I’ve been burned by NASA announcements before (remember “arsenic life”?), but this one sounds like it is genuinely important. There’s evidence of liquid water on the surface of Mars right now.
Liquid water runs down canyons and crater walls over the summer months on Mars, according to researchers who say the discovery raises the chances of being home to some form of life.
The trickles leave long, dark stains on the Martian terrain that can reach hundreds of metres downhill in the warmer months, before they dry up in the autumn as surface temperatures drop.
Images taken from the Mars orbit show cliffs, and the steep walls of valleys and craters, streaked with summertime flows that in the most active spots combine to form intricate fan-like patterns.
It’s nothing more than a thin, feeble trickle that appears seasonally, but the spectroscopic evidence says there are also salts in there. Hey, that’s enough! Life will find a way! I’d be willing to bet that there is some kind of single-celled life struggling along in these recurring slope lineae.
Send probes now! Mars has just become biologically interesting!