The possibility of the existence of liquid water on the surface of Mars was first proved in 2000, when the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft discovered channels on the red planet, formed by flows of then unidentified liquid. Later, the presence on the planet of large reserves of water and ice was predicted by the Phoenix rover, which operated in the circumpolar zone of Mars. It is known that then scientists were faced with a solid white substance that evaporated literally a few days after its discovery. Almost elusive Martian water has been found at the bottom of some craters, as well as under the surface of the rusty-colored planet. New studies of the surface of Mars, published on the portal phys.org, show that streams of very salty water can form on the red planet for several days a year. What can their discovery give to modern science?
Does Mars have water?
Due to the rather harsh climatic conditions on Mars, water, even in solid form, quickly sublimates into the atmosphere of the red planet, dissipating long before it reaches its melting point. However, as research by Norbert Schorghofer, a senior researcher at the Institute of Planetology, shows, there are several areas of great interest to the scientific world on the fourth most remote planet in the solar system. So, in some areas, usually lying in mid-latitudes, you can find shaded areas where large amounts of ice accumulate during the long Martian winter. When the sun rises again in the spring, the ice suddenly heats up. In detailed model calculations, temperatures rise from -128 ° Celsius in the morning to -10 ° Celsius at noon - a colossal change over a quarter of a day. In such a short time, not all of the ice has time to be lost in the atmosphere.
Due to the fact that Mars has an extremely thin atmosphere, the ice melting mark on the planet is much lower than on Earth.
Due to the fact that salt significantly lowers the melting point of H2O, the Martian liquid can form even at temperatures as low as -10 ° C. In addition, so-called carbon dioxide ice appears in shaded areas, which is often used on Earth in cooling installations.
Despite the fact that today the Martian liquid is a substance extremely saturated with salts, in ancient times the local water had quite a comfortable level of acidity and could even become the source of the origin of local life. Be that as it may, even if Mars never had even its simplest inhabitants, the discovered sources of fluid can help future colonists of Earth to create future outposts and settlements. So, even seasonal streams may indicate the presence of more extensive reservoirs of moisture hidden under the surface of the planet, which, in turn, can be used to irrigate specially equipped greenhouses on the equator of Mars in the near future.