MARS : Water DOES Flow on Mars
Scientists have their first evidence that trickles of liquid water play a role in sculpting mysterious dark streaks that appear during summertime months on Mars, a finding that has implications for potential life on Mars, as well as planning for future human expeditions.
The discovery, reported on 28th Sep 2015 in the journal Nature Geoscience, follows years of speculation and studies to learn why the faces of some cliff walls on Mars are streaked with narrow dark slopes, some more than 300 feet long, that appear when temperatures are warm and then vanish during the winter chill.
The streaks, known as recurring slope lineae, or RSL, were first reported in 2011 in the Martian southern highlands, but have since been found throughout the planet's equatorial region, particularly within deep canyons.
Using data collected by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and a new analysis technique, scientists were for the first time able to detect the telltale chemical fingerprints of hydrated salts in dozens of RSL sites.