/

Menu
Trivia

Mystery Solved: Water DOES Flow on Mars

posted: 09/28/15
by: Irene Klotz for Discovery News
Water on mars art
NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UNIV. OF ARIZONA

Scientists have their first evidence that trickles of liquid water play a role in sculpting mysterious dark streaks that appear during summertime months on Mars, a finding that has implications for potential life on Mars, as well as planning for future human expeditions.

The discovery, reported Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, follows years of speculation and studies to learn why the faces of some cliff walls on Mars are streaked with narrow dark slopes, some more than 300 feet long, that appear when temperatures are warm and then vanish during the winter chill.

The streaks, known as recurring slope lineae, or RSL, were first reported in 2011 in the Martian southern highlands, but have since been found throughout the planet's equatorial region, particularly within deep canyons.

Using data collected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and a new analysis technique, scientists were for the first time able to detect the telltale chemical fingerprints of hydrated salts in dozens of RSL sites.

"That implies that there was liquid water there very recently to leave this residue of hydrated salts. It confirms that water is playing a role in these features," Arizona State University planetary geologist Alfred McEwen told Discovery News.

Click here for more information from Discovery News

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

HELLO
About the blog:
DSCOVRD: The best of the web, covering space, technology, wildlife and more!
More on
MOST POPULAR