scientists have annouced today that they found "hints of water" on mars.
The discovery comes from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which spotted slopes carved into the martian surface that appear to most likely have been created by the flow of liquid salt water. The slopes appear to change over the course of different seasons on Mars, suggesting that liquid water, if it exists at all, is only present in the Martian spring.
.In recent years, evidence has been mounting that Mars has icecaps of frozen water at its poles.There has been evidence in the past that water exists on mars but this is by far the most proof we have had
yes we have found ice caps before..but these are much different than what we found then..These are highly seasonal scientists observed some growth by more than 200 meters [650 feet] in a matter of just two Earth months."
The narrow streaks emerge only on slopes in the planet's warmest regions, and usually on the sides of craters facing the equator, which get more sun. This is important because on Mars, which is much colder than Earth, water would be able to exist in liquid form only in the warmest areas.
"It hasn't been a question for some time now that there's ice on Mars," geophysicist Philip Christensen of Arizona State University in Tempe said today during a NASA press conference. "What makes these new observations so interesting is that they occur at much lower latitudes where temperatures are much warmer and where it's actually possible for liquid water to exist."
Liquid water is the Holy Grail for scientists hunting for life beyond Earth. All life on this planet relies on liquid water, and experts think extraterrestrials likely do, too. And Mars, as the planet next in line after Earth from the sun, is one of the top potential habitats for ET.
"I think this is an eye-opening discovery that will really help us begin the planning process for future missions specifically looking for signs of the "presence of life on mars" biogeochemist Lisa Pratt of Indiana University at Bloomington said.
what does finding water on mars mean for us humans? well....it means there might just be life on mars.
water is necessary for life as we know it. Not only is most of Earth's life water based, but most scientists think life wouldn't have arisen in the first place if not for the watery "primordial soup" that covered the young Earth. Water makes it easier for organic molecules to swirl around and bump into each other to form interesting compounds that make up the ingreidents of life!
McEwen said that "if there is extant life on Mars, it might be accessible in these brines."