This week NASA made one of the biggest outerspace discoveries of all time: Mars has water.
We have some pretty sensational inter-planetary news. This week NASA made one of the biggest outerspace discoveries of all time: Mars has water.
Previously it was believed that water activity on Mars was only a remnant of the past. But in the study, published in Nature Geoscience, the space agency explained that Mars has seasonal rivers of flowing water, which increases the odd significantly that the planet could indeed sustain life.
The scientists monitored a recurring slope lineae that appeared and then increased during the warm season, where temperatures can reach a high of 300 Kelvin.
NASA explained that Mars has seasonal rivers of flowing water, which increases the odd significantly that the planet could indeed sustain life.
The slope lineae in question appeared as long dark streaks, sometimes the length of a football field, across the downhill terrain during the summer, which then dries in autumn as surface temperature plummets. Although some scientists believed previously that the lineae was formed by water, there had been no evidence to prove it.
But using the imaging spectrometer from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), those studying the lineae discovered that at the largest points, it consists of hydrated salts. Which means, quite obviously, that flowing water is responsible for the both the creation and the expansion.
As water flows from canyons during the warm months, a shallow subsurface flow of water deposits the hydrated salts and shapes the area, leaving the long, dark streaks.
Scientists are still unclear as to where the water originates from, and whether there is an underground source such as underground ice or salty aquifers, or if it is condensed from the atmosphere.
Liquid water is the key to life anywhere, including Mars. Which means if the planet has water, it is also likely it has some form of life. But also, it has huge implications for the future colonization of the planet.
“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,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
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