Early Mars May Have Been Habitable

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 17, 2008 in Science |

The delta in Jezero crater, a past lake on Mars. Ancient rivers ferried clay-like minerals (shown in green) into the lake, forming the delta. The clays then were trapped by rocks (purple). Credit: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL/MSSS/Brown University

The good news: There may have been Martians! The bad news: That was a long, long time ago:

Early Mars Was All Wet

“New observations made by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), currently circling the planet, have revealed evidence that vast regions of the southern highlands of Mars were altered by water in a variety of environments billions of years ago. Water is a key condition for life as we know it. Though there is no firm evidence that Mars has ever harbored life, knowing that the planet was once wet suggests that it was at least habitable in the past.”

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