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NASA finds clues to possible water flows on Mars

Washington: US space agency NASA said Monday its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey orbiter have sent back clues that liquid water may still exist today on the Red Planet.The spacecraft spotted "dark, finger-like markings" that

IANS [ Updated: February 11, 2014 10:57 IST ]
nasa finds clues to possible water flows on mars
nasa finds clues to possible water flows on mars

Washington: US space agency NASA said Monday its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Odyssey orbiter have sent back clues that liquid water may still exist today on the Red Planet.


The spacecraft spotted "dark, finger-like markings" that advance down some Martian slopes when temperatures rise, as well as corresponding seasonal changes in iron minerals on the same slopes, Xinhua quoted NASA as saying.

One suggested explanation for the phenomenon is that "brines with an iron-mineral antifreeze", like ferric sulfate, could flow seasonally on parts of Mars, it said.

Researchers call these dark flows "recurring slope lineae (RSL)" and so far they have found 13 confirmed RSL sites on Mars, according to the space agency.

"We still don't have a smoking gun for existence of water in RSL, although we're not sure how this process would take place without water," said Lujendra Ojha, lead author of two reports published in the journals Geophysical Research Letters and Icarus.

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