Curiosity has been successful in finding some traces of salt water just below 2 inches of the Martian surface. The latest Natural Geoscience issue reports that these are the indications that Mars can support biological activity. Curiosity is a Mars rover that has been roving on the planet since August 2012 to find out whether Mars can in any way support life and biological activities.
The rover has been constantly sending data since its landing on the planet and recently reported methane fluctuations in the fixed nitrogen and atmosphere-the two forms that are highly essential for the sustenance of living organisms in the soil.
Instruments Discover Presence of Brine
Curiosity is carrying two instruments aboard-Russian Dan and the Spanish REMS. Both these instruments after careful observation and research have revealed that the Gale crater indicates presence of brine below the Martian surface. Gale Crater is located near the equator of Mars.
According to author Javier Martin Torres, the recent findings are the first of its kind as until now no conditions supporting biological activities were ever discovered. However, the researchers are of the opinion that the atmosphere of Mars permits the formation of salt water only during the night. Curiosity during its stay of two years on Mars has submitted data revealing information about temperature, air pressure and humidity conditions on the planet.
Climate and Weather on Mars
The atmosphere on Mars is very thin and hence cannot easily support life. Moreover, at times the thin Martian air tends to become dusty and is known to cause giant dust storms that envelope the entire surface of Mars. These dust storms last for months together, making sustenance of life difficult.
Mars is much colder than earth as it is placed at a farther distance from the Sun. That is why there is a vast difference between the temperature of earth and Mars. The average temperature on Mars is minus 800 F. It can vary and get as low as minus 1950 F.