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Mars May Have Salty Water
Scientists have found new evidence for possible saltwater flows on Mars. The discovery was announced at a NASA news conference Thursday.
Alfred McEwen, lead author of the Science study showing these observations, and his team have been observing Mars using the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. His team has identified features on some slopes of the planet that appear to fade in the winter and come back in the spring.
These flows occur near the Mars equator, where temperatures would be suitable for liquid water.
The water is expected to be salty because previous study of the planet has shown that its surface is salty, so any water that flows in the subsurface is going to be salty.
Seven such sites on the planet have been confirmed, with 20 more possible.
The study does not prove water exists, but identifies it as the best explanation.
"I think it’s going to be laboratory experiments on Earth that give us the best confirmation or refutation," McEwen said.