Liquid water may still flow on Mars, but that doesn't mean it's easy to spot. The search for water on the Red Planet has taken more than 15 years to turn up definitive signs that liquid flows on the surface today. In the past, however, rivers and oceans may have covered the land. Where did all of the liquid water go? Why? How much of it still remains? Observations of the Red Planet indicate that rivers and oceans may have been prominent features in its early history. Billions of years ago, Mars was a warm and wet world that could have supported microbial life in some regions. But the planet is smaller than Earth, with less gravity and a thinner atmosphere. Over time, as liquid water evaporated, more and more of it escaped into space, allowing less to fall back to the surface of the planet. Where is the water today? Liquid water appears to flow from some steep, relatively warm slopes on the Martian surface. Features known as recurring slope lineae (RSL) were first identified in … [Read more...] about Water on Mars: Exploration & Evidence
Nasa finds water on mars
source ESA / Wikimedia Commons Scientists from the National Institute for Astrophysics in Bologna may have found a lake of liquid water on Mars. Satellite data suggests the water might lie underneath the surface of a polar ice cap. The researchers used radar to probe the ice cap, and their new study suggests the potential lake could be 20 kilometers long. We’ve heard it before – there may be a major source of water on Mars, in ice sheets that lie just under the red planet’s. But according to a new study published in the journal Science, liquid water may exist there, too. Researchers from the National Institute for Astrophysics in Bologna in Italy used a radar tool on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express satellite to probe the planet’s ice caps. They believe three years’ worth of data indicates there could be a lake of liquid water under the caps that stretches 20 kilometers across. The team, led by Roberto Orosei, … [Read more...] about Scientists may have just found a lake of liquid water on Mars
For decades Mars has teased scientists with whispers of water's presence. Valleys and basins and rivers long dry point to the planet's hydrous past. The accumulation of condensation on surface landers and the detection of vast subterranean ice deposits suggest the stuff still lingers in gaseous and solid states. But liquid water has proved more elusive. Evidence to date suggests it flows seasonally, descending steep slopes in transient trickles every Martian summer. The search for a big, enduring reservoir of wet, potentially life-giving H2O has turned up nothing. Until now. The Italian Space Agency announced Wednesday that researchers have detected signs of a large, stable body of liquid water locked away beneath a mile of ice near Mars' south pole. The observations were recorded by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument—Marsis for short. "Marsis was born to make this kind of discovery, and now it has," says Roberto Orosei, a radioastronomer at … [Read more...] about Scientists Discover the First Large Body of Liquid Water on Mars
A team from Carnegie Mellon University will compete against nine other institutions June 5-7 at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, in an attempt to build and use robots to extract water from simulated Martian subsurface ice. NASA's Mars Ice Challenge is part of an effort by NASA to enable a sustained human presence on other worlds by taking advantage of the habitat's resources. This will be a focus for NASA over the next few decades, and the challenge offers a unique way to engage students and faculty as partners in the efforts to send humans farther into space than ever before. The Tartan Ice Drilling System team comprises 15 students from the College of Engineering. The team is advised by Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Aaron Johnson, who shares his expertise in robomechanics. Ph.D. candidate Catherine Pavlov also advises the team, drawing from her research experience at NASA. Five of the students serve as project leads in … [Read more...] about Students Build Ice-Drilling Robot To Find Water On Mars
Fifty years ago, humanity got its first up-close look at Mars. It was a profound disappointment—at least, for anyone who harbored dreams of a sister world just like Earth. NASA's first Mars flyby, executed by Mariner 4 in 1965, revealed the (mostly!) dry, red desert we know today.Despite this blow to our hopes for Martian life, famed scientist Carl Sagan convinced NASA to install an astrobiology mission on the Viking landers, NASA's first probes to touch down on the Red Planet. There were four astrobiology experiments. A mass spectrometer looked for organics in the Martian soil, finding only trace amounts. The second experiment involved adding helium gas to a soil sample, then applying organics, other chemicals, and water in order to spur on life. The experiment hoped to find metabolic processes through gas exchanges, of which none were found. Another experiment heated soils for organic residue, and created a control sample for the other experiments. Advertisement - Continue … [Read more...] about What If Viking Really Did Find Life on Mars?