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December 4, 2015

Streaks, believed to be flowing water, on Mars

A false-color image of streaks, believed to be flowing water, on Mars at Hale Crater.

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A new study led by scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship program (grant DGE 11-48903) provides the strongest evidence yet that there is intermittent flowing liquid water on present-day Mars.

Researchers used instruments onboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to measure spectral signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious, possibly water-related streaks are found on the red planet. The streaks, known as recurring slope lineae, form and snake down the planet's steep slopes during warm seasons, when temperatures exceed -10 degrees Fahrenheit (-23 degrees Celsius), and disappear at colder times during the Martian year.

To learn more, see the NSF News From the Field story Mineralogical evidence confirms liquid water on Mars. (Date image taken: 2015; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Nov. 24, 2015)

Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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