NASA convened an unscheduled press conference to announce a “major scientific discovery” in the exploration of Mars. In practice, it was the discovery on the red planet flowing rivers, implying the possible existence of life on it. However, Russian experts are willing to challenge it.
On Monday NASA announced that the Mars was found in the river – emerging seasonal flows of salty water. In the width of these streams do not exceed five meters. Salts were discovered in parts of the seasonal flow of rivers, and adjacent parts of traces of such compounds was not found. The presence of salt water is important for the potential existence of life on the red planet (water without salts would quickly freeze).
“Martian mystery solved”
“Between the Moon and Mars for colonization will definitely need to choose Mars”
These rivers appear in warm season, in cold disappear. This conclusion is drawn based on the analysis of images acquired from a scientific instrument High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) orbiting Mars is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Thanks to these images, the scientists were able with the help of special method to perform a more accurate spectral analysis and show the presence on the Martian slopes of hydrated salts.
Unscheduled press conference NASA called “Martian mystery solved” was announced earlier. It was planned to announce a “major scientific discovery” as part of its program for the exploration of Mars. Until the end it was unknown exactly what kind of opening will tell you at the briefing, but the overwhelming number of journalists were inclined to think that it will be about discovering the world reserves of liquid water.
The press conference was broadcast live on channel NASA TV and the Agency’s website. On the theory that it will announce the discovery of water on Mars, pointed, in particular, the presence among the speakers of a young scientist from Nepal, Legendry Oji, who discovered back in 2011 (as a student) indicators of the possible presence of water on the red planet in the past.
As stated by the newspaper VIEW senior researcher of the Institute of applied astronomy Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Zheleznov, “why would water not be on the surface of the red planet”. “In fact, there is water on mercury, Ceres, Europa, Jupiter’s moon – there’s an ocean, it is on asteroids, comets, on the moon. Water as an element is present in all parts of the Solar system. Another thing is that in many places it immediately evaporates. And by itself, water is not yet a sign that this place is bound to have life,” – said the expert.
While Zheleznov noted that water is an essential element for the possible establishment of the Terran space bases. “Water is the natural source of life for us, and at the same time the element for fuel. It can be divided into oxygen and hydrogen. And please – hydrogen is the fuel. If the Americans have discovered on Mars the reserves of this water, they can say: here, in this place, in this area we will build your base”, he said.
But there is a specialist and doubt, about the presence on Mars of liquid water and possible life there. “The polar caps on Mars consist primarily of dry ice, said Zheleznov. – The maximum temperature on Mars, near the equator of about plus 15 degrees, but for them it is like the Sahara desert, the average temperature is still below zero. Of course, if you start to dream, it can be assumed that somewhere in the region of the Martian equator can flow underground rivers of water. But I don’t know… Mars is still too small a planet to have a dense atmosphere, to life.”
According to him, in a short geological period, apparently, the water in liquid state on Mars really was. But even if there was life, it is possible to develop sufficiently, she would not have time. “Any bacteria can be. But imagine that on this planet went the dinosaurs, was vegetation, I think it would be naive,” he concluded.
In turn, the member-correspondent of the Russian Academy of Astronautics and a PhD from the American University of Hopkins Yury Karash told the newspaper VIEW that for the first time about the possible presence of water on Mars, the Americans with fanfare announced in 2004. Then one of the research spacecraft discovered on the surface of the red planet “not even traces of water, damp patches, and the minerals that could form only in the presence of water”.
“If now will announce the discovery of a real, live, liquid water is, of course, will be a step forward,” he admitted.
He also compared the actions of Americans with the actions of Russian space experts who declared about the discovery of ice reserves on the moon. “And it was called the excuse to fly to the moon and build a base there. But if the moon need to fly in order to heat and to drink water – he commented ironically, on Mars, if there suddenly is a real, liquid, water, even flushing nothing. Between the Moon and Mars for colonization will definitely need to choose Mars”.
About the answer to the question whether there is life on Mars, Karash said: “It might be. Not necessarily in the form of some little green men. Maybe on the level of microorganisms, and can be, and at the macro level. Let’s say, the discovery of living water enhances the chances of existence on the red planet of any life forms”, he concluded.
Mars and water
Scientists have long been aware of the presence of water ice on the polar caps of Mars, but attempts to detect water in the liquid state have so far been unsuccessful. This finding would have improved the chances for the possibility of sustaining life on Mars, because on Earth there is no life without water is impossible, say many experts.
August 7 this year, the Russian DAN instrument, designed for detecting water on Mars and installed on the American Mars Rover Curiosity has found on the red planet abnormal “oasis” – an area with an unusual chemical composition of the surface. In the area observed the increased thermal neutron flux from below the surface that could point to either a significant amount of water in the soil, or “unusual chemical composition” of the soil.
In June, scientists involved in the mission on Mars, found traces of methane in the rock samples from the red planet. This was another argument in favor of the fact that on Mars once there was life. In December last year, the Rover Curiosity confirmed the existence of an ancient lake on the red planet. In addition, the scientists noted that the atmosphere of Mars could maintain the temperature above zero degrees.
At the same time, scientists have found in the molecules of the meteorite signs of life on Mars in ancient times. In September 2013, Curiosity found that the Martian soil has a very large amount of water, which caused surprise to some scientists.
While the media has got and rebuttal on the topic that another discovery on Mars doesn’t mean anything, there could be both water and not water, etc. In July last year, NASA disproved one of the theories about the existence of liquid water on Mars, explaining that the clefts on the surface of the planet was formed as the result of seasonal freezing of carbon dioxide, not by water flow, as previously assumed.
We also add that NASA is actively working on the preparation of a flight to Mars. The water on the planet would be a major argument to implement this mission.Related posts: