Following new findings from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) that provided the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars, Google has honoured the exciting discovery with a Doodle.
“Today’s news stirred us like a long, cool drink in the blistering heat. Science has gestured at the presence of water on Mars before, but evidence of liquid water briny, creeping flows that appear in a crater during Martian summers has tremendous implications in the search for life beyond our planet. We felt compelled to honor such an exciting discovery with a Doodle, and staring at satellite images of Mars for inspiration made Doodler Nate Swinehart really, really thirsty,” said Google.
Nasa said last week that there had been a ‘major science finding’ on the Red Planet and a ‘mystery had been solved’ and yesterday, they revealed that long, dark streaks found on the Martian terrain are most likely explained by the presence of flowing water on the surface.
Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time.
They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.
“Our quest on Mars has been to ‘follow the water,’ in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we’ve long suspected,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water albeit briny is flowing today on the surface of Mars.”
The discovery is the latest of many breakthroughs by NASA’s Mars missions.