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Mars streaks are probably caused by dust and sand, not water

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Eric Vela
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Mars photos show an interesting landscape feature: dark streaks that appear to show flowing movement, which some thought may be water.

A new study says that is probably not the case, though, instead being more likely attributed to dry flow processes.

This is based in part on assessments made with the Mars orbiter’s telescopic camera.

That’s bad news in the hunt for microbes, unfortunately.

NASA detailed the new study recently, saying the streaks shown in the image above are likely granular flows, not the subsurface water flows some had previously expected.

The dark streaks are probably composed of dust and sand that falls down from higher points, forming what appear to be streaks where water had darkened the otherwise lighter landscape.

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Eric Vela
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