There is water on Mars, beneath the surface

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  • Published: Sep 28, 2015
  • Author: Steve Down
  • Channels: NMR Knowledge Base / Base Peak / Proteomics / UV/Vis Spectroscopy / Atomic / Raman / X-ray Spectrometry / Infrared Spectroscopy / MRI Spectroscopy / Chemometrics & Informatics

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Scientists have confirmed that water exists on Mars, flowing under the surface in a pattern that increases during the warm season and decreases in cooler times.

It was this change in flow that led the research team to their conclusions because seepage of water to towards the surface brought with it hydrated mineral salts which were detected by the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRIMS) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that has been circling the planet for more than ten years. The results are described in Nature Geoscience.

"When most people talk about water on Mars, they're usually talking about ancient water or frozen water," said Lujendra Ojha, corresponding author of the study. "Now we know there's more to the story. This is the first spectral detection that unambiguously supports our liquid water-formation hypotheses for RSL." RSL are the recurring slope lineae that have been observed at many locations on Mars.

They interpreted the spectral signatures as sodium and magnesium perchlorate and magnesium chlorate, a conclusion that is supported by their recoding on the surface by the Curiosity rover and the Phoenix lander.


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