Friday, August 5, 2011

Liquid Water on Mars?

Possibly. (Ya, I know. That sure says a lot...)

"The settings are too warm for carbon-dioxide frost and, at some sites, too cold for pure water. This suggests the action of brines, which have lower freezing points. Salt deposits over much of Mars indicate brines were abundant in Mars' past. These recent observations suggest brines still may form near the surface today in limited times and places."

"Dark, finger-like features appear and extend down some Martian slopes during late spring through summer, fade in winter, and return during the next spring. Repeated observations have tracked the seasonal changes in these recurring features on several steep slopes in the middle latitudes of Mars' southern hemisphere."

We need to send something down there to investigate.

This has huge implications into the possibility of life on the red planet, as liquid water is a prerequisite for life as we know it. Plus, the finding of brines would help back many current conclusions about Mars' history.

Coupling this preliminary explanation with the fact that we have mass amounts of methane of which we do not know the source of appearing during the same time period (late spring/summer for the brine and summer for the methane)....well, it makes you wonder if they are related, pending the actual existence of the brine. Methane is formed biologically and geologically, and we know of no geological processes that do this on Mars. Now that does not necessarily mean that it is biological, just that we do not know. It's fun to think about though. It's far too much speculation to get any real hopes up of course, but it currently seems to be something to look into.

One of the fields I'm starting to consider entering is Astrobiology, so this somewhat of a new interest of mine.

1 comment:

  1. This is great news indeed. The problem is now trying to find money now. Congress is basically trying to kill NASA now because it has no shuttle.