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Video: Boiling water could make sand on Mars jump 'like popcorn'

Video: Boiling water could make sand on Mars jump 'like popcorn'

On Mars, a little water can go a long way. Those mysterious dark lines that grow and fade on some of the Red Planet’s slopes might not have all been caused by water flowing on the surface, but violently boiling off of it, a new laboratory study finds.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, reveal the potential pitfalls of judging Martian geology by Earthly standards — and could alter our understanding of water's role in shaping the surface of our rusty, dusty neighbor.

Planetary scientists have long been entranced by dark streaks that appear on some Martian slopes known as “recurring slope lineae,” so named because of their tendency...

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