Mars can today look like a dry and dusty planet. But scientific models indicate that it was likely that it once housed huge amounts of water, both above and below its surface – and now researchers have evidence to back up these models.
"Early March was an aquatic world, but as the climate of the planet has changed, this water has been withdrawn beneath the surface to form pools and" groundwater, "said the agency researcher. European Space Agency (ESA) in a press release.
"We traced this water in our study because its scale and its role are the subject of debate," he continued, "and we have discovered the first geological evidence of any kind." a groundwater system covering the entire planet on Mars ".
Using the data of a trio of instruments – the high-resolution stereoscopic camera (HRSC) embedded in Mars Express ESA spacecraft, the HiRISE high-level science experiment NASA's (HiRISE) Resolution and Contextual Camera Onboard NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – ESA researchers have explored two dozen craters in the northern hemisphere of Mars.
The team discovered on the soils of these craters features suggesting that the craters once contained "puddles and water flows that have changed and retreated over time".
They have even been able to estimate past water levels and have found that they correspond to the expected shores of an ocean that, in the opinion of many, existed on Mars there are three or four billion d & # 39; years, and that could have been connected to a system of underground lakes.
Water being a key indicator of life, any trace of water on Mars attests to the idea that the planet once housed living organisms.
However, evidence of an underground water system is not the only discovery of ESA having implications for life on Mars: in five of the craters examined, the team also found signs of minerals that previous research related to the emergence of life on Earth.
As Dmitri Titov, Mars Express Project scientist, explains, this discovery could help researchers locate locations on Mars that may contain evidence of past life on the red planet, which could bring us closer to the future. a day on the path to an extraterrestrial life.
This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.