NASA has found running water at a narrow and nearly 328 ft (100 m) long salty water flow. The news was announced by the American space administration at a press conference aired around the world.
Several days prior to the official announcement, NASA prepared the public, saying they've made a historical discovery on the Red Planet.
The honor of announcing their discovery to the world went to Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA. Michael Meyer, the lead scientist for the Mars Exploration Program, Lujendra Ojha of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and other scientists were also present at the conference.
"Mars is very similar to Earth. Something happened there that led to the loss of its water. We are asking the question whether there was ever life on the Red Planet and if so, has anything survived?
What we are discussing today is definitely very exciting, because it sets us on the path to answering these questions, " was part of the official statement by NASA.
The signals for flowing water were sent by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), which sent perfectly clear pictures showing that there was a water source on the Red Planet. The MRO has been exploring Mars since 2006 and this is its most significant discovery.
NASA scientists say that for several years they've suspected the presence of water on the nearby planet. The reason for their suspicions were owed to pictures sent by Curiosity, which showed dark spots on the planet which appeared to change periodically.
This gave NASA grounds to believe that there was flowing water on Mars but before the clear pictures from the MRO, these were simply unproven hypotheses.
From the very dawn of the Red Planet's exploration, the Mars rovers had photographed a mineral structure there which could only have been formed by water. What was unclear was whether it was water that had flowed millions of years ago, whether it was frozen or running water.
The water dries during the Martian fall and stops flowing altogether during the winter. Scientists are not completely certain where the water is coming from exactly but it is not out of the question for it to be coming from subterranean ice or salt water bodies.See more