Image credit: These extensive strips are concluded to have been shaped by contemporary flowing water. NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Spectral data from MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars instrument (CRISM) detected four different sites where the RSL are most extensive. The data exhibited confirmation of three different hydrated salts – magnesium perchlorate, magnesium chlorate and sodium perchlorate – at all four sites, specifying that salty water (also called brine) flows are accountable for the RSL activity.
Researchers now recognize that salty water flowing downward is accountable for the RSL, but the main question is, where does the water come from? There are a few prospects, but scientists have yet to narrow it down. The water might form by the melting of surface or subsurface ice, but the possibility of near-surface ice around the equatorial region is slim.
Here on Planet Earth, in the Atacama Desert, we are well aware that the deliquescence of definite salts offers the only known refuge for lively microbial communities. If RSL form as a consequence of deliquescence of perchlorate salts, they might have key astrobiological implications. The findings have been issued in Nature Geosciences and deliver new insight into the current Martian hydrologic cycle.