The Most Incredible Images Of Liquid Water On Mars

Photo: Courtesy of Univ. of Arizona/ JPL- Caltech/ NASA.
Space enthusiasts, your day has been made. Earlier this morning, NASA announced that it has proof of the current presence of salty water on Mars. You know — that dusty, red planet that sported an ice cap in the first episode of The Magic School Bus?

According to the most recent evidence, salt water has been on Mars' surface in the past few months. Scientists deduced this fact based on the presence of recurring slope lineae — which show up as dark streaks on the planet's surface — that are a result of salt water flowing down Mars' slopes. The images ahead, taken with a spectrometer, show these long streaks on the sides of three of the planet's craters.

"This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water — albeit briny — is flowing today on the surface of Mars," astronaut John Grunsfeld said in a press release. Ahead, four glorious photos that were used to prove that water is on Mars. Next up — who knows?
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Photo: Courtesy of Univ. of Arizona/ JPL- Caltech/ NASA.
This image of Hale Crater on Mars was created with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The dark, narrow streaks, NASA says, could be the result of seasonal water flow on Mars during warmer periods.
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Photo: Courtesy of Univ. of Arizona/ JPL- Caltech/ NASA.
The Garni Crater on Mars sports similar lines, which NASA says are several hundred meters long in this image.
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Photo: Courtesy of Univ. of Arizona/ JPL- Caltech/ NASA.
The Horowitz Crater, here, sports streaks about as long as a football field, NASA says. Further proof of the presence of water? The orbiter has detected hydrated salts — which contain ions associated with water molecules — along the crater slopes.

"We found the hydrated salts only when the seasonal features were widest, which suggests that either the dark streaks themselves or a process that forms them is the source of the hydration," Lujendra Ojha, one of the lead authors of the reports, said in a press release.
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Photo: Courtesy of Univ. of Arizona/ JPL- Caltech/ NASA.
Here, NASA takes a closer look at Hale Crater, where the streaks are also as long as a football field. Scientists believe that briny water flows slightly beneath the surface, which causes the darkened streaks.

"When most people talk about water on Mars, they're usually talking about ancient water or frozen water. Now, we know there's more to the story," Ojha says.
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