Gamma-Rays Illuminate Massive Martian Oceans

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Thanks to the Mars Odyssey orbiter, there’s another drop of evidence that part of Mars was once covered in water.

Scientists looked at data gathered with Odyssey’s Gamma Ray Spectrometer from what is believed to be an ancient shoreline on Mars. The hypothesis was that the ancient shorelines—if they indeed were shorelines—would show higher levels of the elements potassium, thorium, and iron than would higher areas. This is because the water cycle would have carried such elements “downstream” until they eventually precipitated near the shore.

Scientists found areas enriched with the minerals.

Indeed, scientists found areas enriched with the minerals, which they consider evidence of such ancient shorelines. In particular, it appears there was one ocean about 10 times larger than the Mediterranean Sea, along with another about twice as large as the first that would have covered a third of Mars by itself.

One problem inherent in the study is that scientists can’t be sure exactly where shorelines would have been, since Martian oceans would have been different than those on Earth—they likely would have lacked tides (because of Mars’s smaller moons) and perhaps waves (because they may have been ice-covered).

As we’ve frequently pointed out, it is curious that secular scientists are quite ready to believe Mars was once covered with surface water, despite the lack of liquid water there today; yet they refuse to accept evidence for a global flood on Earth, which is mostly covered with water to this day. But a sentence in the press release for this news story gives us one clue for the disparity: “Scientists are driven to understand how and when water existed on Mars because water is critical to life.” Thus, as we already knew, evolution is the linchpin behind the continuing search for water—past or present—on Mars.

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