Evidence of flowing liquid water on Mars: NASA

An image made available by NASA on September 27, 2015, shows dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks called recurring slope lineae flowing downhill on Mars are inferred to have been formed by contemporary flowing water. (AFP)

Liquid water has been observed on the planet Mars, the U.S. space agency NASA said Monday.

“Mars is not the dry, arid planet we thought of in the past,” Jim Green, NASA’s planetary science director, told a press conference.

“Under certain circumstances, liquid water has been found on Mars.”

Scientists have long believed that water once flowed freely across the red planet and was responsible for forming its valleys and canyons.

Major climate change about three billion years ago is believed to have changed all that, Green said.

“Today we’re revolutionizing our understanding of this planet,” Green said.

“Our rovers are finding there’s a lot more humidity in the air.”

The rovers searching the planet’s surface have also found that the soil is much more moist than anticipated.

Dark streaks running down slopes on the Martian surface were observed about four years ago.

Scientists did not have proof, however, that these streaks -- which would form in spring, grow by summer and then disappear by fall -- were actually water.

But after careful study and analysis, they are ready to say that these streaks are, in fact, water.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48