Mars Able To Support Life Longer Than Previously Thought, New Study Suggests
A recent study revealed that Mars had flowing waters and lakes. Sharon A. Wilson and her colleagues suggest that these were formed 2 to 3 billion years ago. It means that the planet might have supported life longer than previously thought.
Wilson and her colleagues revealed that one of the lakes is even as big as the Lake Tahoe.
The Flowing Waters And Lakes
According to the SpaceFlight Insider, the researchers have analyzed images from Mars' Arabia Terra region. They used the MRO's Context Camera and High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (HiRISE). The Mars Global Surveyor of The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Mars Express of the European Space Agency also provided data.
Wilson even compared one of the lakes to the Lake Tahoe. They call it the "Heart Lake". There is a valley on its southern edge. The water overflows and is carried downstream into the lake. This might mean that there was a substantial amount of water in Mars.
The researchers had to determine that said period. Initially, they estimated the age of 22 impact craters in the area. They will use that to know if they are younger or older than the valleys. The valleys should be carved into the blankets of surrounding debris from the crater.
According to PulseHeadlines, they found similar valleys between 35 and 42 degrees latitude. These are both north and south of the equator. These findings indicate that the water formed on a global scale.
Thus, pointing to a two to three billion years ago of the wet period in Mars. This occurred after the planet lost its atmosphere. It caused the arid and cold condition of Mars.
The Water's Origin
The study indicated that the water came from the snow. The scientists can't explain what melted the snow, though. The planet's axial tilt might have shifted. This allowed the sun's radiation to be reflected into the ice caps.
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