Dark streaks on Mars's surface may indicate liquid water on the barren planet, the National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA) revealed Monday.
“We now know Mars was once a planet very much like Earth with warm salty seas and fresh water lakes,” Jim Green, NASA's planetary science director, stated. “But something has happened to Mars, it lost its water.”
But recent photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show long, dark streaks – some as long as 100m – which scientists believe could be a live source of flowing water – and, just maybe, could prove the existence of life (or microbes) on the barren planet.
Researchers still are mystified at the water's source, or why – and how – the water is still flowing.
"Something is hydrating these salts, and it appears to be these streaks that come and go with the seasons," Lujendra Ojha, a researcher from Georgia Tech involved with the Mars project, stated to ABC News. The streaks only appear when Mars's surface reaches above -23C ( F)
"This means the water on Mars is briny, rather than pure. It makes sense because salts lower the freezing point of water."