According to a June 22, 2000 press release from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) California Institute of Technology, NASA, imaging scientists using data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft have recently observed features that suggest there may be current sources of liquid water at or near the surface of Mars.
The new images, available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/pictures/mars or http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/june2000/ , show the smallest features ever observed from martian orbit -- about the size of a sport-utility vehicle. NASA scientists compare the features to those left by flash floods on Earth.
"We see features that look like gullies formed by flowing water and the deposits of soil and rocks transported by these flows. The features appear to be so young that they might be forming today. We think we are seeing evidence of a groundwater supply, similar to an aquifer," said Dr. Michael Malin, principal investigator for the Mars Orbiter Camera on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft at Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, Calif. "These are new landforms that have never been seen before on Mars."
The findings will be published in the June 30 issue of Science magazine. For more information, text of the NASA press release and images, see Resources for Teachers below.
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