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Does water flow on the surface of Mars ?

Posted on Friday, 20 December, 2013 | Comment icon 21 comments

These dark streaks are thought to be caused by water. Image Credit: NASA / HiRISE
Dark streaks on photographs taken from orbit could be indicators that water does flow on the Red Planet.
Despite freezing temperatures and a landscape that seems for all intents and purposes to be as dry as a bone, scientists believe that there are still hints that liquid water is able to flow, albeit rarely, on the surface of Mars.

The most tantalizing evidence of this has come in the form of photographs taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter which show strange dark streaks that seem to grow and shrink in time with the seasons. It is believed that these streaks could be patches where water has seeped on to the surface during warmer periods.

"The subsurface is probably the best place to find present-day life if it exists at all because it is protected from the radiation and temperature extremes," said planetary scientist Alfred McEwen. "Maybe some of that water occasionally leaks out onto the surface, where we could see evidence for that subsurface life."

Source: Nature.com | Comments (21)

Tags: Mars

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Hazzard on 21 December, 2013, 16:43
Take it to the UFO/ET section,... this one is for real science.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Bildr on 22 December, 2013, 4:42
Say that to CNN http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/30/tech/innovation/mars-water/
Comment icon #14 Posted by qxcontinuum on 22 December, 2013, 5:26
Read more boy...
Comment icon #15 Posted by mfrmboy on 23 December, 2013, 19:33
Wish they would send a drone so more ground could be covered.
Comment icon #16 Posted by skookum on 28 December, 2013, 9:08
I didn't think that water could exist in flowing liquid form because of the thin atmosphere?
Comment icon #17 Posted by Peter B on 28 December, 2013, 9:38
How would it stay up? Mars's atmosphere at the surface is about 1% of the pressure of Earth's atmosphere at the surface. A bit tricky trying to fly in that. And how long would it be able to stay up (assuming a way could be found to make it fly)? What's the record for an Earth drone staying aloft? I understand people have tossed around plans involving helium balloons to float around the place. But they can't be steered. I reckon I'd swear a bit if errant winds blew my balloon just out of range of a site of interest.
Comment icon #18 Posted by seeder on 28 December, 2013, 9:40
heres a 5 year drone... but its orbital...and solar http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/08/almost-orbital-solar-powered-drone-offered-as-atmospheric-satellite/
Comment icon #19 Posted by DONTEATUS on 28 December, 2013, 17:46
Soon we will send man,then He can wet our Imaginations !
Comment icon #20 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 31 December, 2013, 11:16
Pure water can't. Extremely salty water can. Besides it appears that this water does not remain on the surface long. It appears, flows then disappears again.
Comment icon #21 Posted by DONTEATUS on 2 January, 2014, 0:02
How about underground water? Thats where it all is I would guess. Soon we should know !

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