Evidence Of Briny Water Found On Mars
August 5, 2011 by staff
Evidence Of Briny Water Found On Mars, Scientists have found evidence of salt water that flows on steep slopes on Mars, which if confirmed would be the first discovery of water liquid asset on the Red Planet, NASA said.
Data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has given new emphasis to the search for life forms and scientists hope that in the coming years, laboratory experiments and new space missions could shed more light on what they have seen.
“We have repeatedly found evidence suggesting and predictable water flowing on Mars,” said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for Mars exploration program, told reporters.
The U.S. space agency said the orbiter circling Mars since 2006 had supervised numerous examples of what appeared to be water flows that occur in several locations during the Martian spring and summer.
Time sequence of images of Newton crater in the southern mid-latitude region showed the marks of fingers extending over several pending and then disappearing again once the colder temperatures move in.
“The best explanation for these observations is so far the flow of brackish water, although this study does not prove,” said Alfred McEwen of the University of Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Arizona.
“It’s a mystery, but I think it’s a mystery solved with new observations and experiments,” said McEwen, lead author of a study that explains the findings in the journal Science.
No liquid water on Mars has been found, although the ice has been discovered at the poles. All life forms need water to survive, so that the existence of a water source could point to a shelter for primitive life.
“I really think this is a very exciting discovery because it is our first chance to see an environment on Mars that could allow the expression of an active biological process if there is life on Mars today,” said Lisa Pratt, professor of geological sciences Indiana University.
“The next big question is trying to understand the origin and source of these flows … (and) or can not provide a conduit or a connection to a larger saltwter pool more or if, in fact, these fluids are isolated patches or pockets. ”
McEwen, principal investigator for the science experiment of the ship High Resolution Imaging (HiRISE) captured images, said the plane reported “thousands” of flows in the last three years in seven localities.
It had identified 20 possible sites of similar flows, he said.
McEwen said that the flow of water remains “circumstantial” and said that scientists “who have no direct confirmation of water” other instruments studying the planet, but we hope to be confirmed in future missions and laboratory experiments.
In any case, it seems that scientists are seeing anything like a river that flows on Mars, but more likely an underground movement.
“The flows are dark because of being wet,” said McEwen. “They are dark for some other reason,” possibly because the salt water runs beneath the surface and changing the appearance of the land in a way that makes it look dark.
“Compared to Earth, it’s hard to imagine anything else form the liquid seeps down the sides,” said Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter project scientist Richard Zurek of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.
“The question is whether this is happening on Mars and, if so, why in these places.”
Frozen water has been detected in some of the high latitudes of Mars, and other evidence has suggested that water interacted with the surface of Mars during the planet’s history.
NASA has put renewed emphasis on Mars, the space program 30 years of transportation has been completed and ongoing efforts to build a spacecraft capable of carrying humans to Mars in 2030.
Rover curiosity unmanned space agency, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory, is due to explore a mountain inside the Gale Crater on Mars, which should reveal any signs of life once existed on Mars.
Largest U.S. Rover ever built at a cost of $ 2.5-billion, is scheduled for release later this year and land in August 2012.
However, the scan area is far from the tracks of salt water, so the curiosity is expected to be able to confirm the latest findings.
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