A remarkable set of images taken by Nasa's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter suggests there may still be flowing water somewhere on the planet.

The images combined data collected by mineral mapping camera, to highlight strange, 'finger-like' markings.

These features appear to advance down Martian slopes when the temperature rises, Nasa said. And based on changes in surrounding slopes, there is a suggestion that they might be caused by flowing water.

Unfortunately it's not water you'd want to drink - at least, unfiltered. Nasa said it seems likely the water contains a form of natural ferric sulfate, aka antifreeze.

nasa

Above: This image combines a photograph of seasonal dark flows on a Martian slope with a grid of colors based on data collected by a mineral-mapping spectrometer observing the same area.


Nasa added it still doesn't have a "smoking gun for the existence water", though it can't think of another way the features would emerge.

'We're not sure how this process would take place without water," said Lujendra Ojha, a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology and lead author of a pair of reports about the find.

nasa

Above: Dark, seasonal flows emanate from bedrock exposures at Palikir Crater on Mars


Nasa explains:

"The leading hypothesis for these features is the flow of near-surface water, kept liquid by salts depressing the freezing point of pure water."

While Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist Richard Zurek added that the more evidence of water the better in the search for life on - or inside - Mars:

"The flow of water, even briny water, anywhere on Mars today would be a major discovery, impacting our understanding of present climate change on Mars and possibly indicating potential habitats for life near the surface on modern Mars."

Take a look at more amazing pictures from Mars below. Meanwhile if you want to explore the surface of Mars yourself, you can always turn to Google.

Loading Slideshow...
  • This Aug. 9, 2011 image provided by NASA shows a view from the Mars Rover Opportunity from the Western rim of the Endeavour Crater.

  • This undated image provided by NASA shows the Mars rover Opportunity looking back at an outcrop where it spent the Martian winter in 2012.

  • This image provided by NASA shows a rock that the NASA Mars rover Opportunity examined in 2012.

  • This image provided by NASA shows a shadow self-portrait taken by NASA’s Opportunity rover on the Martian surface.

  • This image provided by NASA shows a panoramic view from NASA's Mars Exploration rover Opportunity of "Solander Point."

  • This image provided by NASA shows the late-afternoon shadow cast by the Mars rover Opportunity at Endeavour Crater. The six-wheel rover landed on Mars in January 2004 and is still going strong. (AP Photo/NASA)

  • Handout photo issued by NASA Wednesday 21 January 2004 of a image mosaic taken by the panoramic camera onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit.

  • Nasa undated computer generated image of what the it's Spirit rover would look like on the surface of Mars.

  • This magnified image taken by the Mars Rover Opportunity shows evidence of past flowing water.

  • This magnified image taken by the Mars Rover Opportunity shows evidence of past flowing water.