The first, with no surprise, is Life on the planet.
But a close second is water.
For over a millennia, the common thought was that our red neighbor was desolate of life and water; both of these absences brought about by the ever dwindling atmosphere.
But some recent photographs taken by NASA’s HiRISE, a camera on board of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (a satellite charged with the exploration of Mars), have scientist rethinking all they have ever thought about the Martian surface.
It all started last August, when HiRISE photographed some very strange geological rifts carved into the dusty, sandy surface of the dead planet. These ridges, being called by those in the know “recurring slope lineage” or RSC, are said to only have been brought about by the flowing of water.
But again, the common theory is that there is neither water nor life on the surface of the Red Planet.
But after eight months of studying these photographs (as well as other bits and pieces of information gathered by recent rover and observer experiments) our best and brightest minds have come up with a most intriguing theory,,,
Water did it.
"No one has come up with alternative models that they believe. Nor have we" states University of Arizona researcher Alfred McEwen.
And just so you don’t think that Alfie is some rogue madman talking out of his ass, check out the findings of the recent Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (which offered some strong supporting evidence for the liquid nature of the RSL),as reported by Scientific American:
Using satellite observations of Antarctic water tracks, Levy and a colleague found that they could estimate the soil's permeability from orbit by measuring how the tracks propagated downhill. And that estimate agreed reasonably well with the actual soil properties, which Levy and his colleagues have measured in field studies. Applying the same calculations to Mars, he concluded that the RSL could be explained by brines if the slopes had the permeability of sand or silt. That matches the kind of soil expected to prevail at the sandy RSL sites. In other words, whatever is moving down the Martian slopes behaves as liquid would in that environment.
**Photograph taken from the NASA website where they themselves claim that the canals were made by flowing water.