The explanation is that the substance calcium perchlorate has been found in the soil which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty salt water - a brine."We have discovered the substance calcium perchlorate in the soil and, under the right conditions, it absorbs water vapour from the atmosphere.

Our measurements show that these conditions exist at night and just after sunrise in the winter," said Morten Bo Madsen, head of the Mars Group at the Niels Bohr Institute at University of Copenhagen.Based on measurements of humidity and the temperature at a height of 1.6 metres and at the surface of the planet, scientists can estimate the amount of water that is absorbed.

The soil is porous so what we are seeing is that the water seeps down through the soil."Over time, other salts may also dissolve in the soil and now that they are liquid, they can move and precipitate elsewhere under the surface," Madsen said.New close-up images taken by the rover all the way en route to Mount Sharp show that there are expanses of sedimentary deposits, lying as 'plates' one above the other and leaning a bit toward Mount Sharp.

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