Salt water may exist on Mars

Researchers want to avoid contamination of the Red Planet with terrestrial organisms.

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Liquid water in its pure form cannot be stored on the cold surface of Mars, however, it is known that the presence of salts can create liquid “brines” that can stably remain for some time.

NASA’s Curiosity and Phoenix rovers found salts known as perchlorates in the soil of the planet, and researchers believe that “pickles” can form due to them.

To learn more about how “brines” will behave in modern Martian conditions, Edgar Rivera-Valentin, a planetologist from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, and his colleagues conducted computer simulations combining thermodynamic and climate models.

They found that one type of “brine” could remain liquid on the planet’s surface and several centimeters lower for six consecutive hours on 40% of the planet’s surface, mainly in the middle and high northern latitudes. However, these “brines” are quite cold, their temperature is 48 ° C, which is about 25 degrees below the known tolerance for life on Earth.

Researchers argue that this discovery will be useful to those who plan flights to Mars. Expeditions to places with the potential to use liquid water are subject to strict protection protocols to reduce the risk of pollution from the Earth. If the Martian “pickles” are truly unsuitable for the life of any known organisms from our planet, this may ease restrictions on further research.


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