Mars is considered our best chance to find life beyond Earth among all the planets in our solar system, according tomedia. But that hope looks set to be dashed, and a new study published by researchers from several institutions suggests that even small possibilities may not exist. We think we have a good understanding of the ingredients that life needs to exist. One of the biggest is water, and there is water on Mars.
Although most of the water on Mars is frozen, the combination of salt, water and salt on the planet greatly reduces the martian ice point, meaning that there may still be super salty salt water pits on the surface of Mars.
To determine the possibility that these puddles support life, the researchers built an atmospheric model based on known information about Mars, and then used simulated climates to test whether salt water pits could last for a long time. Unfortunately, the final data points in the other direction.
“Our team studied specific areas on Mars — areas where liquid water temperature and accessibility limitations may allow known terrestrial organisms to replicate — to see if they are habitable,” study co-author Dr. Alejandro Soto said in a statement. We developed a model to predict when, where, and duration of salt water will stabilize on the surface of Mars and underthe shallow. “
The results show that, even under the most favorable conditions, ultra-salt puddles will remain stable on the surface of Mars only at certain times of the year. “Even the most extreme life on Earth has limits, and we found that some salt-forming salt water can form more than 40 percent of the liquid water on the surface of Mars, but it’s only seasonal, 2 percent of the year on Mars,” Soto said. “
It’s a bit disappointing. But the good news is that NASA’s new Mars rover, Perseverance, will soon travel to Mars, where it will collect samples from the surface of the planet and conduct experiments to reveal whether life once existed on Mars.