How important is the presence of liquid water?
It is now widely believed that Mars has a fairly large volume of water.
However, the surface of the planet is so cold, this water exists only as ice.
In order for life to exist on a planet, many scientists believe that it is essential for the world to possess liquid water.
Since technology has made it possible for mankind to see Mars in detail, humans have been searching for clues that there was water on the red planet.
Has water been used to flow on the surface of Mars?
The Mariner 9 mission revealed evidence of water erosion in riverbeds and canyons, as well as evidence of weather fronts and fog on Mars in 1971.
Later missions of the Viking orbiters, first launched in 1975, revealed even more details about how water flowed to the surface and painted valleys.
Several studies have examined the presence of liquid water for decades. In 2000, the first evidence of liquid water on Mars was discovered.
It was claimed that the trenches seen on the planet’s surface had to be formed by flowing water.
Scientists cited the debris and mud deposits left behind as evidence of displacement of water existing at some point in the history of the red planet.
However, the formation of these silvers has been hotly debated in the following years.
Evidence of ice in geological samples from Mars
Spirit and Opportunity, the twin revolution, found evidence of the presence of water in the rock in 2007, when one of Spirit’s wheels broke and hit a piece of rock.
Analysis of the silica-rich layer discovered in the scratch suggested that it formed in the presence of liquid water.
In 2008, the Phoenix lander collected geological samples, and they disappeared after a few days.
Scientists thought these were pieces of ice. This assessment was confirmed when the lander later discovered water vapor in a sample.
In 2012, Curiosity swept over an ancient martian seabed when it examined a number of rocks that were exposed to liquid water billions of years ago.
In 2012, Curiosity (pictured) slammed over an ancient seabed of Mars as it examined a number of rocks that had been exposed to liquid water billions of years ago.
Recurring slope and debate causes it
Features known as recurring slope lineae (RSL) were first identified in 2011.
These dark regions populate the areas of Mars with a sharp slope.
Researchers speculated that these could be caused by the intermittent flow of liquid water down steep banks on the planet.
In June 2013, Curiosity found strong evidence that water good enough to drink once flowed on Mars. In September of the same year, the first scoop of soil analyzed by Curiosity revealed that fine materials on the planet’s surface contain two percent water by weight.
In 2015, Nasa claimed to have discovered the first evidence of liquid water on Mars today.
The space agency said its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provided the strongest evidence yet that liquid water was flowing intermittently on present-day Mars.
In 2017, Nasa issued another statement punishing its initial findings.
Functions known as return slope (RSL) were first identified in 2011 (photo). These dark regions populate the areas of Mars with a sharp slope. Researchers speculated that these could be caused by the intermittent flow of liquid water
It said that the dark features that run down steep slopes on the red planet were actually grainy streams, where grains of sand and dust slip downhill to create dark streaks, instead of the ground being darkened by seeping water.
Images from the MRO showed that the streaks only exist on slopes that are steep enough for dry grains as they do on faces of active dunes.
Also in 2017, scientists provided the best estimates for water on Mars, claiming that it once had more liquid H2O than the Arctic Ocean – and the planet has held these oceans for more than 1.5 billion years.
The findings suggest that there was enough time and water for life on Mars to flourish, but in the last 3.7 billion years, the red planet has lost 87 percent of its water – making the surface barren and dry.
An underground lake
In a study published in the journal Science, ESO researchers have now discovered the first concrete evidence for liquid water on Mars.
Using radar images from the Mars Express probe, the ESO team found a 12-mile-long underground lake filled with liquid water.
Frost covering the surface of Mars is ‘dirty’ and mixed with dust grains, NASA finds Source link Frost covering the surface of Mars is ‘dirty’ and mixed with dust grains, NASA finds