Mars has been permeating the news lately with a human exploration in the planning process and films such as The Martian propagating the hope that one day man will step foot on the Red Planet. Just this past week, NASA’s press agents announced the organization had an exciting new discovery to share, building anticipation across the globe that little green aliens are indeed real. While some people breathed a sigh of disappointment when this was not the case, others became excited when NASA confirmed a theory that space explorers have had for a while: Mars has water.
The different terrestrial formations decorating the planet, including what are now referred to as “Mars blueberries,” were theorized to have formed from water erosion. NASA’s ground-based observations through the rover finally discovered liquid water that was salty, briny, and unrecognizable compared to the water found on Earth.
NASA believes that over 20 percent of the planet was once made of ocean. Now, only 13 percent of the original water supply is present on the planet, mostly in the form of ice caps. The water found uses a heavier form of hydrogen paired with other chemicals to keep water from leaving the thin atmosphere on Mars, causing it to seep into the ground and freeze. Some scientists believe that the existence of water in the curst will finally yield the discovery of microbe life.
The Mars rover discovered methane and other elements that suggest life on Mars is or was a possibility. The discovery of water on Mars is one more step towards finding life outside of Earth. If not, a type of colonization of the Red Planet may underway in the upcoming centuries as the initial mission to Mars prepares to discover whether the hazardous conditions are livable. And if we never find life on Mars, perhaps the real Martians will simply be our future great-great-grandchildren.