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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Opals on Mars

Grab those picks and shovels, Mars may have regions covered in opals if recent images from JPL's HiRise camera are confirmed. [caption id="attachment_7158" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Potential opal deposits on Mars (credit: JPL/NASA)"][/caption] Even if the rocks don't turn out to be those fiery, iridescent gemstones, the JPL image is a beauty. WHB
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Follow the water

With economic woes taking away attention, it's not hard to understand why a major scientific discovery would slip under the radar. However, researchers at JPL and NASA have announced the best evidence yet that liquid water currently exists on Mars. On south-facing crater walls near the Martian equator, their evidence shows that a salty brine seeps down slopes in summer. This time-lapse series of graphics show one location where water has been seen by the orbiting HiRise ...
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Channeling O'Keefe

Georgia O'Keefe famously liked to paint the canyons and deserts of the West. Her early 20th Century images of New Mexico are now considered national treasures. [caption id="attachment_5831" align="aligncenter" width="610" caption="Georgia O'Keefe with desert abstract paining (source: 1918 file photo)"][/caption] Who would have expected the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) HiRise robot camera to be able to approximate the painters "eye" while orbiting Mars at the beginning of the ...
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Life finds a way

Life finds a way. You can boil it, burn it, freeze it, zap it, crush it, smoke it or shove it deep into the depths of the Earth, life will find a way to survive. That's what scientists keep finding, as extremophile  -- little animals that love extreme environments (the adrenaline junkies of the animal kingdom) -- keep popping up in unexpected places. This latest little guy was found a mile under the surface and named Mephisto, after the devil. What's amazing is that he is (it is?) much ...
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Follow the methane

When tracking down criminals, the mantra has always been "follow the money". Likewise, in looking for life on planets in other solar systems it has been "follow the water". In the case of Mars, it might be more immediate to follow the methane. The European Space Agency (ESA) has just released a series of spectacular images of the Mars canyon system and fractured landscape called Neli Fossae. [caption id="attachment_4001" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="Neli Fossae on Mars ...


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