Thursday, August 04, 2011

Mars Water Today


(2-minute video from JPL) Repeated observations with the HiRise camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have found these changing gully-like features, probably formed by liquid water flowing today. These features appear and disappear seasonally like stream beds. The water would likely be briny, leading to a lower freezing point. On Earth we often see life in briny water. Creatures like the common brine shrimp can even lie dormant for long periods when water runs dry. Recently researchers at California's Mono Lake claimed to find evidence of microbes that use alkali in their chemistry. The evidence for life on Mars continues to gather.

Our research on Martian meteorites shows signs of fossil life nearly 4 billion years old. Old theories of astrophysics claim that the Sun at this time was barely 75 percent as bright, so Earth and Mars would have been frozen solid. Evidence from both planets indicates flowing water billions of years ago. The Sun converts its fuel to energy according to E=mc^2. Because the speed of light was higher in the distant past, solar luminosity is calculated to be almost exactly today's value. If c had not changed in the amounts predicted, life would not have evolved on Earth. Evidence for "c change" is also gathering.

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