The Growing Case for Water on Mars

After more than a century of wild speculation, decades of serious searching, and years of collecting increasingly compelling evidence, there is suddenly a scientific and media buzz over whether Mars is a planet sculpted by water. Thing is, that question is already answered in the minds of most Mars experts. The latest news — a previously unheralded mineral called hematite has been detected by NASA’s Opportunity rover — dribbled out late last week and over the weekend. It might turn out to be a key moment in Mars exploration history, but some scientists think it is more likely to represent just another piece in a huge puzzle of a planet that could remain largely enigmatic for years to come.