NASA says Curiosity has stumbled upon clear evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence – images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels – is the first of its kind.
Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream’s flow.
In NASA’s press release dated September 27, 2012, (just hours ago), Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley said “”From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep,”.
“Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it”, says Dietrich.
“A long-flowing stream can be a habitable environment,” said Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. . “It is not our top choice as an environment for preservation of organics, though. We’re still going to Mount Sharp, but this is insurance that we have already found our first potentially habitable environment.”
Founder of ENERFICIENCY in 1999, Douglas Black has analyzed and found positive energy solutions for a variety of projects ranging from low income housing to houses of worship, and from classrooms to courthouses. Mr. Black was certified as a LEED Accredited Professional through the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008, and has served on many non-for-profit boards and committees.
Having more than 30 years experience in the green and sustainable building field, Douglas Black has dedicated the past 20 years to energy efficiency in the built environment.
Mr. Black is a high performance car enthusiast, always with an ear to the pavement for what’s fast and new. He began blogging enerficiency On The Road in 2001, and now continues reporting from Auto Shows and Swap Meets at his Hot Flying Rats! blog – flyingratz.wordpress.com.
Photography is a lifelong passion for Douglas Black, and while not capturing enthusiastic smiles at Wrigley Field he captures moments in the built environment.
And in his spare time, he works on getting that Captains License, expecting to retire on the water one day, taking photos.