Water on Mars: NASA’s rover finds evidence of an ancient lake
More evidence has been discovered on the red planet about the prior existence of water on its surface; a prerequisite for life.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has been patrolling the surface of Mars for nearly a decade. Scientists have become very excited at new information the plucky rover has found which perhaps can finally prove there is water on the planet.
The probe was investigating the Sulfate-Bearing Unit, catchy name, at the base of a 18,000-foot mountain. They had expected to find evidence of trickles of water as it is believed that the rocks were formed as the planet surface dried out.
However, what was actually discovered was evidence of a dried out shallow lake. This was spotted due to the ripple-marks on the rocks, caused by the movement of water.
“Billions of years ago, waves on the surface of a shallow lake stirred up sediment at the lake bottom, over time creating rippled textures left in rock,” according to a NASA news release.
Researchers are very pleased at the findings.
“This is the best evidence of water and waves that we’ve seen in the entire mission,” said Ashwin Vasavada, Curiosity’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, in a statement. “We climbed through thousands of feet of lake deposits and never saw evidence like this — and now we found it in a place we expected to be dry.”
NASA’s new evidence builds upon new findings from the end of last year. Back in September 2022 British scientists used special technology to find analyse glaciers to find evidence of water.