NASA Finds Further Evidence of Ancient Lakes on Mars
NASA continues to discover new things on mars with the Curiosity rover, and as of recent they have found strong evidence in favor of flowing water having existed on the planet. The announcement released by NASA sites streaks found on the planet surface as the key reasoning behind the assertion that Mars likely had flowing water. These streaks cannot be explained in any other way.
[Image Source: NASA]
"Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons." ~ NASA
The streaks in the surface of Mars are made up of certain minerals that would likely have formed from evaporation, according to Futurism. Ancient lakes would have evaporated leaving sediments which would eventually be heated and corroded. All of this combines to give onlookers strong evidence as to the existence of flowing water at a time on the red planet.
“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected. This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water -- albeit briny -- is flowing today on the surface of Mars.” ~ John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
Flowing water to the scale that has been presented in these new findings far overshadows previous estimates of water on mars. NASA will continue using Curiosity to investigate the streaks further to find more evidence as to the past existence of flowing water on the planet.
With many scientists still unhappy with the IAU's definition of "planet," it's possible the debate will never be resolved!