NASA recently said that it had an important announcement to make about a ‘major science finding’ that may have solved ‘the Mars mystery.’ The space agency declined to say what mystery or give a clue on the finding, but space fans and scientists alike have some of their theories.
On social media, space exploration enthusiasts’ imagination reached unimaginable levels. Some of them thought that the mystery may be linked to alien life, others believe that the agency may explain the weird rock formations on the Red Planet’s surface, while others dreamed about potatoes or a news on Matt Damon who stars in “The Martian.”
Scientists also have their ideas. But many of them hope that the U.S. space agency will finally unveil that there is liquid water on Mars. Such discovery would be a game-changer in scientific mindset on planets like Mars.
Nevertheless, NASA said that the major finding would be unveiled Sept. 28 at 11:30 a.m. ET on both its official website and TV channel. You will be able to ask NASA investigators questions about the finding on Twitter using #AskNASA hashtag.
But rumors of liquid water on Mars have been circulating within the scientific community for years. Dr. Lujendra Ojha, a planetary scientist, even published a scientific paper on the hypothesis in 2011.
Back then, Ojha said that liquid water may hide below the surface. At that time, the researcher acknowledged that it would take several years before someone can finally prove that flowing water does exist on the Red Planet.
So, many scientists hope that NASA will provide them with that necessary piece of evidence this week.
NASA now runs five missions on the Red Planet. Some of the most popular are those involving Curiosity and Opportunity robotic rovers which reached the planet’s surface in 2012, respectively 2004.
The space agency also has three less-known probes that orbit Mars – MRO, Mars Odyssey and MAVEN. MRO, which was launched in 2006, is equipped with a state-of-the-art camera dubbed HiRISE.
The mission’s principal investigator is expected to be part in the NASA announcement on Monday. The HiRISE instrument is so accurate that it can record objects that are one meter-wide on the planet’s surface. HiRISE also has a near-infrared filter which can greatly help planetary geologists learn about the planet’s geologic makeup.
“These new, high-resolution images are providing unprecedented views of layered materials, gullies, channels, and other science targets,”
said one of the instrument’s operators. HiRISE’s accuracy can also help future missions find the most appropriate landing sites.
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