A brand new research means that darkish markings on the planet Mars characterize sand – not water.
Analysis in 2015 had recommended that strains on some Martian hills have been proof of water. But American scientists now say these strains seem extra like dry, steep flows of sand.
If water is current, they mentioned, it’s more likely to be a small quantity. Water in liquid type could be obligatory for microbial life.
NASA, the American house company, mentioned extra analysis is required.
Michael Meyer is the lead scientist for NASA’s Mars exploration program. He famous that the most recent research doesn’t reject the presence of water. However he admitted, “It simply is probably not as thrilling as the thought of rivers taking place the edges of cliffs.”
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter supplied the photographs of darkish strains. 1000’s have been reported on the Purple Planet.
The brand new findings come from a group led by Colin Dundas of the USA Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona.
His group measured 151 of those strains in 10 areas. A lot of the strains finish with slopes between 28 levels and 35 levels. These measurements are just like energetic sand dunes on each Mars and Earth, the researchers famous. They mentioned a small masking of mud that strikes and typically turns into lighter would possibly assist clarify the markings. They normally seem within the Martian summertime, then disappear till the subsequent yr.
If these strains are dry, “this means that current Mars has not had appreciable [large]volumes of liquid water,” the researchers wrote.
Dundas and his analysis group say that many questions stay.
To Meyer, the massive variety of questions is what makes Mars so enjoyable. Scientists have lengthy gone modified their fascinated by the planet relying on the findings of the newest research.
“I nonetheless assume that Mars poses an incredible potential for having had life early on in its historical past,” Meyer mentioned. “So long as that’s true, we even have an affordable risk of life nonetheless being on Mars. It simply occurs to be cryptic or nicely hidden.”
NASA presently has no robotic car — both on Mars or in growth — with the power to climb steep slopes. The shortage of such gear has engineers developing with concepts like Martian helicopters or drones.
“However going from a intelligent concept that works in your sandbox to one thing that goes to Mars takes a good quantity of engineering growth,” Meyer mentioned.
I am John Russell.
Marcia Dunn reported on this story for the Related Press. John Russell tailored his report for VOA Studying English. George Develop was the editor.
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Phrases in This Story
steep – adj. dropping or falling sharply; extraordinarily excessive
microbial – adj. of or regarding microbes or micro organism
cliff – n. a excessive, steep floor of rock, earth, or ice
diploma – n. a type of measurement for the scale of angles, the form fashioned by two strains extending from the identical level
slope – n. floor that slowly drops downward or upward; floor that slopes
quantity – n. an quantity of one thing
cryptic – adj. obscure; having or seeming to have a hidden that means