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What's Seeping on Mars? - more possible evidence of water

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posted on May, 22 2014 @ 04:49 AM
Every now and again, I visit the Planetary Society blogs in search of some interesting stories and pictures related to space and the Solar System.

Now, you most likely have already heard about seasonal streaks on Mars that could be attributed to briny water or even just wet mud running down the martian slopes and crater walls. They are called Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL). I just came across this blog: What’s Seeping on Mars? Recurring Slope Lineae which provides more information about this phenomenon, as well as interesting details about how and when it was discovered.

Initial Discovery

It was another student, Lujendra (“Luju”) Ojha, also working on DTM production, who finally caught the small lineae on crater walls growing between images. After Luju raised a flag to the HiRISE Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen, the hunt was on to track down the origin of the strange lineae. They were first discovered in the mid-latitude southern highlands (published by Alfred and coauthros in Science in 2011), but are now known to be abundant in equatorial regions (announced in Nature this year), particularly within the deep canyons of Valles Marineris.

But the most interesting piece of information for me, is that these streaks seem to follow the Sun, always forming on the warmest slopes.

In other words, RSL are most active on the slopes that receive more direct sunlight. The RSL activity also seems to slow down when the air above it is particularly dusty, meaning that more of the Sun's light is blocked and the temperatures in that area are cooler.

Before I found this blog, I was sceptical of the proposals that water could be responsible for these features, attributing them to sand run-offs instead. But now I'm gravitating closer to the water/mud theory. Many questions still remain unanswered, for example, where does this water come from.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 05:16 AM
Thank you for bringing this to us! I really enjoy reading about the discoveries on Mars! S+F!

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:00 AM
Those evil big oil bastards are probably fracking there too!! Sonzah bitches!!
edit on 22-5-2014 by HUMBLEONE because: Embrace the Absurdity!

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:04 AM
Thank heavens I'm not a scientist...

Being non scientific gives me the upper hand...I already know there is water and life on Mars. It's like a belief in God...I just know it

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 11:16 AM
a reply to: MarioOnTheFly
well,if you believe it,it must be true! But did god put the water there?

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 11:38 AM
Why isn't NASA using satellites to find out whether there is groundwater under the surface of mars? Earth as ice caps and groundwater. Why not findout if Mars has groundwater? Use satellites or drill for it. Maybe they already know. NASA uses GRACE satellites to monitor groundwater on Earth.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 11:44 AM
Thanks for sharing.
I think there are many instances of water and vegetation on Mars. I am a big fan of JP Skippers photo analysis of Mars images.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 12:33 PM
a reply to: wildespace

What do you think it is?

Personally I have some theories about Mars and some science in general. That until it is better understood announcing that things are not as we have been led to believe leads to pitchforks and torches...They tend to studies on public reactions and spoon feed them.

posted on May, 22 2014 @ 04:29 PM
a reply to: TamtammyMacx
It is pretty much settled that there are vast glaciers under the suface of Mars.

Use satellites or drill for it.
Use satellites how? Drill for it how?

NASA uses GRACE satellites to monitor groundwater on Earth.
GRACE uses changes in local gravity fields to monitor changes in groundwater quantities. If there is liquid water beneath Mars' surface it probably would be quite static so there wouldn't be any indication to show its presence. But perhaps in the future there will be gravity mapping missions to Mars. Perhaps the data from them could be used.

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 01:23 AM
a reply to: Phage

I second this. Remote sensing for water underground from space ... how are you going to do it? They did it with the GRS instrument a decade ago and showed that there is a cryosphere poleward of around 50° latitudes.

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 09:16 AM
I think salty water in the soil (mud) could exist for short times on Mars under the right conditions in a small area.

The 2008 Phoenix lander found water ice just a few inches below the surface:


You can see it evaporating (sublimating) as it is exposed to the sun.

This may mean there is a permafrost layer on Mars. Phoenix landed close to the Martian north pole, so I don't know how extensive this permafrost layer is on a global scale.

posted on May, 24 2014 @ 02:32 PM
a reply to: ionwind

My former officemate did her thesis simulating ice stability (numerical models and lab experiments) at high Martian latitudes. Her main goal was to finish before Phoenix landed and proved her wrong. Fortunately, it didn't, and her first postdoc was working on the Phoenix team. The predictions from her models were that ice IS stable at high northern latitudes, under the regolith, though I don't think anyone had really predicted it would be so stable so close to the surface that it would be seen just by digging a bit.

And Phoenix landed at 68°N, which is farther away from the north pole than some might think.

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