These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, corroborating their original hypothesis that the streaks are indeed formed by liquid water. The blue color seen upslope of the dark streaks are thought not to be related to their formation, but instead are from the presence of the mineral pyroxene. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (Infrared-Red-Blue/Green(IRB)) false color image (ESP_030570_1440) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site produced by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (University of Arizona). Vertical exaggeration is 1.5.
New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars.
Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.
“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water -- albeit briny -- is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”
These downhill flows, known as recurring slope lineae (RSL), often have been described as possibly related to liquid water. The new findings of hydrated salts on the slopes point to what that relationship may be to these dark features. The hydrated salts would lower the freezing point of a liquid brine, just as salt on roads here on Earth causes ice and snow to melt more rapidly. Scientists say it’s likely a shallow subsurface flow, with enough water wicking to the surface to explain the darkening.
Dark narrow streaks called recurring slope lineae emanating out of the walls of Garni crater on Mars. The dark streaks here are up to few hundred meters in length. They are hypothesized to be formed by flow of briny liquid water on Mars. The image is produced by draping an orthorectified (RED) image (ESP_031059_1685) on a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the same site produced by High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (University of Arizona). Vertical exaggeration is 1.5.
"We found the hydrated salts only when the seasonal features were widest, which suggests that either the dark streaks themselves or a process that forms them is the source of the hydration. In either case, the detection of hydrated salts on these slopes means that water plays a vital role in the formation of these streaks," said Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, lead author of a report on these findings published Sept. 28 by Nature Geoscience.
Ojha first noticed these puzzling features as a University of Arizona undergraduate student in 2010, using images from the MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). HiRISE observations now have documented RSL at dozens of sites on Mars. The new study pairs HiRISE observations with mineral mapping by MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM).
The spectrometer observations show signatures of hydrated salts at multiple RSL locations, but only when the dark features were relatively wide. When the researchers looked at the same locations and RSL weren't as extensive, they detected no hydrated salt.
Ojha and his co-authors interpret the spectral signatures as caused by hydrated minerals called perchlorates. The hydrated salts most consistent with the chemical signatures are likely a mixture of magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate. Some perchlorates have been shown to keep liquids from freezing even when conditions are as cold as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 Celsius). On Earth, naturally produced perchlorates are concentrated in deserts, and some types of perchlorates can be used as rocket propellant.
Perchlorates have previously been seen on Mars. NASA's Phoenix lander and Curiosity rover both found them in the planet's soil, and some scientists believe that the Viking missions in the 1970s measured signatures of these salts. However, this study of RSL detected perchlorates, now in hydrated form, in different areas than those explored by the landers. This also is the first time perchlorates have been identified from orbit.
MRO has been examining Mars since 2006 with its six science instruments.
"The ability of MRO to observe for multiple Mars years with a payload able to see the fine detail of these features has enabled findings such as these: first identifying the puzzling seasonal streaks and now making a big step towards explaining what they are," said Rich Zurek, MRO project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
For Ojha, the new findings are more proof that the mysterious lines he first saw darkening Martian slopes five years ago are, indeed, present-day water.
"When most people talk about water on Mars, they're usually talking about ancient water or frozen water," he said. "Now we know there’s more to the story. This is the first spectral detection that unambiguously supports our liquid water-formation hypotheses for RSL."
The discovery is the latest of many breakthroughs by NASA’s Mars missions.
“It took multiple spacecraft over several years to solve this mystery, and now we know there is liquid water on the surface of this cold, desert planet,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “It seems that the more we study Mars, the more we learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future.”
This animation simulates a fly-around look at one of the places on Mars where dark streaks advance down slopes during warm seasons, possibly involving liquid water. This site is within Hale Crater. The streaks are roughly the length of a football field.
There are eight co-authors of the Nature Geoscience paper, including Mary Beth Wilhelm at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California and Georgia Tech; CRISM Principal Investigator Scott Murchie of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland; and HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson, Arizona. Others are at Georgia Tech, the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique in Nantes, France.
The agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin built the orbiter and collaborates with JPL to operate it.
More information about NASA's journey to Mars is available online at:
Javier Hernández, Chicharito, no dedicó el domingo a descansar. Tuvo trabajo extra. Sólo disputar quince minutos contra el Werder Bremen le obligó a un entrenamiento intensivo. Llega con retraso a la cita con MARCA y pide las disculpas correspondientes.
Pregunta. ¿Cómo le trata la vida por Alemania? Respuesta. Bien, muy bien. Muy contento. Siempre he vivido y huido de las comparaciones. Desde que nací, que me comparaban con mi padre y mi abuelo, 'el hijo de', 'el nieto de'... Las comparaciones en mi familia no gustan. Quiero sacar el mayor provecho. He firmado tres años y quiero aprender y disfrutar.
P. ¿Le incomoda haber tenido que cambiar de club dos años seguidos en el último día de mercado? R. En la vida todo el mundo busca estabilidad, pero también la vida es renovarse o morir. Estoy muy contento con los cambios. La vida son cambios. Que me incomode o no, ya no me interesa. Ya sucedieron. Ahora adaptarme y darlo todo como en todos los sitios que he estado y también en la selección.
P. ¿Le ha dado tiempo a darse cuenta qué tiene la Bundesliga que no tenían la Liga o la Premier? R. Es comparar otra vez. Igual. Es para que diga si la Liga tiene esto, pero la Premier, no. Son, culturas, países, idiomas distintos. Diferentes formas de manejar los Campeonatos. Es obvio. Las cuatro Ligas que he jugado, no me olvido de la mexicana, son grandes. Siento que ésta tiene un gran nivel. Y valoro mucho el interés que este gran club tuvo en mí y estoy aquí para disfrutarlo.
"Jugaremos contra el Barça con la misma idea que si estuviera Messi"
P. El sábado, cuando se enteró de que se había lesionado Messi ¿qué es lo primero que pensó? R. La salud es lo más importante. En la vida y en cualquier profesión lo que más queremos todos es estar saludables. Mala suerte, pensé. Siempre es malo que se lesione un jugador. No puede ser bueno alegrarse de ninguna lesión. Ver a un ser humano sufrir no es agradable nunca. Uno no se puede alegrar. La salud es lo más importante en la vida.
P. ¿Cambia la vida encontrarse un Barça sin Messi? R. Esa pregunta es para el entrenador. Yo, si juego, haré lo que diga el entrenador. Sabemos que son los vigentes campeones. Claro que puede influir su ausencia, dada su capacidad y lo que representa. Todo el mundo sabe quién es Messi. Lo han dicho Luis Enrique y sus compañeros. No soy yo quien debe responder a eso, ni tenga que decirlo. Nosotros vamos a ir con la misma idea. Sabiendo que somos once contra once, que estaremos en su casa, pero que tenemos nuestras posibilidades de lograr algo importante.
P. Pero el partido puede estar más abierto... R. Todo el mundo sabe lo que es cuando no tienes en la cancha un jugador como Messi. Al rival le puede ayudar que no esté, pero también le puede afectar que esté.. Repito. Hay que ser respetuoso. No puedo alegrarme de su lesión. Vamos a jugar Bayer contra Barça. Los once iniciales que los entrenadores metan serán los mejores, y habrá otros diez jugadores para apoyar igual
"En el Madrid no fue todo de color de rosa, hubo seis meses y seis meses"
P. Desde el punto de vista del rival, ¿qué equipo es más difícil de ganar el Madrid o el Barça? R. Todos los equipos de la Champions son igual de complicados de ganar... No soy entrenador, soy jugador. Son estilos diferentes pero el grado de dificultad es el mismo. Ahorita no pienso en el Madrid. No puedo compararlo. Me preocupan el Barça, la Roma y el Bate, que están en mi grupo.
P. 22 de abril de 2015. ¿Qué pasó ese día? R. No lo sé. ¿Qué pasó?
P. Que marcó el gol al Atlético en el Bernabéu que supuso el pase del Madrid a las semifinales de la Champions. R. Ese partido no lo olvidaré nunca. Un partido muy bonito para todos los madridistas en general y para mí en especial.
"En mi vida no me arrepiento de nada, no existe, de todo he aprendido"
P. Esa noche quiso dejar bien claro que no se consideraba ningún héroe. R. Es mi manera de ser.
P. ¿El pasado fue el año más difícil de su carrera? R. Todos los años son difíciles y el presente también. Y también los más bonitos porque aprendo muchísimo de lo bueno y de lo malo.
P. La temporada pasada, el 30 de marzo se quejó estando con su selección de que estaba trabajando muchísimo en el Madrid y que no jugaba nada, que no obtenía ninguna recompensa. ¿Se arrepiente de no haberse quejado antes? A partir de ese momento comenzó a entrar más en el equipo. R. Lo dije en ese momento porque no me habían preguntado antes cómo me sentía por no jugar. Ese periodista de Fox preguntó y yo contesté. Si digo que sin jugar iba a estar contento, me tendría que retirar de esta profesión. Coincidió, pero regresé al Madrid y tampoco jugué. Esas declaraciones no creo que tuvieran incidencia en que empezara a jugar. Jugué cuando, lamentablemente, se lastimaron dos jugadores.
"En mi cabeza nunca estuvo que se lesionara alguien para jugar yo"
P. ¿Es duro tener que esperar la lesión de un compañero para jugar? R. Sí es duro, pero en mi cabeza nunca ha estado que se tiene que lesionar alguien para que yo juegue. Lo malo es no jugar. En nuestra profesión siempre hay una espera. Y la espera es lo más difícil. En una profesión cuando trabajas sabes si lo haces bien o mal, pero si no juegas no sabes si lo haces bien o mal. Te entrenas, estás con el equipo, pero no haces nada. No participas, no eres parte importante. Eso es difícil.
P. ¿Mantiene contacto con sus amigos del Madrid? R. Sí claro, con Keylor, Luka, Sergio... Nos llamamos. Todavía no he tenido tiempo de ir a Madrid con tanto viaje.
P. ¿Lo pasó mal por Keylor ese día 31 de agosto? R. Sí claro, lo pasé mal por Keylor y por David, que es amigo de tres años en el Manchester. Lo pasé mal por los dos. Estoy al tanto de lo que Keylor ha dicho pero no estoy en posición de meterme a hablar para que luego saquen cosas de lo que yo dije que así se sintió Keylor. Keylor habla de cómo se sintió. A mí, como amigo, ellos me han hecho saber cómo fue. Es una situación difícil indistintamente de que el final fuera feliz para los dos y estén ambos muy contentos.
P. ¿Le dio tiempo en una temporada para comprender la magnitud que tiene el Real Madrid? R. Pues no lo sé. Lo que viví y sentí no sé si es la mayor magnitud o la magnitud exacta. A lo mejor se lo pueden responder las leyendas que se han quedado o las leyendas que pasaron por allí. En cuanto a mí se refiere creo que en una semana te das cuenta de la magnitud del club en el mundo y todo lo que conlleva representar esa institución. Yo lo disfruté al máximo y aprendí muchísimo de mis primeros seis meses, en los que hubo cosas malas y también los seis siguientes, en los que hubo cosas mejores. No fue siempre de color de rosa.
P. ¿El Real Madrid le enseñó a tener paciencia, o la ración que ya recibió en Old Traford bastante? R. Toda mi vida he tenido paciencia. Siempre. Una palabra muy arraigada en mi y me la inculcaron toda mi familia.
P. ¿Nunca mira para atrás? R. Ni para agarrar impulso. Ese impulso es saber bien lo que has logrado y recorrido y lo que no hemos hecho bien también. Yo no me arrepiento de nada de lo que he hecho. El arrepentimiento no existe en mi vida. Existe el aprendizaje. Para mi persona todos los años han sido diferentes, pero han sido los mejores en cada momento.
No me gusta amargarme la vida con recuerdos que no puedo arreglar. Lo malo que viví es bueno porque me dio fortaleza y aprendizaje para cuando llegara lo bueno y saber aprovecharlo. Lo malo es bueno. Así es mi forma de ver la vida.
Sudan's hopes of becoming the first-ever country to provide both teams for a final of the CAF Champions League suffered a set-back on the weekend as Al Hilal slumped to a home defeat against an impressiveUSM Alger. The other Sudanese hopefuls, Al Merreikh, fared better, beating four-time champions TP Mazembe 2-1 to maintain their 100 per cent home record in the competition this year to stay on track for a third final appearance.
The second leg of the semi-finals is next week, while the winner of November's two-legged final will represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2015 in December.
Game of the week Al Merreikh 2–1 TP Mazembe Although Al Merreikh have played in the Champions League 21 times before this year, they had very little to show for their efforts, having advanced to the quarter-finals in 1975 and played in the group stage in 2009. On all other occasions, they failed to progress beyond the second round - at least until this year. An unblemished record at home led the Omdurman-based side to the semi-finals for the first time in their history and even four-time champions TP Mazembe proved no match for the Sudanese club. Coached by former Mazembe coach Diego Garzitto, who won the Champions League with the Congo DR club in 2009, Merreikh pushed forward from the start and should have opened the scoring early. Instead, they had to wait until a few minutes from the break when goalkeeper Robert Kidiaba failed to hold on to a long-range effort and punched the ball to the feet of Ghanaian striker Francis Coffie, who had an easy tap-in. The big-spending visitors drew level with 15 minutes to go, when Thomas Ulimwengu was set up by Roger Assale and the Tanzanian international found the back of the net. Any hopes Mazembe had of returning to Lubumbashi with a draw were quashed shortly afterwards as Bakri Al Medina scored his seventh of the campaign to give the home side a well-earned victory.
The other match Having lost just once at home in their six matches in the Champions League this season, Al Hilal must have fancied their chances against USM Alger, also in Omdurman. And things got off to a good start for the home side as they took the lead after just three minutes when Mudathir El-Tahir scored following a mistake by one of the USM Alger defenders. Just four minutes later, Hilal had the ball in the back of the net again, but the goal was disallowed. Instead of going two up, Hilal were back on level terms shortly afterwards when striker Mohamed Aoudia, who joined the Algerian club from FSV Frankfurt in mid year, headed home. A heavy downpour in the second half made conditions difficult for both sides, and it was the visitors who found a second as goalkeeper Loic Feudjou could only parry a ball, which fell at the feet of midfielder Karim Baiteche, who made no mistake. Earlier Brazilian Andrezinho should have put Hilal ahead, but he saw his penalty saved. The 2-1 win sees USM with a major advantage ahead of the return leg in Algeria next week.
Player of the week Going into their first-leg semi-final encounter against TP Mazembe, Al Merreikh had not conceded a single goal at home in the Champions League this season, so the visitors knew that it was always going to be tough to find an important away goal. But they got what they were looking for with 15 minutes to go, when a defence-splitting ball from Côte d'Ivoire international Roger Assale found Thomas Ulimwengu behind his markers. The Tanzanian striker made no mistake to level matters at 1-1 and although Merreikh found a winner a short while later, Ulimwengu's goal could prove decisive in the return leg.
The stat 7 – The number of consecutive games that Al Merreikh have won at home in their 45,000-seater Al Merreikh Stadium. Thomas Ulimwengu was the first player to have found the net against them at home season in a Champions League match, while the Sudanese club have tallied 13. The last club to beat Merreikh at home in the contest was Ugandan team Kampala City Council, who won 2-0 in last year's preliminary round
What they said “There will be a return match in a week, but it's a defeat we must accept. Both sides had plenty of chances, but overall for us it was a bad performance from the start,” TP Mazembe coach Patrice Carteron.
Have your say Can Merreikh or Hilal become the first Sudanese club to win the African title?
As the man they call the Kraftwürfel ('Power Cube'), Zauberzwerg ('Magic Dwarf') or Shaq Attack, Xherdan Shaqiri boasts not only a remarkable array of nicknames but phenomenal skills on the pitch. The Swiss international’s lively and agile play and adept dribbling are known and loved by his country’s football fans, and he has been a key member of coach Vladimir Petkovic’s starting line-up since almost singlehandedly firing Switzerland to the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ with an impressive hat-trick.
By contrast, the 23-year-old has endured a challenging period in his club career in recent years. Although his 2012 move from Basel to Bayern Munich was greeted with much fanfare, he never completely established himself with the German giants. After spending half a season in Italy with Inter Milan, Shaqiri – whose honours during his stint in the Bavarian capital include the UEFA Champions League and three Bundesliga titles – headed for the English Premier League and Stoke City in search of fresh momentum.FIFA.com interviewed the man with 48 caps and 17 goals for his country.
You can now call the Premier League home after spells in the Bundesliga and Serie A. What is it that makes each of these top leagues so strong? Xherdan Shaqiri: The key element in Germany is discipline. The Germans are very focused on playing disciplined football. Football in Italy was very tactically oriented, and now here in England I can sense a real emphasis on attacking play. The football here is tough and spectacular, and I’m enjoying it. Although I’ve only played a few matches in the Premier League so far, I feel I’ve arrived in the best league in the world.
You have played for Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and now Stoke City – but there is no doubt that Stoke have yet to achieve the same level of international recognition as your previous two clubs. What appeals to you most about this new challenge?Yes, although it’s true that Stoke don’t yet have the same kind of international reputation, the club is pursuing ambitious targets. They want to establish themselves in Europe and that’s what tempted me here. Stoke are offering me the opportunity to continue developing both as a player and as a person. Above all I want to play, perfect my game and move forward with the team.
Having featured at the last two FIFA World Cups in 2010 and 2014, you are now a constant presence in Switzerland’s starting line-up and are undoubtedly among the national team’s top performers. What characterises your play and does La Nati’s footballing ethos suit you particularly well?We played great football under Ottmar Hitzfeld. He made the breakthrough by utilising plenty of young players and throwing them in at the deep end; I was one of them. This confidence in youth helped to push Swiss football forward. We’re playing high-quality, attractive and attacking football, and that fits my style perfectly. We’ve succeeded in setting new benchmarks in recent years, with many young players making a name for themselves with exceptional performances not only for the national team but also for their clubs. As a result, many of them have made the leap to the Bundesliga or are playing for other foreign sides.
At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, you and the Nati progressed past the group stage and were only narrowly beaten 1-0 after extra time by eventual runners-up Argentina. What doSwitzerland still need in order to overcome the world’s biggest sides such as Germany, Argentina or Brazil?Yes, the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was an unforgettable experience. We made it to the Round of 16 and were then edged out by big opponents in Argentina, who were aiming to lift the trophy. The match itself was an extremely emotional experience, and we very nearly managed to win it. I would say that it wasn’t luck but efficiency that made the difference. If you want to succeed against teams like Argentina, you have to be able to take advantage of every opportunity you get, no matter how small. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do that and that’s what made the difference. The Argentinians were simply more ruthless and made the most of the chances they got.
Scoring three goals in one match is always special, but how did it feel to bag a hat-trick at the World Cup, the biggest stage of all?The game against Honduras was our third group match in Brazil, and after a 2-1 win over Ecuador and a 5-2 defeat by France it was clear that only a win would be enough to take us to the Round of 16. As players, we were extremely focused at this stage and were always convinced that we could progress to the next phase of the tournament in Manaus. We already knew that the media and others had asked many questions after our resounding loss to the French, but we were determined not to let it drive us crazy and remain focused on our job. Although my hat-trick was probably the most obvious statistic from that match, we showed what we could do as a team. I managed to score three goals because of the excellent support I received. Although the match ball still serves as a reminder of that success, we did the same thing afterwards as we had after losing to the French: forget about it and focus on the challenge ahead. Only by doing that were we able to deliver such a strong performance against Argentina.
Vladimir Petkovic took over from Ottmar Hitzfeld as national team coach after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while first-choice goalkeeper Diego Benaglio also announced his retirement from international football. What changed as a result and how did you deal with it as a team? After all, EURO qualification has gone well for you so far despite some initial difficulties.Yes, there were some changes. A couple of players retired and others are no longer part of the squad. The core has remained the same but a couple of new young players have come in as well. We’re fortunate inSwitzerland that many promising youngsters are already playing in the Super League or have made their breakthrough at foreign clubs. These players have integrated perfectly; they not only play great football but also have personalities that fit with the team. That, combined with a new coach who has been trying out a few things, has sustained our national team’s success, and I think that’s apparent in the current EURO qualification campaign.
Looking ahead to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, what do you think the team can achieve? Will they qualify again and could they even top their 2014 result?Every team wants to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, including Switzerland, but there’s still a long way to go. EURO 2016 in France is currently our main focus. In any case, our aim is to qualify for every tournament and I’m very confident about our chances. We’ve shown in the past that we can do it. We’ve got a great mix of experience and youth in our team - a team that can still bring plenty of joy to the Swiss fans.
If you believe the ratings in the EA Sports game FIFA 15, then your strengths are acceleration (92), dribbling (86) and shot power (84), while defending (57) and heading (37) are among your weaknesses. Would you agree with that? (laughs) Yes, I’d already noticed that! It’s definitely true that my strengths are dribbling, shooting power and acceleration, and yes, heading is one of my weaknesses – but I’d give myself a higher score for defending.