NASA’s Curiosity Rover has made its way up to the center of the Gale Carter, a mountain of layered minerals,found on Mars. The Rover has been gathering evidence of water forms and life on Mars from ancient lake beds and long lost groundwater environments. It has made an incredible discovery that could help understand the possibility of life on the Red Planet.
Curiosity Rover took pictures of some strange cracks on the surface of the planet that appears to be formed billions of years ago. Scientists claim that these cracks must be traces of ancient mud that were formed due water drying up. This has given rise to a great finding about the existence of water on Mars.
What are the scientists saying?
Nathan Stein, a scientist and member of the Curiosity team, said, “Mud cracks are the most likely scenario here.” It indicates the presence of water, which is the basic building block for the existence of life. This could help unravel many mysteries and quests about the existence of life on mars. The earlier findings did not give any clear picture about the existence of water on Mars, but the mud cracks seem to be a promising discovery.
The Curiosity team gathered at San Francisco for the American Geophysical Union conference said that the landing site at Gale Carter holds a lot of findings, and will prove to be one of their most extraordinary missions. These findings have helped scientists get a glimpse into the geological history of the planet, and how its global environmental conditions have changed over the course of billions of years.
The famous geologist, John Grotzinger, from the Californian Institute of Technology said, “We see all of the properties in place that we really like to associate with habitually.” He also said that the discovery will open a new stream of study about the Red Planet and help unravel life if it existed on Mars.
Was Mars once similar to Earth?
The Rover has a ChemCam, a device that shoots laser and vaporizes minerals. It then uses a spectrograph for analyzing the elemental composition of the plasma resulting from vaporization. The findings of the ChemCam showed that the cracks were formed by the interaction of minerals and elements with the groundwater and surface water that once flowed through the landscapes of the planet.
These cracks could also prove that millions of years agoMars were somewhat similar to Earth. These cracked layers formed more than 3 billion years ago were initially buried by other sediment layers of stratified rocks. Later, the rock layer was stripped away by wind erosion, but the mud sediments resisted the erosion and formed raised ridges on the surface of the planet.
“These findings could help learn more about the planet and will soon answer our questions,” said NASA, about their Curiosity Rover mission. Whatever be their findings, the world is waiting to know if the Red Planet once had life forms like it did on Earth. The mystery is yet to be solved!