Hygroscopic salts and the potential for life on Mars.

@article{Davila2010HygroscopicSA,
  title={Hygroscopic salts and the potential for life on Mars.},
  author={Alfonso F Davila and Luis Gago Duport and Riccardo Melchiorri and Jochen J{\"a}nchen and Sergio Valea and Asunci{\'o}n de los R{\'i}os and Alberto G Fair{\'e}n and Diedrich T F M{\"o}hlmann and Christopher P McKay and Carmen Ascaso and Jacek Wierzchos},
  journal={Astrobiology},
  year={2010},
  volume={10 6},
  pages={617-28}
}
Hygroscopic salts have been detected in soils in the northern latitudes of Mars, and widespread chloride-bearing evaporitic deposits have been detected in the southern highlands. The deliquescence of hygroscopic minerals such as chloride salts could provide a local and transient source of liquid water that would be available for microorganisms on the surface. This is known to occur in the Atacama Desert, where massive halite evaporites have become a habitat for photosynthetic and heterotrophic… CONTINUE READING

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