Liquid water exists on Mars, boosting hopes for life there, NASA says

Epigraph:

Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were a closed-up mass, then We opened them out? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (Al Quran 21:31)

Additional earth

This artist’s impression of Kepler 186f reveals a rocky world that could hold liquid water on its surface

While the discovery doesn’t by itself offer evidence of life on Mars, either past or present, it does boost hopes that the harsh landscape still offers some refuge for microbes to cling to existence.

“The existence of liquid water, even if it is super salty briny water, gives the possibility that if there’s life on Mars, that we have a way to describe how it might survive,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA.

NASA researchers using an imager aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter confirmed the watery flows by looking at light waves returned from seasonal dark streaks on the surface, long suspected to be associated with liquid water.

The investigation showed the streaks absorb light at specific wavelengths associated with chemicals known to pull water from the Martian atmosphere in a process known as deliquescence, said Georgia Tech doctoral student Lujendra Ojha, who first discovered the streaks while still an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona in 2011.

The chemicals allow the water to remain liquid at lower temperatures but also help keep it from boiling off in the thin atmosphere of Mars, the researchers said.

Read further and watch videos

Additional Reading

Provident God of the Abrahamic Faiths: Plain Water will Tell you the Story

1 reply

  1. The Quranic verse quoted as an epigrpah, is one of the most profound verses in the Holy Quran, it is describing Big Bang and importance of water to all life forms, to seventh century Arabs, who could not have cared less about science, in general, and biology and astronomy in particular.

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