NASA confirms water on Mars, increasing chance of alien life

One step closer to answering David Bowie's age old question

Mars water

Mars has long been known as our barren sister planet but today, NASA scientists have announced they have found flowing water on the red desert planet.

NASA and the Nature Geoscience journal released their findings on a Live Stream announcement stating that the long, dark streaks found on Mars are a telltale sign of still flowing water on the Martian surface.

These dark features, some of which span 5 meters wide and 100 meters long, were originally discovered in 2010. Over the last few years eight scientists have been analyzing their light signature and now have concluded that the streaks contain mineral salts that easily absorb moisture.

Judging by images of Martian cliffs taken from orbit, NASA scientists theorize the liquid water runs down canyons and cater walls during the summer months on Mars. Eventually these dark streaks dry up as the planet's surface cools in autumn.

The only question is where does the water come from? Astrologists suggest it may originate from underground water contained in ice or salty aquifers. Another likely theory could be the water condenses into a liquid from Mars' atmosphere.

To this day, Earth is still the only planet in the known universe with liquid H2O on its surface and so finding out flowing water once exists on Mars is huge. Beyond the geological discovery, dramatically increases our chances of finding extraterrestrial life. If life on Earth is any indication, water is the central building block to all animals, bacteria and everything else alive today.

Image credit: NASA/JPL

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