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NASA To Reveal New Evidence For Water On Mars
Washington - June 20, 2000 -

MOC image 7707 (above) shows a portion of the wall and floor of an ancient impact crater in the southern cratered terrain of Noachis Terra. The MOC image reveals v-shaped depressions on the crater wall that are characteristic of water seepage from an underground layer that is exposed in the crater walls. The image also shows a smooth, dark surface on the crater floor that might be interpreted as the remains of a pond or lake. There are two types of dark surfaces on the floor of this 50 kilometer (31 miles) diameter crater, located at 65�S, 15�W. One dark surface shows a rippled texture and is known from Viking images to be a field of windblown dunes. The other is a relatively smooth surface with "islands" of bright material within it. The boundary between the dark floor materials and the lighter materials of the crater wall suggests, by the formation of bays and peninsulas, a "ponding" relationship.
  • Orginal image release with additional supporting links
  • Additional water related MGS images
  • NASA is expected to make an announcement Thursday concerning an important new discovery from data collected by the Mars Global Surveyor currently in orbit about Mars.

    Speculation on the Internet has been running wild since late Monday when word came of a special White House briefing by NASA of something new that has been found on Mars.

    After discounting the usual wild ideas of winking faces and what not, the money appears to be on some sort of discovery relating to water at a low point in the Valles Marineris where the atmospheric pressure of Mars may be high enough to allow standing water.

    Meanwhile, NASA Watch is reporting that a paper is under preparation by members of the MGS Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) team for submission to Science magazine. NASA Watch further reports "Informed sources within NASA suggest that the article may be concerned with water ice and the Valles Marineris region of Mars."

    Additional speculation has focused on outgassing or volcanic processes being observed over an extended period. Although Mars still has the potential for volcanic activity the planet is largely cooled with only occasional eruptions.

    Click for orginal fullscale viking image of floodway and sinkholes Does Mars Leak
    by Johann Helgason
    Reykjavik - June 10, 2000 - It is generally accepted that early in its history immense floods of water resulted in substantial erosional landforms being created across Mars. However, what happened to this water remains a mystery.

    Possible Mars Shoreline Found
     Providence - December 9, 1999 - In an article to be published in Science magazine Dec. 10, 1999, Brown University planetary geologist James Head and five colleagues present topographical measurements which they say are consistent with an ocean that dried up hundreds of millions of years ago. The measurements were taken by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter, an instrument aboard the unmanned spacecraft Mars Global Surveyor which is circling the planet.

    Surveyor Finds No Trace Of Ancient Oceans On Mars
    San Diego - October 1, 1999 - MCO mission patch - wishful thinking? After extensive imaging surveys via the Mars Global Surveyor now in orbit of possible shorelines previously identified by Viking, the conclusion of scientists at Malin Space Science Systems and JPL is that Mars probably never had a large body of liquid water - constituting an ocean - in the low lands of the Martian northern hemisphere.

    Iowa Looks To Mars For Water
    Iowa City - September 8, 1999 - a long time ago University of Iowa professor and space physicist Don Gurnett has won a $4 million NASA contract in collaboration with JPL to develop and use radar in a search for underground water on Mars. The UI investigation is part of an international project aboard the European Space Agency's (ESA) Mars Express spacecraft scheduled for launch in 2003. Formally known as Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS), the joint Italian-U.S. project includes the University of Rome and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Co-Investigator Gurnett at the University of Iowa.

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