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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Mars Mystery Solved?

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Saturday, September 26, 2015/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, environment, adventure

Mars has always had its mysteries. The ancient Romans thought the red planet was the God of War; the first astronomers with telescopes thought they saw vegetation changes and canals across Mars; while the 1970's Viking Lander  returned conflicting data on life existing there today.

With such long fascination with Mars, it isn't surprising that a flurry of speculation is underway regarding a major scientific discovery to be  announced by NASA  soon. Riled Up may be "jumping the gun" but a thought on what may be presented could be that:

researchers have confirmed the existence of liquid water still flowing on Mars and more is buried under the surface of the planet.

This wouldn't be too surprising considering photos and research reports relating to gullies that appear to seep from Martian crater walls depending on the season. The "seeps" were previously discovered in multiple locations.

                         Photo-animation of Seasonal Changes to Mars Crater Gullies (credit: JPL)

Another possibility could be that vast deposits of water lie buried under the Martian surface. This would be confirmation of earlier photographic discoveries by JPL's  Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter  (MRO) showing meteor impacts exposing water ice that quickly evaporates when exposed to the thin, dry air of Mars.

                       Meteor Impact Crater and Exposed Water Ice  (credit: MRO/JPL)
Mars still holds many mysteries and whether life today exists there today is unlikely to be part of the upcoming NASA announcement. That won't be resolved until more on the ground exploration becomes a reality.


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