Source Pravda.Ru

First River of Dry Ice Discovered on Mars

It is highly likely that scientists managed for the first time to discover streams of some substance in the Martian canyons. A geologist from the University of Melbourne (Australia), Doctor Nick Hoffman studied the pictures of the Martian surface made from the automatic station Mars Global Surveyor. After the study, the scientist discovered signs of active processes going on in the canyons and in the canals of the planet’s polar areas. Despite the opinions of majority of scientists saying these may be streams of liquid water, Doctor Hoffman is sure the substance is highly likely frozen carbon dioxide. If his words prove true, all attempts of NASA to find liquid water and life on Mars will be useless. In the last issue of the Astrobiology magazine, Doctor Hoffman provided his evidence showing that the Martian flows had no connection with habitual liquid water.

When data obtained with automatic stations were studied, it turned out that when spring comes to Mars, the flows rush along the Martian canyons filled with carbon dioxide ice and snow at the temperature of 130 degrees below zero Celsius. This extremely low temperature may even turn the battery acid into a stone cobble. Water cannot flow under such temperature conditions, which means that the Martian streams are highly likely the streams of carbon dioxide. However, it is impossible that liquid carbon dioxide may exist on Mars; it transforms from its solid state into the gaseous one. To all appearances, the Martian streams are landslides or avalanches of boiling dry ice that may also contain sand, dust and stones. Doctor Hoffman says that the discovery will dispel all illusions concerning life being on Mars. “If the mechanism of formation of all new canyons is the same everywhere on Mars, it means that no life, so actively searched for by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, can exist in the planet’s near-surface layers. No life is possible without water in its liquid state. And despite the numerous reports saying that large supplies of water ice were found on Mars, NASA still fails to discover liquid water there.”

According to Doctor Hoffman, the discovery of active streams on Mars is an epoch-making event by itself, as Mars was traditionally believed as absolutely motionless, with the exception of dust storms. The Martian canyons are considered to be the highly likely places where streams of liquid water can be found in these days. Majority of NASA specialists focus on the search of mechanisms that might explain how the streams appear under the influence of ablation. However, nobody ever managed to see the canyons running.

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://science.pravda.ru/science/2003/6/20/56/5363_Mars.html

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