Streaks seen on warm Martian slopes might be caused by seeping water rich in salts that lower its freezing point far below the freezing point of pure water.

April 8, 2015

Streaks seen on warm Martian slopes might be caused by seeping water rich in salts that lower its freezing point far below the freezing point of pure water. These features, known as RSL, for Recurring Slope Lineae, can be found on the central peaks (uplifted mountains of deep bedrock) of Hale Crater.

This image shows RSL extending downhill from bedrock cliffs, mostly towards the northwest (upper left). This image was taken in middle summer when RSL are most active in the southern mid latitudes.

The streaks in Hale have an unusually “reddish” color, perhaps due to oxidized iron compounds, like rust. The Hale RSL are also unusual because they began activity much earlier than most RSL sites in the middle southern latitudes, and were well-developed in the early spring.

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

ENLARGE

You Might Also Like