Mars Gullies Not Formed By Flowing Water: NASA

Posted: Jul 31 2016, 8:16pm CDT | by , Updated: Jul 31 2016, 8:20pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Mars Gullies not Formed by Flowing Water: NASA
Photo Credit: NASA

The gullies on the surface of Mars, similar to the ones on the Earth, are not carved out by flowing water, US space agency NASA has revealed.

Gullies that sit on the surface of Mars are similar to gullies found on the exterior parts of the Earth. The gullies found on the Earth are carved out by flowing water, a report on said.

A new look taken at the Red planet found that there was no evidence of water being the cause of gullies found on the Martian surface.

"New findings suggest gullies on modern Mars are not being formed by flowing liquid water," NASA wrote on its Twitter handle.

In NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the gullies on Mars appear to light up in shades of pastel purple, green, blue and pink.

According to the website SPACE, these colored streaks across Mars' surface are detailing a chemical composition of a region of gullies.

"These Martian gullies are a widespread and common feature on the planet. The features usually appear in both hemispheres and generally occur on slopes that face toward the poles", according to the NASA statement.

As per the observations by MRO's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, there were seasonal activities in gullies.

The seasonal variations suggest that these changes are associated with the change in temperature, such as melting water or freezing water.

Jorge Núñez of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, who has been studying the reasons for formation of these gullies, said that the two studies done in 2010 and 2014 have built strong cases against liquid water being the cause of Martian gullies.

Núñez pointed out that there are various minerals present in Mars' gullies.

"On Earth and on Mars, we know that the presence of phyllosilicates - clays - or other hydrated minerals indicates formation in liquid water,"  Núñez was quoted as saying.

"In our study, we found no evidence for clays or other hydrated minerals in most of the gullies we studied...other than altered in more recent flowing water," Núñez added.

Núñez mentioned that these gullies carved into the terrain and exposed clays that likely formed billions of years ago when liquid water was more stable on the Martian surface.

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