For the first time ever, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found clear and conclusive evidence for the physical existence of liquid water below the surface of Mars, helping to confirm a scientific theory that hypothesizes that the dark streaks seen on crater walls are actually the direct result of liquid water flowing out from underground.
Scientists think thin films of water form when salts in the soil, called perchlorates, absorb water vapour from the atmosphere.
The temperature of these liquid films is about -70C – too cold to support any of the microbial life forms that we know about.
Forming in the top 15cm of the Martian soil, the brines would also be exposed to high levels of cosmic radiation – another challenge to life.[/su_quote]
However, despite the high levels of cosmic radiation and the lack of an Earth-like exchange between the atmosphere and the ground through the process of rain, it’s still possible that living organisms and alien life could exist somewhere beneath the Martian surface, especially now after the discovery of this brine-maintained daily water cycle on Mars.