REMS measures temperature of 3.7C

In a barely noticed press release, the MSL weather statiosn REMS, although damaged, is taking some interesting measuremenets, as reported by BBC:

These measurements include a temperature range of -75 - +3.7 C. At 3.7 C, Water is stable in a liquid form down to about 6 millibars of pressure.

I'm not sure where the raw data can be found, but I'm sure REMS is also collecting barometric pressure. In Gale crater it should be around 10 millibars.

In other words, liquid water CAN exist at Gale crater, in the surface conditions that are there now.

Does anyone else think this is the most exciting discovery by MSL, maybe even more exciting than shooting a rock with a "laser beam"?


Yes; r_lewis I thought it was excellent news. entirely predictable but excellent. Now looking forward to the NASA press conference releases in a few months time. This time about current water, not ancient water.


Possibly this image of Curiosity at the landing site, with a direct path somewhat worn and the surface eroded from the landing towards the East pits and depressions which show serious loss of material, or compaction and alteration, can be assigned not to a hot melt but rather to a cooler liquid mix of some type?

The flow is just above the altered inset of the path in reduced size. Some of the margins are rather shallow and not easy to see, even with an altered color image.

Is this a water trough, or, is it a former flow with water erosion over the millennia?



To see this in full size the image must be downloaded and run in a image editor or Windows viewer at 'full size'.


The new Mars may be an item of history.
I appreciate your years of efforts in finding this just as you explained the subject in the early MER landing years.

This is a recent pdf on the subject of liquid brines on Mars:


Water ice is known to exist on Mars, but the presence of pure liquid water is inhibited by the planet's low temperature and pressure. However, the Phoenix Mars Lander discovered perchlorate salts on Mars capable of depressing the freezing temperature and the water vapor pressure enough to form liquid brines. Since the Phoenix Lander's findings, independent results suggesting the presence of liquid brines on Mars has been mounting.



marsman, this might be of interest as well:

"It is not surprising that Mg-perchlorate behave as the most hygroscopic salt of this selection. As seen from the
isotherm measurements, the perchlorate starts hydration already at RH

Thanks, MPJ! I definitely appreciate the post.



Sorry for the double post. I'm not yet used to the blog post response changes.



Is there an understanding or research support data for salts as being actively positioned on the measurable surface as a direct product of the transition of surface frost and ice in interaction?
I understand the presence of the altered(salts) chemistry as occurring in obvious encirclement of the high latitude circumpolar zone in the North, and flat depressed plains type occurrences at areas in the far south latitudes as discontinuous locales of salt crust estimates from satellite imaging.
As I understand, we are not yet capable until this rover instrumentation of being able to find the presence of salts actually forming a molecular assembly of liquid water with salts in a solution, versus, the simple presence of the salts and close-by presence of lodes and concentration spots of ice/frost in solid form.
Is the connection discernible from spectrum analysis beyond speculation? I imagine the testing would require specific hand separation of concentrated masses of solid crystalline water ice melted to analyze the salt chems in the subsequent solution.
As I remember there was a pH test and another(conductivity?) as an indicator of frost-ice melt in the soil for Phoenix?
Related suggestions at this link,

My apologies to marsman as some of my questions are partly answered by his post link.

You all have been helpful before and I hope you can help again. Does anyone know where we can find the surface temperature measurements? The only one released so far to my knowledge had a peak at 37 F which would really spark some interest - it's warm enough to really smash the "cold dead" Mars image we've been handed for so long by Sagan and his croonies.

Temperatures on Mars can get up to 70 degrees F near the equator in the summer. My typical complaint at where I live (San Diego, CA) is when the summer temps get above 78 degrees F with 100% humidity.

The Mars Curiosity rover is located about 5 degrees south of the equator at the Gale Crater.

But yes, the Cold Wet Mars view isn't going to hold much weight on a warm damp Mars near the equator during the summer. And this is precisely what will happen if the atmospheric pressure consistently reads above the triple point for water at that location.



I found a link to the pressure variations at Gale Crater as measured by the Curiosity Rover.

The pressure ranges from 690 to 780 pascals each Martian Day. This is above the triple point for pure water at 611 pascals. Water freezes at 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), so anytime the temps are aboe 0 degrees C, water pure water is going to exist as a liquid in that pressure range at 100 % humidity.

So, in the Summer, and at that location, the Mars soil is warm and damp near the surface and cold and damp underneath as a perchlorate brine.

This is probably why we are seeing *mud* sticking on Curi's wheels as it trudges along from one rock to another.

I've been thinking that if NASA wants to do a sample return mission, then maybe they could bring back some of the Mars Spherules and sprinkle them on Mount Rushmore as a possible "test for organics". After all, if they are "just rocks", then they shouldn't grow on anything.

Of course they could always laser zap one of these "wayward pieces of rover material", on site, and "test for organics" there as well, as a possible maintenance check on existing equipment.

Anyway.. Back to the subject at hand..

Perchlorate brines are liquid all the way down to 236 degrees Kelvin (-37 degrees Celsius).

If it turns out that the Mars Bunny is instead an indigenous life form, then it would in all likelyhood obtain nutrition from whatever is growing on the rocks and liquid nurishment from the perchlorate brines in the Martian soil. It would also have to be somewhat like a cockroach as well, since solar radiation and a thin atmosphere wouldn't bother it either. Cockroaches are best killed by squishing them with your foot. And if it is a living thing with a desire for self preservation, then it would hide where it couldn't be squished, too.

So I would say that the "cold dead" Mars point of view is one that may be on its way out for those who are not religiously or philosphically convinced that Mars is a cold dead world.



marsman,,,,,please continue you thoughts/ideas