ESA captures stunning images of ancient waterways on Mars – BGR


Mars as we know it today is a dusty and dry rock ball with some ice here and there, but the situation was very different a long time ago. Thanks to the various missions undertaken by NASA and the European Space Agency, we have known for a long time that Mars once had a lot of water on its surface.

Now, a new set of Mars Express satellite images from ESA offers insights into what was once a very wet area of ​​the red planet. The photos show a landscape that, apart from the obvious impact craters left from a long time ago, is quite similar to the natural drainage patterns that we observe here on Earth.

Image Source: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin

The ESA describes what we see in the pictures:

The topography of this region suggests that the water descended from the north (main color, topography and 3D images) to the south (left), digging valleys up to two kilometers wide and 200 meters deep . We see these valleys as they are today, having suffered significant and significant erosion since their formation. This erosion is visible in the form of decomposed, smoothed, fragmented and dissected valley edges, especially in valleys cut from east to west.

The valleys carved by water are very apparent to us, but it is difficult for scientists to know where the water originally came from. ESA suggests several possibilities, such as melting glaciers or even precipitation, but we may never know.

The more we learn about the old Mars, the more it looks like Earth today. With flowing water and an atmosphere that could have protected the roots of life, it is quite possible that Mars had once sheltered life. We do not have the proof yet to prove that life has existed on the planet, but that should not be long.

Image Source: ESA / DLR / FU Berlin

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