Once again the debate on whether or not there is or has been water on Mars has again come to light, with Scientists studying images of dark streaks on the planet’s surface. These dark streaks have been labelled RSL or “Recurring Slope Lines” and these may be the key to unlocking whether or not water exists or existed on the Martian Planet. The theory is that the streaks seen or RSL’s may leave minerals in their wake the will either prove or disprove whether these streaks or markings are related to water activity. Lead Author on two reports into RSL, Lujendra Ojha from the Georgia Institute of Technology had this to say in regards to the latest discovery;
“We still don’t have a smoking gun for existence of water in RSL, although we’re not sure how this process would take place without water”
Others have hypothesized that the cause of RSL’s is the flow of near surface water that is kept liquid by salts, although to date Lujendra and his team are yet to find spectral signatures related to the 13 confirmed RSL sites. However they have found distinct and consistent signatures for iron-rich minerals, which could have been left behind during a wet or dry sorting process that filters out the fine dust from the Martian surface. That is just one theory the other is that these signatures could represent an increase in the more oxidized (rusted) component of the minerals or a darkening due to moisture. Both of these theories would indicate the presence of water on Mars, however at this stage we may never truly know that answer until we either get solid data from the planet’s surface or land a human on the planet. I guess only time will tell.
Thank you The Escapist for the information provided
Image courtesy of The Almagest