(Source : Observer)
Images of the Martian surface sent back by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) are helping scientists confirm a mystery that has long been pondered and debated: Is there liquid water on Mars? And if so, can it be a factor in sustaining life?
The short answer: Yes. Thanks to findings published today in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, scientists now know there is salty liquid water flowing seasonally on Mars’ surface.
The news is also being confirmed by an announcement from NASA HQ by Jim Green, director of planetary science; Michael Meyer, lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program; and Mary Beth Wilhelm of NASA’s Ames Research Center.
How did they make this discovery? After analyzing the planet’s features based on density and light absorption over the past few years, scientists have noticed dark streaking on the surface that points to the existence of rivers and streams. Today, their new observations show a directional tide and flow to these areas, which are cyclical and coincide with warmer seasons.
This indicates freeze and thaw—a sure sign of the existence of liquid water.
Such a great day for science!