News FocusFALL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, 14–18 DECEMBER 2009, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

Flows on Mars But No Water

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Science  22 Jan 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5964, pp. 408
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5964.408-a

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Summary

Researchers operating the next-generation camera orbiting Mars have found eight more of the steep gullies where it looks as if water recently gushed downhill. But the timing and geographic distribution of the flows point not to liquid water but to bone-dry flows of debris somehow facilitated by a ground frosting of frozen carbon dioxide, they announced at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The dry explanation came in back-to-back talks at the meeting by planetary scientists who had looked at images taken from orbit during the past 9 years (4.5 martian years), including those from the HiRISE camera on board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.