NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has discovered undeniable evidence that there was a lake on Mars in the past, confirming earlier assumptions that the red planet was once home to a lot of water.. The rover encountered ribbed rocks on the planet’s surface, a feature only found in places where there were former water bodies.
This revelation is important as it indicates that there might have been microscopic life on Mars billions of years ago.
Curiosity has been climbing the five-kilometer-high Mount Sharp since 2014, examining different sedimentary layers that were formed by water billions of years ago.
These layers are providing scientists with invaluable information about the evolution of the planet. The rover has been moving along a “Mars timeline” as it scales the mountain, allowing researchers to study how the planet has transformed from a warm and wet environment into the cold desert it is today.
Curiosity is currently at an altitude of about one kilometer in an area known as the “Marker Band.” This region is a thin dark rock layer that stands out from the rest of Mount Sharp. The rover sent an incredible photo of the ribbed rocks on this area, which provide conclusive evidence of water and waves on ancient Mars. The patterns on the rocks indicate that they were formed by the waves of a shallow lake that existed billions of years ago.
The discovery of ribbed rocks in the Marker Band surprised the researchers. They had expected to find the most compelling evidence of water behind them, but instead, they discovered that the rocks contained the most prominent evidence yet. These patterns provide scientists with a significant breakthrough in their quest to understand the evolution of the red planet.
The rocks are incredibly hard, and Curiosity has tried and failed to drill into them multiple times. However, the team remains optimistic that they will find softer rocks in the area and extract a sample for further analysis.
Curiosity’s mission on Mars is far from over. The rover will continue to explore other parts of the planet, searching for more evidence of water and microscopic life. Its recent discovery of ribbed rocks has provided a vital clue to the planet’s history, and scientists are excited about what else they might uncover in the future. The discovery is a giant step forward in our understanding of Mars, and it could help us to answer fundamental questions about the origin of life in the universe