This not the first time NASA scientists claim to have discovered evidence of water on Mars. Previous research pointed to the fact that the Red Planet may once have held large amounts of H20, but recent studies suggest that Mars has great quantities of water in vapor or ice form.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has collected new data that was analyzed by a team of scientists from the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute.
According to the analysis, there could be salty, liquid water beneath Mars’ surface, but unlike previous findings, the new ones suggest that the water is closer to the surface, closer than the scientists previously assumed.
The researchers wrote that they have found evidence of an element known as calcium perchlorate in the soil of the Red Planet.
The experts say that salt can lower water’s freezing point, keeping in from turning into ice very easily. That is why salt is usually used on the surface of roadways and sidewalks during the cold season so that ice wouldn’t form.
According to Morten Bo Madsen, a researcher at the Mars Group at the Niels Bohr Institute, given the proper conditions, calcium percholrate can easily absorb the water vapors from the atmosphere.
The measurements taken by Madsen and his team of researchers from the weather monitoring station of the Curiosity rover indicate that the best conditions for salt to absorb the water vapors are at night and just before sunrise.
The experts explain that at night, the atmospheric moisture of Mars is usually concentrated on the surface of the planet, similar to what it is on our planet.
Some NASA scientists believe that the Gale Crater was actually a huge lake more than 3 billion years ago.
Madsen said that when the calcium perchlorate absorbs the moisture from the Martian soil, it forms a kind of brine that can lower the freezing point, turning it into liquid form.
The resulting water can seep through and down the Martian soil, explain the scientists.
According Madsen’s statements, in time other salts could dissolve the soil and since they are in liquid form, they can actually move to other areas and precipitate under Mars’ surface.
Previous observations captured by Curiosity rover suggested that some area of Mars used to have an ancient riverbed, which indicated that the Red Planet once had plenty of water flowing on it.
Although there could be evidence of water on Mars, Madsen and his team doubt that there is life on the Red Planet, mostly because of the cold weather and the radiations.
Image Source: thehindu