Potentially life-giving water still flows across the ancient surface of Mars from time to time, NASA scientists said Monday 28th September 2015 in revealing a possible breakthrough in both the search for life beyond Earth and the humans hopes to someday travel there. Although there is no guarantee that you can return back safe to our home planet, Earth.
While the discovery doesn’t by itself offer any sort of proof that life exists on Mars, either past or present, it does boost hopes that the harsh landscape still offers some shelter for microbes to grasp existence.
But read this article which explains, if Water on Mars is a Reality or an Illusion?. Even NASA is not sure about it..
“The existence of liquid water, gives the possibility that if there’s life on Mars, that we have a way to describe how it might survive,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.
NASA researchers confirmed the watery flows by looking at light waves returned from seasonal dark streaks on the surface, long suspected to be associated with liquid water.
The investigation showed the streaks absorb light at specific wavelengths associated with chemicals known to pull water from the Martian atmosphere in a process known as deliquescence, said Georgia Tech doctoral student Lujendra Ojha, who first discovered the streaks while still an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona in 2011.
The chemicals allow the water to remain liquid at lower temperatures but also help keep it from boiling off in the thin atmosphere of Mars.
It remains unclear where the water comes from. Theories include deliquescence, melting subsurface ice or even a liquid-water aquifer that feeds the process. Discovering what precisely is causing the phenomenon is a mystery for the next round of investigations, said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.
“It’s very likely, I think, that there’s life somewhere in the crust of Mars, microbes,” he said.
“We haven’t been able to answer the question, ‘Does life exist beyond Earth?’. “But following the water is a critical element of that. We now have, I think, a great opportunity to be in the right locations on Mars to thoroughly investigate that.”
Kudos NASA. Keep going with the great work!!
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