Several earlier studies showed that Mars had a robust water system on its surface despite being arid and barren at present. About 3 billion years ago, Mars was thought to be as fertile as Earth. Photos brought back by NASA's Perseverance Rover have shown evidence of a flooded Jezero crater on the Red Planet.
The first analysis of the rover's data since it landed on Mars in February shows that severe flash floods once carried boulders across the planet for many kilometers.
The rover is looking for clues of ancient life inside Lake Jezero, a 45-kilometer-wide crater.
Researchers uploaded their study titled "Perseverance Rover Reveals an Ancient Delta-Lake System and Flood Deposits at Jezero Crater, Mars" in Science.
NASA Confirms Flooding on Mars Through Samples on Jezero Crater
The fact that the rocks are volcanic in origin appeals to geologists, scientist Stack Morgan said in Eurekalert report, since igneous materials are ideal for determining reliable age dates. The lake system and rivers that flowed into the crater were active more than 3 billion years ago, according to experts. Some of the rock samples collected during this trip will be returned to Earth for additional analysis.
The capacity to directly date the rocks once they've been returned to Earth will offer scientists a far better picture of when Mars may have been a livable planet. Perseverance researchers are using the abrasion instrument aboard the rover to investigate the rocks. The tool's purpose was to scrape the rock's top surface, revealing the texture beneath.
How Rocks Look Like From Jezero Crater
The rocks on the crater floor are made up of igneous materials with coarse granules, according to researchers per Slash Gear. They detected a variety of salts in the rock as well. According to investigations, the rocks were severely worn by water, and water is thought to have changed the crater's bottom, indicating that they were exposed to water for an extended period of time.
Nicolas Mangold of the Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique in Nantes, France, told 9News that scientists discovered separate strata in the scarps holding stones up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) in diameter that had no business being there.
NASA's drilling equipment has run into some problems when sampling the rocks. The first rock it tried to test was too soft, resulting in a powder rather than a testable sample core. NASA took two core samples from the next rock it tried to sample. In the early 2030s, NASA hopes to be able to return the samples to Earth.
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