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'Dark Streaks' Can Mean Water Still Flows on Mars, Study Says

Jul 11, 2016 04:36 AM EDT
The European Space Agency Release Images Of Mars
Scientists may have found clues leading to discovery of flowing water on Mars.
(Photo : ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum) via Getty Images)

There can be water on Mars, and this is based on photographs taken by Mars Curiosity Rover where "dark streaks" are visible on some of the slopes of a Martian canyon system.

NASA released a series of photos taken by Mars Curiosity Rover where dark slopes were shown. These slopes can indicate that there is still water of frozen water ice on Mars according to a report.  Even NASA recognized the possibility of finding clues of possible water on Mars due to the recurring slope lineae (RSL) in part of the Valles Marineris canyon network.

Curiosity Rover is currently on Mount Sharp and NASA scientists wanted to delve deeper into Mars' changing streaks found on its slopes called recurring lineae slope (RLS). The recurring lineae slopes might have been caused by flowing water. And with the higher chance of finding water on the red planet, it is also another hope for scientists to find any form of life on Mars.

The debate on whether or not there are still flowing water on Mars had long been debated and up until today, and there's no concrete answer yet. But recent findings by the Curiosity rover may prove there might still be water on Mars in its complex canyon systems.

The recent study focused on the Valles Marineris region near the planet's equator. Some of the sites exhibit signs of "seasonal water flow" but the odd ground shape makes it hard to explain where the water comes from.  "There are so many of them, it's hard to keep track," Matthew Chojnacki of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and lead author of the new report said in a statement. 'The occurrence of recurring slope lineae in these canyons is much more widespread than previously recognized," Chojnacki added.

So far, the study identified the area as the "densest population" on Mars. And if water indeed seasonally flows on the slopes, it is now the most interesting subject of study on the red planet. If proven that water still flows there, the search for alien life form on Mars is also expected to increase since finding water means a bigger shot at finding evidence of life.


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