(Sydney Morning Herald) Researchers just uncovered an incredible fact about liquid water on Mars. It's not just flowing; it's also boiling. And that discovery also solves one of the major mysteries about the surface of the red planet.
The results of a new experiment published today in Nature Geoscience detail how scientists made the finding and what it means.
Researchers built a chamber simulating the conditions and atmosphere of Mars, then put ice in there to melt. The ice did melt and the water from it flowed — but there was also a surprise. The surface of the water boiled as it flowed, and that boiling was strong enough to move not just the water but also dirt and debris surrounding the streams.
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Importantly, temperature was not the major factor in this boiling water. It was due to the pressure of the atmosphere.