Apr 21, 2017 04:22 AM EDT
A recent research has published the most detailed geological history to date for a region on Mars that is listed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as one of potential landing sites. The Northeast Syrtis Major is one of the potential landing sites for the next Mars rover that would be launched in 2020.
Brown University's latest research shows that the Northeast Syrtis Major was more discovered to have more key mineral deposits across the surface, highest resolution images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows. The region on the planet is known for its mineral diversity that indicated that it has already hosted life, Phys.org has reported.
Mike Bramble, a doctorate student at Brown University who led the study in Mars' region, said that complicated geomorphic patterns and diversity of minerals was concluded in the study that was published in their journal named "Icarus". He said that they have never seen this before on Mars.
With this study, this could help NASA decide if they would continue their plan on landing a rover in Mars' Northeast Syrtis. If they ultimately decided to go to the plan, it would help the Mars2020 rover's journey for being provided with a roadmap.
The team behind the study hopes that this would help with the Mars2020 rover mission. It aims to investigate Mars' surface geological process like past habitability, the possibility of past life on the planet, and potential pre-reservation of biosignatures.
Northeast Syrtis Major is located between Mars' two giant landforms: Isidis Basin and Syrtis Major. Isidis Bain is an impact crater 2,000 kilometers in diameters and Syrtis Major is a large volcano.
The Northeast Syritis Major was known to scientists as the region in Mars with mineral signatures of four distinct types of watery and potentially habitable past environment. Previous research already showed the minerals available in the region.