Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Water on Mars

NASA just issued a press release with some major implications, revealing that images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor indicate the presence that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars within the last seven years.

"These observations give the strongest evidence to date that water still flows occasionally on the surface of Mars," said Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program.

Liquid water is important, because it is believed that any microbial life existing on Mars would need liquid water (not vapors or ice) in order to survive.

Today's announcement is the first to reveal newly deposited material apparently carried by fluids after earlier imaging of the same gullies. The two sites are inside craters in the Terra Sirenum and the Centauri Montes regions of southern Mars.

"These fresh deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water is emerging from beneath the ground and briefly flowing down the slopes. This possibility raises questions about how the water would stay melted below ground, how widespread it might be, and whether there's a below-ground wet habitat conducive to life. Future missions may provide the answers," said Malin.

No comments: