The explorer robot (rover) perseverance continues his journey through Mars, where he has found evidence in the rocks of what could have been a larger, deeper and faster river on the surface of the planet, which has surprised scientists who study the so-called “Red Planet”.
Those new evidences Images photographed by the rover in Jezero crater are leading to rethinking what aquatic environments were like on ancient Marsas this is new evidence that could help scientists in their search for clues to ancient microbial life.
The new findings could aid the search for preserved microbial life in rocks.
The river was part of a network of watercourses that flowed into the Jezero crater, the area that the rover has traveled since it arrived on Mars more than two years ago.
Perseverance is now exploring the top of a 250-meter-tall fan-shaped stack of sedimentary rock with curved layers that suggest the presence of flowing water, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Center in California (JPL) reported today.
One of the questions the scientists want to answer is whether that water flowed in relatively shallow streams – more like the ones the rover curiosity found in Gale Crater – or if it is a more powerful river system.
Hundreds of images taken by one of the instruments of the persistence have served to create two new mosaics that suggest a more powerful fluvial system in view of coarse sediment grains and boulders.
“This indicates that it is a high-energy river that carries a lot of debris. The more powerful the water flow, the more easily it is able to move larger chunks of material.said Libby Ives, one of the JPL researchers operating the rover.
Years ago, scientists observed a series of curved bands of layered rock inside Jezero crater that they called “the curvilinear unit,” because they could see those layers from space.
Thanks to peserverance now they can look at those layers up close. One of the points of the curvilinear unit is captured in one of the photographic mosaics and the scientists “are sure that the curved layers were formed by the powerful flow of water,” the note added.
The team continues to study the images for additional clues and investigate below the surface using ground penetrating radar radar.
“What is exciting is that we have entered a new phase in the history of Jezero. AND It is the first time that we see environments like this on Mars”, said the deputy project scientist Perseverance, Katie Stack Morgan of JPL.