NASA: salt water may be present on Mars
Scientists at the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) announced in a news conference on Thursday that possible traces of salt water have been found present on the planet Mars.
In a surprise news conference, Alfred McEwen, lead author of the agency’s Science study, said that the discovery was made while he and his team were observing the planet Mars with the use of the HiRISE camera located aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
During the news conference, McEwen told reporters that his team had identified features on some of the slopes on the red planet which they said seem to fade and disappear during the winter and emerge again during the spring. The flows that were observed were seen near the planet’s equator, where scientists believe to have suitable temperatures for liquid water to be present.
A total of seven different sites on the planet Mars have been identified. An additional 20 other sites are still being studied as to whether they have the same observable patterns.
McEwen told reporters that should the observable sites do contain water, it is expected to be salty. He explained that the reason for this is due to the fact that previous studies conducted on the planet have shown that the surface is salty.
“Any water that flows on this subsurface is going to be salty,” he said.
While the possibility that there is water present on the planet grows stronger, McEwen quickly pointed out that the observation itself is not concrete proof that water still exists on the planet. Only after laboratory experiments have been conducted will they be able to say if the changing patterns observed are brought about by the presence of water on Mars or other factors.
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