This is big news.
NASA researchers announced Monday what they believe to be the discovery of flowing water on Mars.
According to a report by NBC News, a group of researchers from Georgia Tech led by doctoral candidate Lujendra Ojha investigated streaks, or Recurring Slope Lineae, on the surface of the planet using tools aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
These streaks appear on part of the Martian surface during the planet’s warm seasons and they disappear during the cold seasons, indicating the water melts and freezes with weather changes.
The researchers believe salt on the planet’s surface is responsible for stabilizing the liquid. Ojha said in a statement that the streaks “come and go with the seasons.”
Take a look at the photo NASA released showing the streaks at the bottom of the slopes.
“This means the water on Mars is briny, rather than pure. It makes sense because salts lower the freezing point of water,” Ojha said.
Because water is an essential building block for life, this discovery “has astrobiological, geologic and hydrologic implications and may affect future human exploration,” said Ojha.
The researchers stated they do not yet know the origin of the water and their next concern is figuring where the water is coming from.