Briny Water on Mars

CREATED Aug 4, 2011

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  • Photo courtesy of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory

Web Producer: Martha Serda

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is keeping track of the latest information.  HiRISE camera currently orbiting Mars aboard NASA'S Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Dark, finger-like features that appear and extend down some Martian slopes during the warmest months of the Mars year may show activity of salty water on Mars.  They fade in winter, then recur the next spring.

Some aspects of the observations still puzzle researchers.  Aldred McEwen of the UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory says, "The best explanation we have for these observations so far is flow of briny water, although this study does not prove that."  

McEwen is the  lead author of a report about the recurring flows published on August 5 by the journal Science.