Recently researchers of GAS Anshuman Bhardwaj, Lydia Sam, F. Javier Martín-Torres, and María-Paz Zorzano, published in the American Geophysical Union’s reputed Reviews of Geophysics journal, a very relevant paper about Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, as a novel Mars analogue site which shows exceptional conditions for studying Slope Streaks, still a challenging enigma for planetary scientists. Among other reasons it is an exceptionally relevant paper because for the first time, the authors propose Salar de Uyuni as an optimal Mars analogue to investigate the presence of transient liquid water mediated by deliquescence of salts such as chloride and sulphate ones, which are the dominant species on the soil.
But the importance of the article does not end here. As if it were a true “science spin-off” and because of the paper’s content quality and the uniqueness and interest of the topic, AGU’s Journal editors invited GAS researchers to publish an article/interview in their prestigious Blog EOS, Earth and Space Science News explaining the main contents of the Paper to a broader audience. This is something very remarkable because AGU’s editors give such kind of invitation to a very few selected articles and from Reviews of Geophysics journal on Mars research, this is the first article to be “blogged” in this way.
In an interview format Blog’s article titled “Revisiting Enigmatic Martian Slope Streaks” gives us some key points towards understanding the Martian slope streaks better: what do they look like, where and when do they occur, why scientists disagree about the mechanisms for their formation and development or how a more holistic approach -as a good Mars analogue as Salar de Uyuni- can provide us with a better explanation of the phenomena. As the slope streak topic demonstrates, with the continuously increasing influx of scientific data, Mars science is very much alive, opened to debate, and full of plenty of present and future research challenges.