Strong evidence Mars has streams of salt water in summertime
Mars appears to have flowing streams of salty water, at least in the summer, scientists reported on Monday in a finding that could have major implications for the possibility of life on the red planet.
Although the source and the chemistry of the water is unknown, the discovery will change scientists’ thinking about whether the planet that is most like Earth in the solar system could support present day microbial life.
“It suggests that it would be possible for life to be on Mars today,” John Grunsfeld, Nasa’s associate administration for science, said.
“Mars is not the dry, arid planet that we thought of in the past. Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars,” said Jim Green, the agency’s director of planetary science.
Scientists in 2008 confirmed the existence of frozen water on Mars. But the latest observations from an instrument aboard Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft strongly support the longtime theory that salt water in liquid form flows down certain Martian slopes each summer, according to the researchers. Details