Published On: Sun, Sep 30th, 2012

Proof of Water Existence on Mars Discovered by NASA’s Curiosity Rover

Mars has been the subject of studies for many years for the possibility of finding another planet aside from Earth which can support life.

In a recent navigation by NASA’s Curiosity Rover on Mars, signs of water were discovered along the rocks between the Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside the crater. This is the first evidence that indeed water existed on Mars long time ago.

“From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep,” according to a statement by NASA’s William Dietrich. “This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it,” he continued.

Images of rocks transmitted by NASA’s Curiosity Rover suggest evidence of early stream of water on the area. In fact, two outcrops were discovered on Mars which were called “Hottah” and “Link,” and are now both being believed to be showing signs of water on Mars.

“Hottah” rock outcrop image on Mars transmitted by Curiosity Rover
Image Credit: NASA

“Hottah”, named after Canada’s Hottah Lake, was described by Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger as a ’tilted block of an ancient streambed’ which looks like as a result of a ‘jack-hammered slab of city sidewalk’.

Meanwhile, “Link”, named after Canada’s Link Lake, also contains gravels ranging in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball.

Image of “Link” rock outcrop on Mars as transmitted by Curiosity Rover
Image Credit: NASA

Examining the shapes of these gravels, Curiosity science co-investigator Rebecca Williams, said that “the shapes tell you they were transported and the sizes tell you they couldn’t be transported by wind. They were transported by water flow.”

“A long-flowing stream can be a habitable environment. It is not our top choice as an environment for preservation of organics, though. We’re still going to Mount Sharp, but this is insurance that we have already found our first potentially habitable environment,” Grotzinger added.

Considering that there are indeed signs of water existence on planet Mars which suggest as a habitable environment, could there be real Martians that existed there long time ago?

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