NASA has revealed evidence that flowing water exists on Mars. In an announcement today researchers concluded that dark trickles that can be seen on imagery of the planet’s surface could be liquid water that flows during the summertime months, raising the odds that there could be life on Mars.
According to new research published in Nature Geosciences, liquid water has been found to flow on Mars during the summertime there. Images and data taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), a spacecraft that studies the planet from orbit, showed dark streaks that appeared and disappeared seasonally on the planet’s surface. Analysis has revealed that these streaks appear to run down canyons and walls of craters for metres before they dry up in the colder months. Further analysis confirmed that these streaks are made up of salty water that flows on the surface of the red planet, meaning that liquid water does exist on Mars.
“Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars” – Jim Green, NASA Planetary Science Director https://t.co/MvErxberG3
— NASA (@NASA) September 28, 2015
This is not the first study that has suggested liquid water exists on Mars. Various earlier missions have concluded that Mars has had a watery past, with scientists theorising that the planet was home to a large ocean more than four billion years ago. Also, occasionally missions have found that the Mars planet may still be wet, However, today’s announcement seems to provide more direct evidence that liquid water exists on the surface.
Although scientists are unsure where the water is coming from, the evidence that it exists has raised hopes of discovering life on the red planet and creating a habitable environment there today.The streaks could be used to discover water sources on Mars, areas where scientists are most likely to find life, if it does exist, or build habitable environments around.
For now scientists are focusing on discovering where the water is coming from, but it is certainly an exciting development that will leave us asking the question, is there life on Mars?
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