Space scientists have just discovered that Mars has salty waters flowing down its craters and canyons. The finding has caused the scientific community to once again open the debate on whether or not life can be sustained on the Red Planet.
Astronomers credit water for the dark streaks appearing and disappearing on the surface of the dusty, red rock. Since the behavior of these streaks changes with the seasons, field experts are convinced that people could get access to relevant amounts of water in various spots on planet Mars.
The new discovery is one of the most powerful arguments that space scientists have to ask for funding for a manned mission to Mars. As water is already present on the Red Planet, this makes it a lot easier for astronauts to sustain themselves while living there, as well as have easy access to a good base for producing rocked fuel.
And the most important part of all – the mere presence of liquid water on the neighboring planet indicates that there’s a good chance simple life forms might already be waiting to be discovered by humans, or that simple life forms might find a way to survive and thrive if humans introduced them to the planet’s ecosystem.
The researchers behind the project informed that Mars hosts water-bearing salts than can be found in considerable quantities along the dark streaks, but that are less present in the soil found between them. This is a clear sign that the planet has water currents which have repeatedly deposited these salts in these places.
What’s more, the team also shared that Mars’ salt deposits have the ability to soak up moisture from the Red Planet’s atmosphere, then transform into briny solutions.
Taking all of the fact into account, Mary Beth Wilhelm, space scientists working at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Ames Research Center, and her team saw no other option than tp conclude that Mars’ dark streaks “are formed by liquid water on present-day Mars”.
And if you ask John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the science mission directorate from NASA, the most exciting thing that researchers are currently taking about is that the study “suggests that it would be possible for there to be life today on Mars”.
Indeed, this may change the way field experts look at the Red Planet as more often than not, the general assumption is that Mars may have been home to certain life forms billions of years ago, not that it may be a home to them today.
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