Water found on Mars

According to researchers, evidence of liquid water on Mars has recently been discovered.

Pictures have been taken showing runoff streaks in the sides of cliffs, craters, and valleys.    This is evidence of flowing water being present… previously.  So, the actually haven’t found a running brook yet.  The Curiosity rover hasn’t gone fishing.  They found the remains of water.  “Shh!  Quiet kids, look!  Water tracks!  I bet it’s close!  Boy, it sure was a big’n!  I’m guessing a creek, at least.  Maybe even a full river!”

Scientists are currently debating theories about where this water comes from, as there are no obvious bodies of water on the planet’s surface.  According to the Guardian, there are three main theories going around:

For now, researchers are focused on learning where the water comes from. Porous rocks under the Martian surface might hold frozen water that melts in the summer months and seeps up to the surface.

Another possibility is that highly concentrated saline aquifers are dotted around beneath the surface, not as pools of water, but as saturated volumes of gritty rock. These could cause flows in some areas, but cannot easily explain water seeping down from the top of crater walls.

A third possibility…is that salts on the Martian surface absorb water from the atmosphere until they have enough to run downhill. The process, known as deliquescence, is seen in the Atacama desert, where the resulting damp patches are the only known place for microbes to live

To summarize all these theories: Mars is a sponge.  A big, red, salty sponge.

Of course, the evidence of liquid water also raises hopes of finding life on Mars.

“These may be the best places to search for extant life near the surface of Mars,” said Alfred McEwen, a planetary geologist at the University of Arizona and senior author on the study. “While it would be very important to find evidence of ancient life, it would be difficult to understand the biology. Current life would be much more informative.”

As generally agreed upon by most scientists, historians, and anyone who thinks about it long enough: current living creatures tend to have more information than old, dead ones.

Still, the thought of life on Mars, or even being able to live on Mars is exciting.  Just think, soon there could be human colonies on other planets!  We can begin settling, terraforming, and obviously, capitalizing:

mars

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/sep/28/nasa-scientists-find-evidence-flowing-water-mars

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