Zee Media bureau/Salome Phealmei
Washington: Recently, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found what it looked like to be the remains of freshwater lake on the Red Planet.
According to some new images taken from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and examination by a new study, it seems that water still flows on the Mars’ surface.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted some curious dark ‘finger-like’ features near Mars’ equator.
The study led by Alfred McEwan of the University of Arizona in Tucson, was published in the journal Nature.
As per the abstract from the study, “The presence of liquid water is a requirement of habitability on a planet. Possible indicators of liquid surface water on Mars include intermittent flow-like features observed on sloping terrains.”
According to the researchers, these features that appear on the surface occur during the warmer seasons, lengthening over time and fading during colder seasons.
NASA first spotted the dark ‘finger-like’ features in 2011, but recent examinations have experts saying that they actually do show what appears to look like a “heck of a lot like liquid water.”
Previous studies have also found another seven sites of the darker soil in the middle latitudes of Mars.
In the latest research, McEwan and his team found 12 sites around the equator that also contain steaks in the soil. These dark features as spotted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, are known as “recurring slope lineae”
“Although the origin of the recurring slope lineae remains an open question, our observations are consistent with intermittent flow of briny water. Such an origin suggests surprisingly abundant liquid water in some near-surface equatorial regions of Mars,” concludes the study.
While NASA still needs to confirm about the discovery- whether it’s water or liquid, some scientists say that the dark ‘finger-like’ shape are just soil and rock anomalies that have been shaped by the Martian winds.
If NASA was able to prove the find, it would possibly open a new door in understanding the alien surroundings. Scientists also hope the discovery of flowing water may also help in detecting life on Mars.