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NASA discovers liquid water flowing on Mars


Posted on Monday, 28 September, 2015 | Comment icon 73 comments

It turns out that Mars is not as dry as it seems. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA has announced that it has discovered the best evidence yet of water flowing on the surface of Mars.
New images returned by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have helped scientists to confirm that the mysterious dark streaks previously observed on the planet's surface are in fact formed by flows of briny liquid water that occur during the warmer months of the Martian summer.

"Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected," said NASA's John Grunsfeld.

"This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water - albeit briny - is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”

While it has long been known that liquid water once existed in vast quantities on Mars in the form of rivers, lakes and oceans, today's revelation represents the first time that it has been conclusively discovered on the planet's surface in the present day.

It's presence could even mean that Mars may be able to support primitive life forms.

"It took multiple spacecraft over several years to solve this mystery, and now we know there is liquid water on the surface of this cold, desert planet," said lead scientist Michael Meyer.

"It seems that the more we study Mars, the more we learn how life could be supported and where there are resources to support life in the future."


Source: NASA.gov | Comments (73)

Tags: Mars, Water

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #64 Posted by ExpandMyMind on 30 September, 2015, 15:44
That may prove difficult, the recurring slope lineae, where this water flows, are found on the steep slopes of craters where landers and rovers would find it difficult to go. NASA have stated that they would not be going to the site for fear of contaminating the water (and thus possibly life) with microbes from earth.
Comment icon #65 Posted by Immune to Bieberfever on 30 September, 2015, 16:30
Well if we managed to erradicate a great deal of the native american population 500 years ago by bringing the common cold/flew to the new world, i can imagine their concern However it might work the other way too! Like them bringing alien microbes to earth !
Comment icon #66 Posted by Hammerclaw on 30 September, 2015, 16:54
Thrive is a bit of an exaggeration. When the lichen were exposed to radiation levels expected to be found on the Martian surface they only just clung to survival... and that was in an experiment that only lasted a month. Source: http://www.astrobio....lichen-on-mars/ For the unprotected group, quite true. It's the lichen in the sheltered niche invironment that intrigues. Quote:Only the "protected" lichen carried on normal activities such as using photosynthesis to turn sunlight into chemical energy for itself. The protected lichen recovered quickly after an initial "shock" period by adapting w... [More]
Comment icon #67 Posted by XenoFish on 30 September, 2015, 23:30
What if the organism was designed to survive in such a harsh environment? Maybe creating a green house effect and while creating a breathable atmosphere. Sorry about all the questions but I've always had this child like curiosity about space.
Comment icon #68 Posted by docyabut2 on 1 October, 2015, 0:26
Great news! it only proves that life once started on Mars, but as Mars had the biggest volcano in our solar system that erupted killing all life there, threw rocks at the earth that seeded life on our planet.Smaller organisms are found in the Mars rocks that are ever found on earth
Comment icon #69 Posted by ShadowSot on 1 October, 2015, 0:30
Great news! it only proves that life once started on Mars, but as Mars had the biggest volcano in our solar system that erupted killing all life there, threw rocks at the earth that seeded life on our planet.Smaller organisms are found in the Mars rocks that are ever found on earth It doesnt prove any such thing, signs of water dont imply life, and the proposed fossils have in no way been confirmed.
Comment icon #70 Posted by BeastieRunner on 1 October, 2015, 18:31
Basically, they found super salty water that not much in the way of life could survive, correct?
Comment icon #71 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 1 October, 2015, 18:41
Basically, they found super salty water that not much in the way of life could survive, correct? Not necessarily. Where there is liquid water there is the chance of life. The salts in this water are perchlorate salts, even on Earth there are bacteria that thrive on perchlorates: Over 40 phylogenetically and metabolically diverse microorganisms capable of growth via perchlorate reduction have been isolated since 1996. Most originate from the Proteobacteria but others include the Firmicutes, Moorella perchloratireducens and Sporomusa sp., and the archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus. With the excepti... [More]
Comment icon #72 Posted by Immune to Bieberfever on 1 October, 2015, 20:52
Amen too that!
Comment icon #73 Posted by BeastieRunner on 1 October, 2015, 21:27
Not necessarily. Where there is liquid water there is the chance of life. The salts in this water are perchlorate salts, even on Earth there are bacteria that thrive on perchlorates: Source: wikipedia Awesome, thanks. The articles I read and the news bits I heard did not mention perchlorate. Again, thanks!


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