NASA have been searching for water on Earth’s sister planet Mars for over a decade, and it appears they may have finally found what they’re looking for – and not in the way they expected, either.
Scientists previously believed that flowing liquid water on Mars was next to impossible, but the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured images of “dark, finger-like” features flowing down steep slopes on the surface of Mars.
The streaks begin to appear during spring on Mars, grow in intensity during the summer season, and then fade away entirely during winter. NASA has observed plenty of ice on Mars’ surface, but never before have they seen evidence of flowing water.
The photographs do not necessarily mean that there is flowing water on Mars, though. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contains an instrument capable of detecting liquid water, but it has yet to find evidence of any.
Still, this is NASA’s most compelling evidence yet for water on Mars – and where there is water, scientists expect life to not be far away from it.
You can check out an additional image of the dark, finger-like streaks below.