Nasa caused a stir on 24 September by saying that it will announce a major science finding from the agency’s ongoing exploration of Mars at a news briefing on 28 September. The US space agency kept details brief, but obviously with the intention of aiming for the science boffins’ attention with the title NASA to Announce Mars Mystery Solved.
It remains unclear about what Nasa is set to announce, but that hasn’t stopped the internet reacting in its typical overextravagant manner.
We still don’t have a smoking gun for existence of water in RSL “recurring slope lineae“, although we’re not sure how this process would take place without water, said Lujendra Ojha, a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, and lead author of two new reports about these flows. He originally discovered them while an undergraduate at the University of Arizona, Tucson, three years ago, in images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment “HIRISE” camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Recurring Slope Lineae “RSL” are seasonal flows or seeps on warm Martian slopes. Observed gradual or incremental growth, fading, and yearly recurrence can be explained by seasonal seeps of water, which is probably salty. The origin of the water is not understood, but several observations indicate a key role for atmospheric processes. If sufficient deliquescent salts are present at these locations, the water could be entirely of atmospheric origin.
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