When you think of Mars, you probably envision an arid landscape resting in the cold light of a distant sun. Every image of Mars that we have is bleak, dry, and lifeless. While the latter is still up for debate, it was announced by NASA this week that Mars isn’t quite as dry as we once thought.
Scientists have found evidence of liquid water on the Red Planet, which makes the possibility of Martian life seem more plausible than ever.
Scientists have been drawing similarities between Earth and Mars for years now.
They share many of the same qualities, but until now, researchers saw no evidence of life-sustaining water on Mars. The Red Planet is also devoid of an atmosphere.
Other areas of the planet, like the Echus Chasma, were thought to hold evidence of water, but no one was ever quite sure.
Yesterday, NASA announced that liquid water is, in fact, present on Mars. They aren’t sure how much, but it’s there! The water was detected when cameras picked up on a few dark streaks that appeared to be running down the sides of mountains and craters.
Upon further inspection, it was determined that the streaks were created by hydrated mineral salts. In other words, they found water on Mars.
This false-color photo shows the streaks in all their watery glory.
These water streaks — known as “recurring slope lineae” — lead scientists to believe that there is a flowing source of water moving beneath the surface.
Right now, we know that the water is briny, and that it only appears at temperatures of -10 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it’s a sub-zero temperature, the salt in the water lowers its freezing point.
And in Mars’ case, it’s not just any salt, but a substance called perchlorate. This is known to keep water in liquid form in temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here’s a video that shows these streams in action:
The presence of liquid water doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s life up there. But the fact that water on Earth has given life on this planet the ability to thrive suggests that there could be something living up there on the Red Planet.
Whatever comes of this discovery, it’s pretty amazing. We might not find any little green men, but this is one of the most monumental achievements in space exploration to date.
Article Source: ViralNova