A study published in the journal Nature Geo Science reports that scientists from NASA have found evidence that liquid water runs down canyons and crater walls during summer months on Mars. The source and chemistry of the water remains a mystery although the discovery raises chances of life on the red planet.
The discovery has warded off past theories that Mars is a dry and arid planet. The liquid water has been found on the planet under certain circumstances. Scientists made the discovery after they devised a new technique to analyse chemical maps of the surface of Mars obtained through Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. The team discovered telltale fingerprints of salts that form only in the presence of water in narrow channels cut into cliff walls throughout the planet's equatorial region. The picture of the same was taken way back in 2011 after which scientists named the slopes ‘recurring slope lineae’, or RSL. The slopes appear in summer and disappear in winter.
The salts are a mixture of chlorates and perchlorates which strongly indicates the role of water. The temperature on Mars is extremely cold and the streaks have appeared in places where temperature has climbed above -10° F. The source for the water is assumed to be underground aquifer, water vapour or some other combination.