Well I was gonna make this an angry pit as the news story, but it was a really weak one, and we know that is taboo.
Basically my gripe is this. Every single year I swear to God they publish the same article . We discovered water on Mars! Yaaaay!
Except it makes another headline for some new photos, or new excitement. I’m tired of it. C’mon people, last year you were just as excited and last year it was just as important, and last year you thought it was just as big of a break through.
When can we finally discover water on Mars and just be like, well yah, duh, we already knew that!
I don’t get the non-rant. The latest discovery appears to be liquid, flowing water. That’s a first, and therefore a big deal.
It’s like bitching at Columbus for returning a second time with news of yet another big island in the West Indies. “When can we finally discover a New World and just be like, well yah, duh, we already knew that!”
I know it’s a weak rant, but everytime I see these stories I really do get excited, only to find out that there’s nothing really new.
From the article: The images do not actually show flowing water. (My weak argument) I think most of are are pretty darn sure that there at least was watter on Mars, just tell us when you actually find it, because we’ve been just getting excited about following the trail for too long.
I think that this is quite a big step above the previous discoveries. In the past they have found evidence that could be interpreted to show that there had possibly been water in a location in the far distant past.
This discovery shows fairly conclusive proof of a large mass of liquid water within the last 7 years, since there are deposits there which definitely were not there when photos were taken in 1999.
To me, evidence of water within the last 7 years is a big jump from “maybe there was water here millions of years ago.”
They did actually find it, except that the evidence is aeons old. Now they’ve found compelling evidence that water flowed on the surface of Mars within the last decade. That is absolutely worth getting excited over.
So somebody fill me in on why water is such a great discovery. Doesn’t that just mean a presence of hyrogen and oxygen? Or are they taking the next gigantic leap of thinking “where there is water, there must be life!”???
SETI answers you Hampshire. In a nutshell: since we are water-based life, we know for certain that water-based life is possible. Some other basis for life might be possible only theoretically.
The long answer involves the need for a solvent to sustain life, if for no other reason than to act as a transport mechanism for biology and water-based is the kind we know about.(Italics not exact quotes but closer than paraphrasing)
I drank the cool-aid on this I was ready for it. To me, it is a different idea that water may have flowed on Mars in the time of the Dinosaurs vs. in the time of Bush or Clinton.
The excitement is also fueled by a better understanding of how hardy life is and how well it can exploit harsh environments. Findings here on earth suggest that you just can’t stop the stuff. Life appears in sea vents and deep below ground and in Antarctic ice. Where people once believed that life was rather fragile and required specific conditions to exist at all, now it appears that it can make do with whatever is available given some very basic raw material of which one of the big ones is water. If this is true, the money bet becomes that there is some type of life on Mars if we can figure out how to find it and identify it.
(This is also good news for any future Mars bases as well).
I think our former Vice President Dan Quayle put it best: Mars is somewhat the same distance from the Sun, which is very important. We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water. If there is water, that means there is oxygen. If there is oxygen, then we can breathe.