• September 24, 2022

Water on Mars!! Shocking Report by NASA’s Perseverance Rover

Water on Mars!! Shocking Report by NASA’s Perseverance Rover

Insights into the lake that previously filled the Jezero crater were gleaned from the most precise measurements ever collected of rocks on Mars by NASA’s Perseverance rover. This probe reveals traces of water on Mars based on many subsequent findings.

Researchers were interested in the stratified outcroppings near the rover’s landing site in the Jezero crater as soon as the rover touched down on Mars in February. Perseverance’s ground-penetrating radar instrument enabled it to measure the strata of rocks beneath its wheels as it moved across the Martian surface, proving that these outcroppings continued underground.

The mission team members presented the new findings on 15 December at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans, Louisiana. Briony Horgan at Purdue University in Indiana confirmed the visibility of these layers extending into the subsurface and going underneath the crater floor.

The results astonished the scientists when the rover obtained more precise measurements by scraping the rocks’ surfaces and analyzing their compositions in greater detail. Geobiologist Kelsey Moore at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) stated that these rocks that they originally thought might be sedimentary rocks are, in fact, igneous [volcanic] rocks with more history to the story.

Compositional analysis of the rocks discovered minerals typically formed from water reacting with rock, as well as signs of two different salts, likely left behind as salty water flowed through the cracks and pores of the volcanic rock.

The wide range of minerals suggests that these rocks spent time submerged at least twice. According to research conducted at Caltech by Eva Scheller, the presence of two distinct classes of liquid with two distinct chemistries suggests that there were two distinct instances of liquid water interacting.

If we look at these materials more carefully, we might get a clearer picture of whether or not the lake that may have filled the Jezero crater once or even twice could have supported human habitation. Moore specifies that these types of minerals form under specific conditions that can inform the mineral constituency and help probe water on Mars if it ever hosted life. If the rover itself cannot figure that out, the samples it collects for a later mission to return to Earth should help.

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