Experts found a problem searching for hydrated perchlorates in Mars maps.
Scientists at Caltech (USA) concluded that the device misinterpreted the presence of hydrated salts on the red planet due to the mis-processing of data obtained by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In this way, some areas on the planet, where the water had previously accepted the existence, are actually completely dry and lifeless.
Experts have found a problem when looking for hydrated perchlorates in Mars maps, based on information obtained by spectrometers in visible and near infrared radiation (CRISM). Perchlorate reduces the freezing point of water at 80 degrees Celsius and makes it possible to have liquid water in the Mars atmosphere. The presence of perchlorates in Mars is known to be connected to the surface of the planet and the spacecraft Phoenix, which descends to Curiosity Rover.
The presence of minerals found in Mars is evaluated by the reflection of different wavelengths from the surface of the planet. The chemicals absorb and reflect light in a special way. However, the CRISM camera is not always accurate, it detects reflected light points where it should not be. To correct such errors, algorithms sometimes dips in the same wavelength spectra as perchlorate. Scientists have written an algorithm that allows the identification of maps of CRISM small perchlorate deposits, and the program has revealed the presence of salts on the surface of Mars, where there is no requirement for formations.
Scientists are now working on a more accurate method of recognizing perchlorate that is not just based on spectral data. According to investigators, perchlorates are still present in Mars, but they are more difficult to detect than previously thought.