Major breakthrough: There's strong evidence of liquid water on Mars, says NASA
NASA has discovered evidence of water flowing on Mars - which raises the possibility of some form of life being discovered on the Red Planet.
Washington: NASA has discovered evidence of water flowing on Mars - which raises the possibility of some form of life being discovered on the Red Planet.
"Mars is not the dry, arid planet we thought of in the past," Jim Green, NASA's planetary science director, told a press conference. "Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars."
Strong evidence for seasonal flows of liquid salty water was detected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, confirming that this salty water is responsible for seasonal dark streaks seen in spots on the planet's surface.
The new study looked at streaks that form on some slopes on Mars during warmer times of the year. Scientists previously suspected they might be caused by flowing, salty water. Now, reports claim that they have detected the chemical signatures of brines in the streaks that suggest those streaks form as the result of "water activity on Mars" that's still happening today.
"Something is hydrating these salts, and it appears to be these streaks that come and go with the seasons," Lujendra Ojha, one of the researchers on the project, said in a statement. "This means the water on Mars is briny, rather than pure. It makes sense, because salts lower the freezing point of water. Even if RSL are slightly underground, where it's even colder than the surface temperature, the salts would keep the water in a liquid form and allow it to creep down Martian slopes."
Water is one of the key requirements for life and such a discovery would significantly boost chances of alien beings on Mars.