Have you ever wondered about Martians? Well recent studies may lead to the belief of Alien fantasies. Mars is a neighboring planet to earth that scientists have found fascinating for years. At half the size of earth, Mars weighs 1/10 as much and contains only 15% of the volume.
In the past, scientists have viewed Mars as a dry and arid planet. Recently the views on this fascinating planet have changed. In 2008, scientists confirmed existence of frozen water on Mars. Methane has also been discovered on Mars’ surface. On Monday. scientists reported flowing rivulets of water on Mars. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has yielded the strongest evidence of water in the liquid form trickling down slopes on Mars. The camera captured significant amounts of water. The rivulets discovered are about 12-15 feet wide and 300 ft long. The rivulets apparently consist of wet soil. Scientists are not sure of the source of the water. It is said that it could be melting ice, an underground aquifer, water vapor from the atmosphere, or a combination of all these. Three billion years ago, Mars had a huge ocean, the absence of the water remains a mystery.
Water allows for life forms. Does this mean that their are living things on Mars? The water found in the rivulets is believed to contain salts - not normal table salt, but sodium perchlorate, magnesium perchlorate, and magnesium chlorate. These salts are key factors in the existence of water. The salts believed to be in the water are similar to the salts that are poured on roads to melt ice.Mars has extreme temperatures reaching up to negative eighty-five degrees fahrenheit and without these salts the water would remain frozen. The water has led scientists to explore the possible of microscopic life forms on Mars, as well as a possible human visit. NASA’s Mars exploration program is aiming to send to send a U.S. lander to Mars to collect rocks and soil for analysis. NASA has a goal of sending humans to Mars in the 2030’s, is this goal achievable? We will find out.
To find out more about the Red Planet go to : http://mars.nasa.gov/allaboutmars/facts/#infographic