NASA just found out what these dark streaks on Mars are, and it's game-changing.

Over the weekend, NASA teased some very big news.

More specifically, all weekend long, the agency teased that a major Mars mystery was solved.


This morning's press conference, broadcast live from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., on NASA Television and on the agency's website, did not disappoint.

A self-portrait of the Curiosity Mars rover. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.

At 11:30 a.m. Sept. 28, 2015, NASA announced that, for the first time, they have evidence of flowing water on Mars.

They're called Recurring Slope Lineae, or RSL. They appear as dark streaks that begin in late spring, grow in the summer, and disappear by fall. Until now, NASA researchers couldn't explain what the streaks were.

Turns out, the streaks are evidence of salty water intermittently moving across the surface of the planet.

These dark, narrow streaks were formed by flowing water on Mars. Photo by NASA/JPL/University of Arizona.

But this isn't the first time water's been found on Mars.

(Wait, what?) Yep. Researchers discovered water frozen in small, salty puddles on the planet's surface at night and permafrost at Mars' poles.


Permafrost on the surface of Mars. Exciting. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

But this latest announcement and discovery marks the first time that flowing water has been found on the incredibly cold, harsh planet.

Evidence of moving water could be a huge step forward in the search for life, and it opens up possibilities when it comes to the red planet's ability to sustain human life.

So ... are we sending humans to Mars? Not just yet.


Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University/Arizona State University.

Even with the discovery of moving water, inhabiting the red planet — or even sending humans for a visit — is still a long way off. (Sorry, Matt Damon).

So for now, NASA and other international space agencies are conducting dry runs here on Earth.

Last October, six strangers (three men and three women) were picked to live in a dome on a Hawaiian volcano for eight months to simulate a stay on Mars. NASA backed the study to see if people isolated from civilization can work together and get along. It was essentially "Real World: Red Planet."


Even with successful simulations, NASA estimates the first human-manned mission to Mars won't happen until the 2030s.

That may seem like a long time to wait, especially after today's announcement. But as Dr. Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA, told the crowd at today's announcement, it's all about safety.

"NASA's approach to exploration is not 'Star Trek.' It's not 'go where no man has gone before,'" he said. "It's really a very methodical approach for which we learn everything about the environment that we're going to subject humans to that we possibly can. ... And I anticipate continuing to do that for many years before humans even get in the vicinity of Mars."

But! This is a major breakthrough, and it lays the groundwork for many missions to come.

While you can't drink the water on Mars (it's much too salty) and you can't grow crops with it (the atmosphere on Mars is too thin), finding moving water on Mars is truly unprecedented and opens a lot of doors for exciting missions and exploration to come.

As astronaut John Grunsfeld said at this morning's announcement, "We are on a journey to Mars, and science is leading the way."

Photo by NASA/Greg Shirah.

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Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

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A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

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via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

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Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

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