News and commentary about the Great Frontiers

ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) --- This view of Earth's horizon as the sunsets over the Pacific Ocean was taken by an Expedition 7 crewmember onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Anvil tops of thunderclouds are also visible. Credit: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Image Credit: ISS007-E-10807 (21 July 2003) – Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Mars – Liquid Water on Surface in Distant Past



How beautiful the view is now…how beautiful it must have been then. NASA announced yesterday evidence from its Opportunity Rover of a salty sea in the distant past. The evidence is quite compelling. Even though the current rovers are not best equipped to look for signs of ancient and current life, scientists admitted that if they were looking for fossils, Eagle Crater would be a great place to start.

Opportunity is expected to move on to a much larger crater that may hold even more data to help determine when the ancient sea existed, how large it was, and how long it lasted. The Mars Exploration Rover Mission site is spectacular, and according to NASA it has received more than 9 billion hits to date since the mission began.

Image mosaic from Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity of panoramic view of crater where rover was exploring after arrival in late January 2004
Image Caption: “This image mosaic, compiled from navigation and panoramic camera images during the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity’s 33rd, 35th, and 36th sols on Mars, shows a panoramic view of the crater where the rover had been exploring since its dramatic arrival in late January 2004. The crater, now informally referred to as “Eagle Crater,” is approximately 22 meters (72 feet) in diameter. Opportunity’s lander is visible in the center of the image. Track marks reveal the rover’s progress. The rover cameras recorded this view as Opportunity climbed close to the crater rim as part of a soil survey campaign.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell
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