NASA Says Evidence Of Flowing Water On Mars.
So how cool is that? It’s only about a life long quest to determine if life exists on Mars … and here is the first step!
Ok, it is still just evidence, but if you look at what NASA is saying (see below), it is about as definitive a statement as you will get from a very cautious scientific group.
It isn’t that they are saying “if” there is water … they are saying it is imperative that we send astro-biologists and planetary scientists to see if there is life on Mars <as a result of the water they found there>.
This is exciting stuff!!
And why the article below is well worth the read and share …
Martian salt streaks ‘painted by liquid water’
Scientists think they can now tie dark streaks seen on the surface of Mars to periodic flows of liquid water.
Data from a Nasa satellite shows the features, which appear on slopes, to be associated with salt deposits.
Crucially, such salts could alter the freezing and vaporization points of water in Mars’s sparse air, keeping it in a fluid state long enough to move.
…… There are implications for the existence of life on the planet today, because any liquid water raises the possibility that microbes could also be present. And for future astronauts on Mars, the identification of water supplies near the surface would make it easier for them to “live off the land”.
Researchers have long wondered whether liquid water might occasionally flow across the surface today.
It is not a simple proposition, because the temperatures are usually well below zero Celsius and the atmospheric pressure is so low that any liquid H2O will rapidly boil.
But the observation over the past 15 years of gullies and surface streaks that appear to change with the seasons has heightened the speculation …
Mr Ojha, a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has now presented data from the US space agency’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that seems to solve the conundrum.
MRO has an instrument called Crism that can determine the chemistry of surface materials.
It has looked at four locations where dark streaks are seen to come and go during Martian summer months. These streaks, called “recurring slope lineae” (RSL), were well known to Mars scientists and were suspected – but not proven – to be associated with trickling water.
……. Now, Crism has demonstrated that the RSLs are covered with salts.
They are salts – magnesium perchlorate, chlorate and chloride – that can drop the freezing point of water by 80 degrees and its vaporisation rate by a factor of 10.
…… Quite where the water is coming from to make the streaks is still unclear ……
To read the full article, please see bbc.com