Water on Mars – NASA announced the discovery of minerals that form only in the presence of water lines curious spotted on the slopes of the red planet.
Scientists are more curious to find water on Mars since they have already identified Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL – literally recurring slope lines) for the first time in 2011, through satellite images from Mars. It must be said that these dark streaks running down some slopes of the reliefs of the red planet have a strange characteristic: they appear and disappear as the temperature rises or falls to the surface of Mars. So much so that many researchers imagined that there could be signs of flowing water on Mars. And it seems that this is the case!
In a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience, announced with great fanfare last Thursday by NASA, scientists say they have detected hydrated minerals (magnesium chlorate, magnesium perchlorate, perchlorate sodium) in these impressive dark and fluctuating trails, that require the presence of water to form. “These results strongly support the hypothesis that nowadays, the lines contain liquid water on Mars during its hot season” suggests the study. The Recurring Slope Lineae would then brine stream, saturated salt water solution. Salt that would play the role of antifreeze, because even in summer, temperature is little lenient on the surface of Mars.
“This is a significant advance which seems to confirm that the water as brine streams now flowing to the surface of Mars ,” said John Grunsfeld , associate administrator of NASA , at the press conference organized by the US space agency . However, the mystery of Recurring Slope Lineae is only partially cleared , because the authors do not comment on the origin of this brackish water. Where does it come from? The researchers think that the salts may absorb moisture in the atmosphere and , under certain conditions of temperature and slope , return it in liquid form. But this is a hypothesis at this stage . As for the idea of a present life in that water dripping intermittently , it is somewhat unlikely, since such brines are highly oxidizing .