Search For Life
Above and Beyond: Water on Mars
NASA's Mars orbiters have seen dark, thin, finger-like marks that advance down some Martian slopes when temperatures rise. Could this be water?
Search For Life: Video Segments
Search for Life
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
· Photo of a hot spring courtesy of the National Park Service/Jim Peaco
· Photo of crabs at a deep-sea hydrothermal vent courtesy of Alex D. Rogers (University of Oxford)
· Photo of a Pompeii worm courtesy of University of Delaware, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
· Photo of a ship’s wake courtesy of Andrzej Otrębski
· Photo of a clown fish courtesy of Wikimedia user Ritiks
· Photos of a sea turtle and jellyfish courtesy of Wikimedia user Brocken Inaglory
· Photo of a drinking swallow courtesy of Wikimedia user Sanchezn
· Photo of elephants courtesy of Derek Keats (Johannesburg, South Africa)
· Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
· Exoplanet illustrations courtesy of ESO
· Ariane 5 rocket launch image ©2008 ESA – CNES – Arianespace/Photo by Optique Video CSG
· JWST animation and illustrations courtesy of G. Bacon (STScI)
· JWST deployment animation courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Northrop Grumman
· Hubble Space Telescope animations courtesy of ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)
· Illustration of K2 fields based on image courtesy of ESO/S. Brunier/NASA Kepler Mission/Wendy Stenzel
· TESS animation courtesy of Chester Beals (MIT Lincoln Laboratory) and George Ricker (MIT)
· Animation of planetary orbits around Milky Way stars courtesy of ESO/M. Kornmesser
· Prism animation courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada
· Spectrum illustration courtesy of M. Lussier (STScI)
· Artwork depicting water on the surfaces of other worlds courtesy of Dan Durda (Fellow, IAAA)
· Spectral line illustrations courtesy of A. Feild (STScI) and the European Space Agency
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
Mars against a black background.
Text, There is abundant evidence that water flowed on Mars in the distant past.
We get closer to Mars. Icy tundras with great fissures in them on the surface.
A close-up of a large fissure.
Text, But does water still flow on Mars today?
Thin streaks down a Martian slope.
Text, These dark, thin, finger-like streaks advance down some Martian slopes when temperatures rise. One interpretation is that these features are caused by seasonal running water.
But another possibility is that they are caused by flowing sand, not water. Surface of Mars.