BREAKING: Mars Shows Signs of Liquid Water
Monday morning, NASA announced at a press conference that their newest findings from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) showed strong evidence that liquid water is currently flowing on the red planet.
“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,” in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing since that validates what we’ve long suspected. This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water – albeit briny – is flowing today on the surface of Mars,” said John Grunsfeld, former shuttle astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s space science operations.
Evidence of flowing water is significant because it is an indicator of a microbe friendly environment in the otherwise-frozen Martian soil. NASA researchers used an image spectrometer on the MRO to detect signatures of mysterious streaks on certain areas of Mars.
Debate went on for some time as to what caused these streaks – and it took several years of information gathering to determine the streaks were downhill flows – or recurring slope lineage. NASA scientists determined the streaks in the Martian dirt were caused by salty water flowing downhill during the planet’s “warmer” months.
“It seems the more we learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. Every scientific discovery brings the scientific community one small step closer to understanding the red planet and its history. In doing so it allows for comparisons and contrasts to a very similar planet – our own.
For WeatherNation: Matt Fuchs