Thursday, July 18, 2024

Life on Mars.. NASA is searching for the remains of an ancient river that was once habitable


By Amira Shehata

Friday, October 27, 2023 07:00 AM

Scientists have discovered the remains of ancient river systems that once had the perfect conditions to support them. Life on MarsResearchers at Pennsylvania State University re-examined data collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover in Gale Crater and found that the formations are habitable water bodies and are larger than previously thought.

According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the team found shallow areas and short hills they called “noses” on the landscape, which could be indicators of ancient river deposits in the holes.

Researchers believe that these bodies of water behave like those on Earth and are important for life, chemical cycles, nutrient cycles, and sediment cycles.

“We found evidence that Mars could be a planet of rivers,” said lead researcher Benjamin Cardenas, assistant professor of geosciences at Penn State. “We’re seeing signs of that all over the planet.”

The study was conducted by mapping the erosion of ancient Martian soil using a computer model trained on satellite data. The data came from NASA Curiosity and 3D scans of rock layers called strata that have been deposited under the Gulf’s ocean floor for millions of years. of Mexico.

In designing their computer model, Cardenas and his team found a new use for 25-year-old stratigraphy scans collected by oil companies. The study, Cardenas said, “provided a valid comparison with Mars.”

used 3D scans of real layers recorded on Earth to simulate Martian-like erosion. When they ran the simulation, the model revealed an eroded Martian landscape that produced landscape benches and ridges instead of river ridges, and was nearly identical to the landforms. The Curiosity rover is inside a generation node.

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The analysis revealed a new explanation for common Martian crater systems that, until now, had not been associated with eroded river sediments, the researchers said.

For his part, Cardenas said: “There is everything we have to learn about Mars by better understanding how to interpret these river deposits and by thinking of the rocks today as layers of sediment accumulated over time.”

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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