Reasons to Believe

Martian Geology

TNRTB Archive - Retained for reference information

In a series of 12 peer-reviewed articles the August 6 edition of Science contravenes almost all of the media hype about NASA’s Mars Rovers finding evidence for an abundance of water and chemical evidence for past life. The articles report that instruments on board the Spirit Rover find no evidence to support the claim that Gusev Crater is the site of a former lake, establish that the dominant geologic processes on Mars are physical (meteoritic impact events and dust storms) rather than chemical, determine that the dominant Martian lithology is basalt, and that aqueous alteration of the Martian surface and crust, if it has ever existed at all, was minor and intermittent. The Spirit Rover uncovered more evidence showing that the early, wet episode on Mars 3.8 to 4.0 billion years ago when the late heavy bombardment was delivering huge amounts of cometary ice to Mars was an epoch when sulfuric acid in volcanic emissions would have quickly reacted with water to form sulfate salts. The Spirit Rover also found that the amount of sunlight blocked out by dust in the Martian atmosphere from January to May, 2004 varied from 50 to 90 percent of the Sun’s light. Spirit determined that Martian dust grains vary in size from 0.001 to 3.0 millimeters and that the Martian surface as a result of dust storms is continuously being buried and exhumed by dust layers ranging from 5 to 60 centimeters deep. The bottom line is that planetary scientists now conclude that Mars is far more inhospitable for life than previously thought and Earth is recognized as being much more exquisitely fine-tuned for life than previously thought. 

·         S. W. Squyres, et al, “The Spirit Rover’s Athena Science Investigation at Gusev Crater, Mars.” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 794-799.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/794

·         J. F. Bell, II, et al, “Pancam Multispectral Imaging Results from the Spirit Rover at Gusev Crater,” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 800-806.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/800

·         J. A. Grant, et al, “Surficial Deposits at Gusev Crater Along Spirit Rover Traverses,” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 807-810.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/807

·         R. Greeley, et al, “Wind-Related Processes Detected by the Spirit Rover at Gusev Crater, Mars,” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 810-821.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/810

·         K. E. Herkenhoff, et al, “Textures of the Soils and Rocks at Gusev Crater from Spirit’s Microscopic Imager,” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 824-826.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/824

·         R. Gellert, et al, “Chemistry of Rocks and Soils in Gusev Crater from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer, Science, 305 (2004), pp. 829-832.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/829

·         P. R. Christensen, et al, “Initial Results from the Mini-RBS Experiment in Gusev Crater from the Spirit Rover,” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 837-842.

·         http:// cgi/content/abstract/305/5685/837

·         Richard A. Kerr, “Rainbow of Martian Minerals Paints Picture of Degradation,” Science, 305 (2004), pp. 770-771.

·         Related Resource:

  • Faint Sun Paradox, by Hugh Ross, Facts for Faith, quarter 3, 2002, issue 10, pp. 26-33.

·         Product Spotlights:

Subjects: Mars

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.