Scientists Have Struggled to Determine if There is Life on Mars
It’s difficult to conclude whether or not life might have existed (or exists) on Mars. First, humans have never been to Mars, though it is a great aspiration and eventual goal of many absorbed in the mysteries of outer space. Therefore, evidence for and against life on Mars must be scrutinized from images collected by technology launched into space and sent back to Earth. Though the quality of this equipment is obviously made to the very best of our ability, scientists are still dependent upon secondhand glimpses of alien worlds to determine whether or not water (the indication of life or the ability to sustain life) might exist.
This leads to another inherent problem of estimating the likelihood of water on Mars. A massive expanse, Mars may house evidence for water that could be lurking in corners or areas not easily visible. Even if scientists had officially looked at every inch of Mars, a daunting task certainly, there would always be the possibility that some evidence for water on Mars had been completely missed. Therefore, checking images of Mars is time consuming and may not necessarily offer conclusive results on whether or not water exists there. However, it is rather promising that ice exists below the surface of Mars, indicating that at the very least, billions of years ago, life may have existed.
NASA’s Most Recent Search for Life on Mars
Recently, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbitor launched by NASA has sent researchers high-resolution images from the southern Martian landscape in which dark areas can be seen. These dark spots are fascinating to scientists and all those interested in whether or not water exists on Mars. Because these dark spots appear to grow, move downhill and disappear in late summer or early fall, scientists investigating whether or not there is still water on Mars are entertaining the idea that this explains the visible phenomena. But there are other possible explanations, such as rock slides.
NASA’s Most Recent Predictions for Life on Mars
What would water on Mars be like? Setting aside the importance such findings may have for the human race and exploring only the objective qualities of water on Mars, scientists believe the water would be very salty. However, humans have created ways in which salt may be extracted from water, in turn making the previously salty water safe to consume. Could such technologies be employed to transform salty water on Mars to a safe beverage for a human? Only time and the discovery of water on Mars can tell!
Matson, John. “Mars Bars: Seasonal Markings on Martian Slopes Could Indicate Flowing Water: Scientific American.” Science News, Articles and Information | Scientific American . Scientific American, 04 Aug. 2011. Web. 30 Aug. 2011. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mars-slopes-liquid.