It has long been known that Mars once had water on its surface. However, a new study suggests that three to four billion years ago, the Red Planet was warm and wet enough to have massive rainstorms and running water, an environment that may have supported life.
The new study was presented at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry The conference in Barcelona compares the mineral deposition patterns on Mars with those on Earth to support the hypothesis.
"We know that the surface of Mars was frozen at certain times, and there were times when water flowed unhindered." Professor Briony Horgan said in a statement.
CAUSE OF MYSTERIOUS METHANE POINTS ON MARS STILL UNKNOWN
Horgan continued, "But we do not know exactly when those periods were and how long they lasted, we never sent unmanned missions to Mars areas Therefore, we need to use terrestrial science to understand the geochemistry of what might have happened there, our study of weathering in radically different climates such as the Oregon Cascades, Hawaii, Iceland, and other places on Earth Earth can show how the climate affects the pattern of mineral deposition as we see it on Mars. "
By analyzing the patterns in the Martian mineral data collected with the Curiosity Rover and NASA's CRISM spectrometer , and comparison with these The researchers found evidence that it is raining and flowing on Mars over a prolonged period Surface water gave.
"In orbit on Mars in Amazonia, silica signatures have been identified in periglacial areas, and the Curiosity Rover has identified silica-rich, poorly crystalline materials in Hesperian lake sediments in the Gale crater," the study said. "We suggest that these amorphous phases could have formed on Mars in cold climates during intermittent melt events, but the most common noachic change signatures are crystalline clay minerals in stratigraphies with compositional zones, for which the nearest terrestrial [sic] analogs are only known for deep weathering profiles that they form under continuously rainy climates. "
" If so [silica signatures] it is important to look for possible life on Mars, "Horgan added.
Scientists have universally recognized for years that water was present on Mars, including the recent evidence of clay discovered by the Curiosity Rover. So far, however, scientists have discussed how the Martian climate was, whether the water was frozen, or whether the planet had warm temperatures and conditions to allow the water to flow and potentially support life.
Even though the conditions on Mars used to support running water, that's no longer the case. According to Space.com, today's Mars has an average temperature of about minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the thin atmosphere of the planet, which is mostly carbon dioxide, and it's hard for Mars to support life as we know it.
Horgan went on to say that the researchers understand that the building blocks of life on Earth evolved "very soon" after that. The formation of the planet adding that running water is "essential to the development of life".
"The evidence that we had running water on Mars early on will increase the likelihood that simple life will develop around the same time as it has developed. We hope the Mars 2020 mission will be able to mine these minerals More specifically, to investigate and answer under what conditions Mars lived at a young age. "
MYSTERIOUS STAR TREK LOGO MARS BY NASA
NASA hopes the Curiosity Rover, the" yet has a few years until its nuclear power system significantly restricts operations, "before the start of Mar can give additional pointers to the planet's 2020 Rover mission.
Mars is getting bigger in American space travel.
In November, NASA announced that it has selected the location where its Mars 2020 Rover will land on the Red Planet. The Rover is expected to reach the Martian surface on February 18, 2021. NASA's long-term goal is to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s.
Former astronauts, including Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, believe we should skip a return mission to the moon, scheduled for 2024, and "shoot directly at Mars".
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