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How liquid water forms on Mars | MconneX | MichEpedia

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Published on Jul 2, 2014

In chambers that mimic Mars' conditions, Michigan Engineering researchers have shown how small amounts of liquid water could form on the planet despite its below-freezing temperatures. The researchers found that a type of salt present in Martian soil can readily melt ice it touches -- just like salts do on Earth's slippery winter walkways and roads.

Liquid water is an essential ingredient for life as we know it. The U-M experiments are among the first to test theories about how it could exist in a climate as cold as Mars'. The findings support the theory that strange globules seen on the Mars Phoenix lander's leg were liquid water.

ABOUT THE PROFESSOR: Nilton Renno (http://aoss.engin.umich.edu/people/nr...) is a Professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (http://aoss.engin.umich.edu/) in the University of Michigan College of Engineering (http://www.engin.umich.edu/college/). His research focuses on planetary science, thermodynamics, astrobiology and aerosols and climate.

MORE: Watch additional MichEpedia videos or join the discussion at http://www.engin.umich.edu/mconnex/mi...

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