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Cape York - Northern Havens, Sol 2780 - 2947
sgendreau
post Dec 8 2011, 01:16 AM
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@#$%^! I wasn't where I could listen, and now that I am, they've taken the webcast down.

Did anyone tape it?
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Matt Lenda
post Dec 8 2011, 02:42 AM
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Woohoo! I can finally talk about the gypsum! Been sitting on it since the day we got the first APXS data down from Homestake.

QUOTE (Stu @ Dec 7 2011, 04:04 PM) *
Basically KK asked if SS could give a complete, drive by drive rundown of Oppy's plans from now until January, and SS rightly said "no", cos, I mean, how the (insert own choice of word here) could he *know* that?

I mean, right? We didn't even know we'd stop at Homestake until the day we did. Tactical operations on MER is literally day to day with some kinda strategic magic wrapped it.

(Plus, literally down to the command level, MER's sequence execution is event-driven and less deterministic than that of, say, an orbiter. We let the rover make a lot of decisions!)

-m
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Mongo
post Dec 8 2011, 03:07 AM
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NASA Mars Rover Finds Mineral Vein Deposited by Water

Wow! This is AMAZING. The discovery of a vein of gypsum has to be one of the very top-ranked mineralogical discoveries made by either of the MER rovers.

So where does this rate among areologists, compared to the numerous other MER discoveries? I'm guessing top three for sure and maybe number one myself, but I am no expert.
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brellis
post Dec 8 2011, 04:03 AM
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Looking forward to Emily's report on this one: Strong New Evidence of ancient water on Mars
QUOTE
After nearly eight years exploring the surface of Mars with the robot rover Opportunity, scientists announced Wednesday they have found "the single most powerful piece of evidence" yet that water once flowed abundantly on the Martian surface.

It must have gushed through underground fractures on the planet billions of years ago, they said, and as the water flowed, it formed a broad range of minerals that the rover has recently discovered near the edge of a crater that Opportunity has just begun exploring.

Led by Steven Squyres of Cornell University, the Mars mission scientists reported their latest findings from Opportunity's 20-mile journey at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

In the course of its travels across the crater-pocked terrain of Mars' southern hemisphere - with many stops to investigate promising sites - Opportunity has already found iron and magnesium minerals that on Earth are known to form in water. But to Squyres and his colleagues, discovering the mineral calcium sulfate - gypsum, as it's most commonly known on Earth - makes it a "slam dunk case" for water.
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Explorer1
post Dec 8 2011, 05:08 AM
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Will Oppy's discoveries never cease....
One more for the drinking game?
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Guest_Oersted_*
post Dec 8 2011, 11:27 AM
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Guests






Nice write-up on MSNBC.com:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45587940/ns/te...e/#.TuCauGMr2nA

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After analyzing the vein with Opportunity's cameras and X-ray spectrometer last month, researchers concluded that it is gypsum, a hydrated calcium sulfate that on Earth is used to make drywall and plaster of Paris. The vein likely formed right where Opportunity found it, researchers said.
"There was a fracture in the rock, water flowed through it, gypsum was precipitated from the water. End of story," Squyres said. "There's no ambiguity about this, and this is what makes it so cool."
...
Both Spirit and Opportunity have found other good evidence of water activity on ancient Mars, including signs of hydrothermal systems. But the new discovery at Endeavour Crater is particularly convincing and compelling, researchers said.
"Here, both the chemistry, mineralogy, and the morphology just scream water," Squyres said. "This is more solid than anything else that we've seen in the whole mission."
----------
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eoincampbell
post Dec 8 2011, 03:56 PM
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Sheetrock for your Martian dwelling! smile.gif


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'She drove until the wheels fell off...'
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fredk
post Dec 8 2011, 04:09 PM
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As promised, there's a post-conference PS update with lots of quotes.
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Marz
post Dec 8 2011, 04:32 PM
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A few questions about Homestake:

1. the vein "likely formed where Opportunity found it", so was this fracture formed by the impact of Endeavor, or is Homestake more ancient than Endeavor and exhumed when the crater rims were formed?

2. iron pyrite (FeS2) is often found along with gypsum, so I was wondering if anything like it has been seen in the vicinity of Homestake?

3. I think gypsum can retain bubbles/pockets of the original water it precipitated from. What are the odds that a gypsum deposit a billion years old could retain a water sample, and would that be a holy-grail sample return in terms of characterizing the history of water on mars?
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john_s
post Dec 8 2011, 07:13 PM
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Good questions. For question 1), I don't think we know whether the breccias of Cape York are Endeavour impact breccia, or are breccias from earlier impacts, uplifted at the rim by the Endeavour impact. Cape Tribulation, with its much greater vertical extent, might have the answers. Either way, Homestake might be an example of post-impact hydrothermal circulation driven by heating from the Endeavour impact, an example of a process that has been modeled by several people over the years because it provides a possible warm wet oasis in early Mars history.

John
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walfy
post Dec 8 2011, 07:45 PM
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Managed to tease out this 3D of Boesmanskop close-up, from Sol 2798.

Attached Image
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vikingmars
post Dec 8 2011, 09:20 PM
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QUOTE (Oersted @ Dec 8 2011, 12:27 PM) *
"...hydrated calcium sulfate that on Earth is used to make drywall and plaster of Paris..."

Here you are : gypsum ...and coming from our Museum of Plaster close to Paris.
So... my home is made of Mars rocks ! laugh.gif
Attached Image
Attached Image

http://fr.topic-topos.com/cristal-de-gypse...lles-en-parisis
http://www.ecomateriaux.net/%C3%A9co-mat%C3%A9riaux/gypse
http://www.ammonite-niort.com/gypse-fer-de...7167d7e59a92045
http://fr.topic-topos.com/gypse-en-macle-d...reuil-les-meaux
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ngunn
post Dec 9 2011, 12:02 AM
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Gypsum is so soft, how can it make upstanding veins?
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Floyd
post Dec 9 2011, 01:36 AM
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Crystaline gypsum is a lot differnt from plasterboard. Think of the crystals in the Mexican cave...


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Floyd
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nprev
post Dec 9 2011, 02:01 AM
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This is a VERY significant finding, obviously, but let's remember that all that's been apparently found is, well, some gypsum.

Extremely cool in its own right, of course. smile.gif


--------------------
A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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