Based on satellite images, the . file Crater Lake as a landing point for determination specified. Not only because the area seemed safe for landing, but on suspicion that it was a former lake. Wherever there is water there can be traces of life.
This assumption has now been confirmed. in a study I examined images taken by the Mars probe in Jezero crater since it landed there in February 2021. Above you can see an illustration of what Jezero Lake looked like billions of years ago.
The river delta feeds the lake with water
Based on satellite images of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, it was assumed that the lake was fed by a fan-shaped river delta. So Perseverance aimed its cameras at the suspected Delta.
The high-resolution images show steep slopes. Due to their location, they should have formed the banks of the river delta. The images also show that the steep slopes consist of several layers. Of course, this cannot be seen on satellite images taken from above – this requires a side view of perseverance.
The layers and sediments are similar to those in river deltas on Earth. The shape of the bottom three layers is shown according to NASA Constant flow of water. This indicates that Mars was warm and humid enough about 3.7 billion years ago to have Water Cycle to have.
The smaller upper layers contain rocks up to 1.5m Great. According to NASA, these things do not fit into the landscape at all. The result is that the slow and steady deltas are subsequently changed by flash floods. Some of the rocks were shoveled from a distance of more than 20 kilometers. According to NASA, water should have a flow velocity 6 to 30 km/h He had.
The search for life continues in a meaningful way
With the new knowledge, NASA now knows where to look for life. The best granular material on the bottom of the delta is the best chance of finding traces of organic life or biomarkers. It is also assumed that perseverance collects samples of the rocks above, as these are ancient rocks from their crust. Samples collected from Mars will be brought back to Earth on a later mission.
The study also provides new clues about the water level in the lake, which was previously in Jezero crater. Accordingly, there were strong fluctuations. It is possible that these fluctuations started after the lake was already More than 100 meters It lost its previous height. It is said that the fluctuations were in the 10-meter range before the lake finally disappeared.
NASA intends to use these results for further research. The goal is to find out how Mars’ water circuit works and why the entire planet has dried up.
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