No doubt you’re familiar with the idea of the red planet being dry and dusty, aren’t you? However, scientists have discovered evidence of a large ocean that covered hundreds of millions of square kilometers of Mars’ surface about 3.5 billion years ago. To find out more about this The ocean on MarsRead on.
Evidence for an ocean on Mars
Researchers at Penn State University and the California Institute of Technology, both in the United States, have discovered evidence of an ancient ocean on Mars. The presence of water on the planet may indicate that the area was suitable for harboring life.
The team used satellite images to map the giant Martian continent. The study covered 6.5 million square kilometers of river ridges that appear to have been hidden by rivers that existed in the area 3.5 billion years ago. The full survey was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
The main innovation of this paper was to think of Mars in terms of its layers and sedimentary record, according to Penn State University geologist Benjamin Cardenas.
How was this study conducted?
On Earth, we track waterways by looking at sediment that builds up over time. Stratigraphy is the idea that sediments are transported by water and that you can measure changes at the Earth’s surface by understanding how sediments accumulate. However, in the study, this was done on Mars.
The team applied an analysis of the thicknesses’ sizes, angles, and locations using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite, collected in 2007, to better understand the study area — known as the Aeolis Dorsa region on Mars.
Conclusions of this study
The researchers came to the conclusion that the river ridges are most likely the remnants of ancient rivers eroded by large basins similar to the Ulus Darsa.
All this is related to the search for life on Mars. One of the key questions scientists are examining is whether life could have continued there before.
Scientists are finding more and more evidence that water was once plentiful on Mars, and they are still working to figure out where it came from and where it is now, although it has been difficult to study for millions of years.
“Musicaholic. Thinker. Extreme travel trailblazer. Communicator. Total creator. Twitter enthusiast.”