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Seasonal Mars landscape changes shaped by 'water activity'

The images show Martian terrain changing with the seasons. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

Mysterious features on Mars that change with the seasons are almost certainly created by flowing liquid water, scientists at Nasa believe.

Latest satellite images have identified narrow streaks, typically less than five metres (16.4 ft) wide, that appear on slopes during warm seasons, lengthen, and then fade when conditions become cooler.

Experts have speculated that water might be involved in the formation of the gully-like features, known as recurring slope lineae, but only now has evidence supporting the theory come to light.

Liquid water could suggest that the surface of Mars is able to support life.

Nasa wrote: "Water is essential to life as we know it. The presence of liquid water on Mars today has astrobiological, geologic and hydrologic implications and may affect future human exploration."


Nasa image shows 'fresh crater' on the surface of Mars

The 'fresh' crater on Mars was photographed on March 30th. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A 'fresh' crater on the surface of Mars has been snapped by Nasa's HiRise camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Nasa said the closeup image of the impact crater was photographed on March 30th and shows it is located in the Sirenum Fossae region of Mars.

The crater, which Nasa said is new in geological terms, is believed to be fresh because "it has a sharp rim and well-preserved ejecta" - or debris field surrounding it.

Brit on Mars shortlist: 'It's like queuing for a rollercoaster'

A British woman who has been shortlisted to travel to Mars has described the feeling as "like queuing up for a rollercoaster".

Clare Weedon is one of five Brits down to the final 100 people who could be chosen for the one-way trip.

The 27-year-old told ITV News: "It's like queuing up for a rollercoaster - you're terrified but you're so excited."


UK Space Agency Mars probe 'may have been spotted'

Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter may have found clues as to Beagle 2's whereabouts. Credit: NASA

The doomed Beagle 2 Mars probe may have been spotted near its intended landing site on the Red Planet, according to reports.

The UK Space Agency announced that it would provide an "update" on the ill-fated craft, which vanished while attempting a Christmas Day landing on the planet in 2003, in a briefing on Friday but is refusing to discuss in advance what will be revealed.

But according to the Times, a senior space scientist who has had sight of the images of Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter said they showed an object "about the right shape and in about the right place" to be the lost lander.

The paper's source added: "It tells us how close it got to the right landing spot and that it was in one piece."

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