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26 Sep
NASA Finds Liquid Water On Mars. Could Life Also Exist On The Red Planet ?

NASA Finds Liquid Water On Mars. Could Life Also Exist On The Red Planet ?

Siliguri Times Sep 30, 2015

New findings by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. This is probably one of biggest finds of recent times that changes the way we look at our solar system. And our curiosity is piqued because the only other planet with liquid water is our very own earth! So is there a possibility of life existing on Mars today.

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Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.

Water flow on Mars

These dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water.

Water flowing on Mars

Dark narrow streaks called recurring slope lineae emanating out of the walls of Garni crater on Mars. The dark streaks here are up to few hundred meters in length. They are hypothesized to be formed by flow of briny liquid water on Mars.

These puzzling features were discovered by Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology, the lead author of a report on these findings. “We found the hydrated salts only when the seasonal features were widest, which suggests that either the dark streaks themselves or a process that forms them is the source of the hydration. In either case, the detection of hydrated salts on these slopes means that water plays a vital role in the formation of these streaks,” he said.

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