largest growth of subscribers all year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Additionally, the company's ... continue reading


Hacker's delight! BAD passwords make it airtight! Watch

Image of Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a few keystrokes, and voila! Your entire life is there for the taking!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the recent attack on Sony Pictures by purported agents from North Korea prove, the more things change - the more they remain the same. Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a ... continue reading


No longer a science fiction fantasy, the possibility of designer babies may threaten the world's reproductive future Watch

Image of While

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Designer babies" may soon be a reality as major strides have been made in germ-line genetic modifications. Dr. Tony Perry, of the University of Bath, has announced results in precise DNA editing at conception in mice, according to BBC. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


They could be watching you! Secret radar device unconstitutionally allows law enforcement to covertly 'see' through walls Watch

Image of The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service use a radar system to detect motion with radio waves.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A secret radar device, able to detect if anyone is inside a building, is now being used by at least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies. According to USA Today, using this kind of technology is "a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance." ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:11-18
11 Every priest stands at his duties every day, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:1-20
1 Again he began to teach them by the lakeside, but ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 28th, 2015 Image

St. Thomas Aquinas
January 28: St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of ... 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