Georgia – A team of researchers from the School of Earth and Atmospheric Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology found evidence of hydrated salts – including magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate – which counts for the first time flowing water has been found on the surface of Mars. The study was published in the journal Nature.
During Mar’s warmest seasons, flowing salty water has been discovered. According to NASA, there are “dark streaks” on the walls of the Garni crater, which is evidence of liquid water on the planet. This is good news for scientists since a habitable environment is very possible, after these findings.
These streaks are suspected to be formed in spring, grow by summer and disappeared by fall. “Our findings strongly support the hypothesis that recurring slope lineae [the long streaks] form as a result of contemporary water activity on Mars,” read the study.
A past of strikes
Since 2012, NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, has been studying the Gale Crater on the planet and found several clues of the existence of water in the past.
NASA has found water at the poles, water under the surface, old river beds, ancient lakes, and even evidence of a possible large ocean that covered the northern hemisphere. Moreover, Mars is a planet where technically human life should be able to be sustained in the future.
However, this is really the first time scientists have enough proof to say there could be live in Mars. “There has been no evidence for water until now,” said Michael Meyer, the lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program at NASA.
Scientists have long believed that water once flowed freely on Mars since there are many valleys and canyons, which may have been formed from the action of that water. They also believe that more than 4 billion years ago, the red planet was covered with water 137 meters deep, but almost all of it evaporated into space.
There is water, but is there life?
Several people around the world have still been skeptical about the existence of life on Mars. It is true that there is water on Mars, they argue, but when are we going to know for sure?
Some have had the answer: give it 7 years. According to NASA, the space agency will be sending a new rover in the next years that is similar to the Curiosity Mission. They expect to launch the rover in 2020 with the mission to look for signs of biological life in the planet’s past.
Moreover, in 2022, a joint Russian and European mission called Exomars, will go to the Mars’ surface to see if they can find signs of life.