Exciting news from another world today as NASA scientists publish a paper in Nature Geoscience detailing their evidence for water on the surface of Mars.
Using spectral analysis of four different locations obtained from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, scientists have found hydrated salts in recurring slope lineae. Basically what appears to be traces of flowing water. They have not actually observed water flowing, the MRO only observes the surface once a day at 3 pm while Mars is at its hottest and driest, but they are seeing water molecules in the crystal structures of these salts.
This discovery has implications for future colonization as well as for the discovery of microbial life outside our own planet. Personally, I’m still hoping for Wookiees, I can always use a good co-pilot.
Check out the paper, published online here. There is also more information in the form of a Reddit AMA with NASAJPL where they talk about whether this kind of water can support life, and about a future mission to mars (2030!).