28 September 2015 News

Images taken by MRO’s HiRISE make case for salt water on Mars, NASA says

“Mars is not the dry, arid planet that we thought of in the past,” NASA scientists said at a highly anticipated press conference.

In the drum-up to the event, there was some speculation that evidence of life on Mars would also be revealed – but alas.

Answering the media’s questions on the probability of life on the Red Planet, NASA did have this to say: “We now have great opportunities to be in the right locations on Mars [to search for possible life].”

The case for salt water on Mars, as laid out by NASA, is a fascinating one. Careful study of the images of dark streaks (which, incidentally, change with the seasons) on Mars – as captured by the Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera – have NASA making a strong argument.

Though as Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy has pointed out, the detection of water is so far indirect.

Plait also has a good summation of the press conference, as well as of the overall search for water on Mars.

Twitter, meanwhile, has naturally exploded with jokes on the subject. Here are a couple of our favorites so far:

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