Originally published August 13 2011
New NASA images show what appears to be liquid water on Mars
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Images recently captured by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter undoubtedly illustrate the strongest evidence yet that the "Red Planet" likely contains liquid water, and potentially even life forms of some sort. Topping previous speculation linked to suggestive observation that frozen water may exist under Mars' rock and sand formations, the new discovery suggests that during the planet's warmer months, liquid water actually comes up from the ground and flows on its surface.
"If the features identified, recurring slope lineae (RSL), can be confirmed to represent briny flows, this would be a very significant finding," stated Christopher Carr, a scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who is building a device to detect DNA and RNA on Mars. "It wouldn't dramatically change our understanding of present-day Mars as generally cold and dry, but it would be important to the search for life on Mars."
NASA's website contains a time-lapse image of the apparent RSL, which researchers believe are gradual trickles of salty water each spanning about half a yard wide and hundreds of yards long. You can view that image here:
Most exploration and research of Mars has been undertaken with the assumption that life may have existed there in the past. But the new observation of liquid water flow during the spring and summer months may indicate that life exists on Mars right now, say scientists. And if this is the case, the next step may be to send manned missions, rather than just unmanned robot missions, to Mars.
"That there is water on the surface means that explorers could go to Mars and potentially find extant life on the surface of Mars," said Robert Zubrin, president and founder of the Mars Society, to SPACE.com. "It underscores the reason why Mars should be the target for human exploration. You're not going to find life on the moon, you're not going to find life on an asteroid. We need to send human explorers to the complex environments where the complex skills of human beings are actually useful."
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