NASA declares “Mystery solved” as evidence of flowing water is found on Mars

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There is evidence of flowing water on Mars, according to a scientific paper published today and revealed in a widely anticipated NASA announcement.

Scientists have found the first proof that briny water may flow on the surface of Mars during the planet’s summer months. Although the source and the chemistry of the liquid is unknown, the discovery could affect thinking about whether the planet, which is most similar to Earth of all the planets in the solar system, could support present-day microbial life.

Scientists have developed a new technique to analyze chemical maps of the Martian surface obtained by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

They found telltale fingerprints of salts, which form only in the presence of water, in narrow channels cut into cliff walls throughout the planet’s equatorial region.

The channels, first reported in 2011, appear during the warm summer months on Mars, then vanish when the temperatures drop. Scientists suspected the channels, known as recurring slope…

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