NASA Declares Flowing Water on Mars
Scientists from NASA announced on Monday in a press conference at its headquarters in Washington that there’s a strong existing evidence of flowing water on the surface of planet Mars. Back then, Mars was only believed to have water on its surface in ice form at its poles.
Lujendra Ojha, a tech graduate from Georgia and a former worker of the Southern California Earthquake Center was the lead author of the research, which was issued in the journal of Nature Science.
He together with his team, which composed of some NASA scientists have, came to a conclusion that there’s a strong proof for salty, seasonal water flow, which could lead to point that the planet’s possible for life.
“Our quest on planet Mars has been to ‘chase the water,’ in our exploration for life in the cosmos, and now we have persuading science that confirms what we’ve suspected for long,” NASA’s Science Mission Directorate associate administrators and astronaut John Grunsfeld shared. “This is definitely a significant improvement, as it seems to validate that water – albeit briny – is free flowing on the Mars’ surface today,” He added.
The scientist came up with this discovery through studying long streaks that would come up on the planet’s surface during summer – what they refer as “recurring slope lineae.”
They identified that the said streaks are most probably formed by water, in which during the summers season flows on the red planet and vanishes as the temperature go down. This discovery increases the chances of finding a home to some life forms.
Dark and long strains were left by trickles on the Martian terrain that can reach hundreds of meters downhill during summer days, before they dry up in the surface as the temperatures drop when autumn sets.
The captured images from the orbit of the Mars shows valleys’ steep walls, craters and cliffs, being streaked with summertime flows that in the most dynamic spots merge to form complex fan-like patterns.
Scientists remain uncertain where this water comes, however it might rise up from underground salty aquifers or ice, perhaps condense out the thin atmosphere of Mars.
The lead scientist on NASA’s exploration programme on Mars, Michale Meyer said “there’s a liquid water form on the Martians surface now.” “With this, we expect that it’s at least likely to have an inhabitable environment today.”
The flows of water could point space agencies, including NASA to the most potential sites to find life in the Martian planet, and also to landing spots for human missions in the mere future where there’s water from a natural source.
“Mars isn’t a dry and waterless planet that we thought of then,” Jim Green of Nasa said. “There’s a liquid water form on Mars,” he stressed.
Several of the earliest missions on mars showed a planet with a watery history. Images beamed back to Earth during 1970s revealed plains that were once immersed under the huge ancient lakes and a surface traversed by dried up rivers. Earlier this year, NASA disclosed evidence of an ocean that may have covered ½ of the northern hemisphere of the planet in the far past.
The flows are only evident when the Martian’s surface increases beyond 23C. In such frosty conditions, the water can flow due to the salts decreasing the freezing point of water, keeping it on its liquid form far below 0C.
“The mystery is that what makes this flow? Apparently water, yet until now, there’s still no spectral signature,” Meyer shared. Through this we have concluded that the RSL are produced by water having interaction with perchlorates that forms brine that runs downhill.”