New images of Mars show how water helped shape the Red Planet billions of years ago. The images represent a major step forward for science: they have become the starting point for finding evidence of past life on Mars.
In February 2021, NASA’s Perseverance spacecraft landed in Jezero crater, and scientists suspect a dry lake here. A fan-shaped delta indicates a river that may have fed the lake.
In search of life on Mars: NASA receives new images
New high-resolution images of the rover now provide insight into the formation of deltas: NASA astrobiologist Amy Williams and her team have found similarities between the features of delta slopes and patterns in Earth’s river delta. Scientists now assume that Mars was “warm and humid enough to support a water cycle about 3.7 billion years ago,” according to the study.
The researchers now plan to sample the fine-grained sediments from the lower layers; And here there is a high probability of finding long-extinct life on Mars, if it existed. Searching for traces of life is the main task of the persistent rover. Over the course of several years, the rover will collect 30 rock and soil samples in sealed tubes, and sometime in the 2030s they will be sent back to Earth for laboratory analysis. Knowing that Mars was once home to life will be one of the deepest discoveries humanity has ever made, Williams said.
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