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Not Water on Mars

These dark lines seen on Mars have been used by scientists to point to the existence of water, and possibly life, on the planet. However, the latest research shows the dark lines are likely the result of moving sand and dust, not seeping water as previously thought. 

Image Credit: NASA

Without the presence of water, the search for life as we know it on Mars is coming to a screeching halt.

Image Credit: NASA

These dark lines grow during the Martian summer and shrink during winter.  That cyclical movement has been pointed to as evidence for water on the Red Planet.  According to an article from EarthSky magazine, "The steepness of more than 150 of these features has now been assessed with a powerful telescopic camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The streaks are now being interpreted as grains of sand and dust slipping downhill, rather than as ground being darkened by seeping water." The new information shows the streaks only exist on dunes steep enough for sand to slide, not on flatter dunes. 

Image Credit: NASA

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