back to article NASA probe finds opals in Martian crevices

A NASA space probe orbiting Mars has discovered deposits of opals in the mighty Valles Marineris canyon system* east of Tharsis. Opals aren't valuable enough to justify interplanetary trade, but the discovery is significant as it suggests that liquid water existed on Mars a billion years more recently than had been thought. …


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  1. Outcast
    Thumb Up


    Oh kewl.

    /me gets old Elite traders book out

    New entry

    Mars - Opals = free

    How many hyper jumps from Ross 154 ?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "largest known crevice in the solar system"

    So many jokes there I don't know where to start. You guys spoilt us by dropping that in there at the end of the article.

    Paris because, well, was there any other option?

  3. Steve

    Too good to miss...

    'The "largest known crevice in the solar system", apparently.'

    Are we sure that that title doesn't belong to <insert name of currrently derided celebutard here>?

    No, I've already got me coat, thanks all the same!

  4. Fluffykins Silver badge

    Opals in the crevices eh?

    i knew a girl like that once.

  5. It wasnt me

    Screw the opals

    Theres a pine plantation in the bottom left of that picture.

    That dates liquid water to now.

    This NASA lot, they cant see the wood for the trees. So to speak.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Big girl that Opal


  7. goggyturk

    Where's me mining laser?

    Destination: Sol system

    Description: Feudal / agricultural

    Classification: Mostly Harmless


    Refuelling only possible with scoops. Single space station has no trading facilities and limited accomodation.

  8. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Squirting crevices

    Valles Marineres is indeed the biggest crevice in the solar system, but the tiger-stripes at the south pole of Enceladus squirt geysers of water millions of miles into space. The Cassini probe took some great pictures (and continues to do so in the current series of close fly-bys.) Marineres is as dry as dry as a very dry bone.

    Dr Porco's blog:

  9. LINCARD1000
    Paris Hilton

    @ Fluffykins

    There's a... err... "technical" term for those. They're called 'sootikins'.

    I hate to think about the girls you've known... gross.

  10. Brian

    Largest known crevice

    No - the largest known crevice in the solar system must be the one that swallowed Ross and Brand's sense of decency.

    Luckily, the pair of prats have now been suspended by the BBC, so there's still a spark of common sense at Television Centre.

  11. Chris


    "Milliken is one of NASA's top Martian water-formed gemstone brains, seemingly."?

    Hang on. We've discovered a race of water-formed gemstone brains, from Mars? How come I wasn't told?

    Not only that, but it sounds like more than one of them have somehow managed to get a job at NASA. I would have thought this should be front-page news, not chucked in an aside at the end of an article.

  12. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Largest known crevice

    Oooh, topical.

  13. Mike

    Opals on Mars...

    Am I the only one who read the headline and thought "Wow, google streetview Mars must be on its way"?

    Yes? Ah well, guess the medication's wearing off!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Opals on Mars?

    It's probably Google mapping out the area for Streetview.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If anyone is.........

    going there can they please give me a lift ?. Oh yes all that Opal has got to be worthwhile just cant figure out how can get there.

  16. Rachel

    Ooooh, shiny...

    Martian opals aren't valuable for interplanetary trade until some hyper-rich guy decides that a gem from another planet is the perfect thing for his slightly geeky/nerdy girlfriend's engagement ring... personally, I think one would be pretty cool, aside from the part where it would be freaking expensive and I'd rather have a nice house instead.

  17. Stevie Silver badge

    Not News

    Anyone who reads Ray Bradbury knows that the water disappeared from Mars relatively recently, sometime in the late forties/early fifties.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Nice" house?

    "Nice" small subtropical nation, more like... :) Or "nice" roccocco palace in the Vatican with very pretty ceilings...

  19. Outcast
    Paris Hilton

    @ Rachel

    Is Mark Shuttleworth single ? He's certainly wealthy enough and think of the advertising coup.

    Paris.. Coz she might want to build a hotel there in preparation.

  20. RKP

    That means it'sours

    Well since Mars and Australia both produce Opals - it stands to reason that Mars belongs to Australia.

    The question now is, how soon can someone get up there and put an aussie flag on it for us?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    screw all the funny comments

    I would love to be up there studying teh geology. when can i get my ticket (as long as i don't have to get probed by TSA)?

  22. Fozzy

    I knew it

    I thought I saw a rusted out old holden ute in the picture. So let me be the first to claim this new planet in the name of all Austra.... Ah can't be arsed hand us another tinnie will ya.

  23. Ian

    Becoming Australian

    You cheeky bastards.

    What next... we'll be sending the Earth's criminals to Mars, thus displacing its natural inhabitants (?!?!), a big mining boom will occur and eventually Mars will be left with the best intergalactic cricket team in the universe?

  24. mr.K

    ah, two billion years

    Two billion years ago, it feels just like yesterday, and we thought it was three. Stupid are we.

    By the way, forget about mining for opals. Since it has such a resemblance to Australia, have anybody thought of using it as a penal colony?

    The coat? Why brake a habit, I say.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    @That means it'sours

    > The question now is, how soon can someone get up there and put an aussie flag on it for us?

    Didn't the USA put their flag on the moon? Does this mean the USA owns the moon? Given the strict laws around border / territorial waters, I doubt the UN would recognize any National claim on the Moon and Mars (or any other celestial body for that matter).

    It's much more likely that Mars will be claimed by a Corporation (preferably not the Terran Hansiatic League).

  26. james newcombe

    Opal Fruits?

    They're called Starburst now... Tsk, Martians are so behind the times

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