Mars Has “Oceans” of Water Inside

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Mars could have entire oceans’ worth of water locked in rocks deep underground, scientists say.


The finding suggests that ancient volcanic eruptions may have been major sources of water on early Mars—and could have created habitable environments.

According to a new study, Martian meteorites contain a surprising amount of hydrated minerals, which have water incorporated in their crystalline structures.

In fact, the study authors estimate that the Martian mantle currently contains between 70 and 300 parts per million of water—enough to cover the planet in liquid 660 to 3,300 feet (200 to 1,000 meters) deep.

“Basically the amount of water we’re talking about is equal to or more than the amount in the upper mantle of the Earth,” which contains 50 to 300 parts per million of water, said study leader Francis McCubbin, a planetary scientist at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

And if water exists today in the Martian mantle, that means the red planet likely had a lot of water in its interior all the way back to the moment the planet formed.

“We don’t have to rely on sources like comets and asteroids to bring in water afterward,” McCubbin said.

Written By: Richard A. Lovett
continue to source article at news.nationalgeographic.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. What I find amazing is that 20 or 30 years ago the rest of the solar system seemed pretty much barren and dead as far as life past or present is concerned. Yet we now have Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Enceladus, and Titan all quite plausibly posited as sites for life…….and nearly all of that is based upon the observation that there’s a lot more liquid about than anyone realised.

  2. I had hoped to live long enough to see a Mars landing, but that is unlikely now. I do not fear the pains of imaginary hell, or the loss of a delusional heaven, but I will miss out on this I fear.

    Well, so much for my imperial palace on Olympus Mons and the autarchy of the solar system and all those indoor Olympic sized pools I was planing on!

  3. I am skeptical. This is clearly a hoax in which we have all fallen victim. There is some sort of conspiracy going on covering up the reality that we have never been outside our own atmosphere. THIS IS NOT AN ORBITAL VIEW OF MARS. Zoom into the upper right corner of the image and you will see the obvious evidence.
    ;)

  4. Ahh yes, hope for mankind yet again? Possibilities abound, and I do love the science; it’s much more fantastic than any fairy god to be sure. Reason, though says this is the planet to save. We are not going anywhere yet I get the sense of some futurehope for humankind with these kinds of discoveries. It’s great, great science if indeed true. But we are not going anywhere from here even if it is so. The most compelling thought is that any dopportunity of other life outside earth would set the priests back one more pace into the stone age yet again, not that we have enough now!

  5.  There is very little prospect of humans colonising Mars en mass, but every prospect of establishing scientific bases there.

    The presence of great masses of water on Mars have been known for several years, with feasible plans drawn up for a science base drawn up in 2006.

    Project Boreas

    In 2006 members of The British Interplanetary Society, led by the
    scientist Charles Cockell published an extensive report on the design of
    a human base located at the Martian North pole. This was Project
    Boreas, and was named after the Greek God of the North Wind. The study
    ran from 2003 and was an international project involving over 25
    scientists and engineers. Its primary aim was to design a station to
    carry out science and exploration in the Martian polar region. In
    particular, the retrieval of a core sample from the polar ice cap was
    seen as a primary objective of the mission giving vital information
    about the Martian geological and climatological variations throughout
    the planets history.

    In 2006 members of The British Interplanetary Society, led by the
    scientist Charles Cockell published an extensive report on the design of
    a human base located at the Martian North pole. This was Project
    Boreas, and was named after the Greek God of the North Wind. The study
    ran from 2003 and was an international project involving over 25
    scientists and engineers. Its primary aim was to design a station to
    carry out science and exploration in the Martian polar region. In
    particular, the retrieval of a core sample from the polar ice cap was
    seen as a primary objective of the mission giving vital information
    about the martian geological and climatological variations throughout
    the planets history. – http://www.bis-space.com/what-

    This are many good explanations of conditions on Mars and other potential planetary explorations.

    Project Boreas YouTube video – http://www.ask.com/web?l=dis&a

  6. Olympus Mons:

      By one measure it has a height of nearly 22 km (14 mi);[3] the tallest mountain on any planet in the Solar System, almost three times as tall as Mount Everest’s height above sea level.

    This has to be the ultimate climb.  Especially if you do it without oxygen :-)

  7. If it is really so, it makes easier possible terraforming of Mars in the future. 

     Not really!  Mars is too small, too far from the sun, too, cold, and unlikely to hold a suitable atmosphere.  Terraforming would take millennia, destroy the scientific evidence of it’s history,  and ruin the planet for use in the meantime. 

    May be some time in the distant future when the Suns starts to cook the Earth.

  8. This finding rather encourages me somewhat…a little chink of light shines on a dreary lonely existence of humanity.

    If there is water…and that water has been there for around a few billion years…the chances of life emerging is increased exponentially.
    Above ground water has indeed been…we see the evidence in the geology and the Marsscape, below ground the possibility really goes into orbit because protection from radiation and the harsh conditions surface wise would offer a reasonable solution for life…and life is a persistent extremely hardy critter…if it has been, I really think it will be.
    I am of course considering  bacterium that could flourish in such a pristine piece of real estate…extremophile microbes consuming iron as their tipple of choice.

    I have always held the somewhat loony opinion that the Viking mission told us the truth, but that the scientific consensus back in the 70′s did not have full possession of the parameters that life can thrive in.
    They simply did not expect it and a sceptical bias crept in…unforgivable really.

    If life is detected or indeed evidenced in the fossil record I think that it will be a giggle and then some watching the religio-nuts twisting and wriggling to accommodate the detail into their dogma!
    No doubt they will cobble together a rather hilarious account and the bible will of course predict the fact  quite clearly after all this time!

    And it gets even more interesting further out….

    Enceladus
    Europa
    Titan
    Io

    All appear in with a fair chance of life…

    Could you imagine the affect that would have on the Drake equation?
    If Mars comes up positive for present or even  past life…that would really kick the percentages and variables to hell and back in that equation but 6 hits in one solar system..that would send the whole thing and its granny into instant meltdown…we would have to have a deep and reactive rethink on the whole idea of life in the Universe.

  9.  Chemical or photosynthetic processes could make oxygen and combustible fuels inside a Mars-base, but the low temperatures, low pressures, radiation, dust and very weak sunlight are a problem in the open.  Have a look at the video I liked earlier on “Project Boreas”.  It gives a very clear description of conditions on Mars.

  10.  

    and nearly all of that is based upon the observation that there’s a lot more liquid about than anyone realised.

    Most of the water in the Solar System and especially that beyond Earth orbit, is solid and at very low temperatures.

    There are other liquids further out, but they are not ones I would like to step into!

    “Titan” at minus 170°c ??

  11. Dreary lonely existance? I doubt that life that we will need a microscope to see will provide much company. More seriously if any of the terms in the Drake Equation are very low it would not matter how high the rest are, intelligent civilisations are going to be rare. If, for instance we only found bacterial life elsewhere in the Solar System we would still have no idea of how commonly more complex cells or multi-cellular life will arise.
    Still, finding even simple extra-terrestrial life will be a huge thing and well worth the effort. I just think that we are at the start of a very long journey. I agree that seeing how the Bible would have predicted it will be hilarious.

  12.  

    Dreary lonely existance? I doubt that life that we will need a microscope to see will provide much company.

    Well I doubt that the exchanging of horror stories on their banking system or going for a swift ‘alf down the local will be high on the priority list when or if we come eyeball to microscope on this matter.

    The ‘company’ thing is not the point in itself, it is the fact that we will realise that life is not as exclusive and as privileged as many religions, and indeed by default cultures, have tried to make out in support of their delusional brain farts.

    I think it will have a sobering and face slapping with a wet haddock affect on humanity in general.

    There are plenty of folk that are quite happy to trundle along with the arrogance of entitlement to do what ever they, or their spiritual guru’s find most pleasing to wallet or ego because of that extremely selfish, mundane and bleak point of view!

    I find that  self induced myopia dreary and lonely and a basically fraudulent, if not flat out ignorant, attitude.

    The fact that life does and is a feature in the Universe is the key to re-frame those attitudes.

    Intelligent civilizations  is another story methinks.

    In the boon-docks of the outer third of the Sagittarius arm of our galaxy we are, quite possibly, a rarity in isolation almost, so far as trade and contact would tend, I suggest, it would occur where stellar journeys and communications are not quite so onerous in distance.
    Trade and contact being relatively  more practical  hub-wards would by it self be the centre of intelligence and specie interactions.

    The cost and presumably time involved in the distance to travel would by practicality rule out ad-hoc missions and ‘drop-by’ meet & greets from the ‘federation members’ to mia casa!

    I doubt that our solar system has anything of practical value either in material, or indeed specie, that would encourage a trade mission or even one of those oft speculated sci-fi invasion fleets to depart central station to ravage the natives further out.

    Methinks Steve Hawking was erring to far on the side of caution when he muttered dark and dire consequences in our pathetic under achievement in initiating contact or at least eavesdropping on the galactic conversations that would no doubt be more prevalent down town…besides physics is not our friend in this endeavour seeing as at most we have only probed & listened to about 75 light years out of the calculated 27000 lt yrs to the bright lights, and only in a few directions and only on a few frequencies, don’t touch that dial!… and their are precious few systems within that area that might avail to our search anyway.

    It would be a very one way communication if it ever occurred we might listen in but a return message would take centuries to land, let alone getting enough power in the beam to make it intelligible by the time it arrived, and besides that point from their POV what civilization would expend massive power resources to flood interstellar space with shopping lists and deals to be done or undone and ambassadorial approaches which is likely to be the bulk of the scuttlebutt floating around.
    Such communication would be directional and of enough ‘welly’ to get it where it was intended, unlikely that we would get any collateral overspill.
    Why search out hicksville denizens when they have resource and what contact there might be in their own backyard.

    As a personal take I would say that a bacterial confirmation is more then enough to satisfy the curiosity itch…we are not alone in being alive…simples.
    As for intelligent contact, I would not be so bothered because to be honest I do not think as a species we are mature or balanced enough to appreciate the opportunities inherent…no yet anyway…nope not yet…and perhaps that is the main barrier and a point realized by those out there…life is just to short to educate the equivalent of a third world ghetto fascinated paranoid delusional race of the hard of thinking…in our defence I might add that only about 28000 years have defined our ‘modern man’ thought patterns…there is a fair way to go yet methinks!

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