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Thu Apr 17 05:51:28 SAST 2014

Nasa finds new evidence of Mars ground-water

Times LIVE | 21 January, 2013 11:04
This view of layered rocks on the floor of McLaughlin Crater shows sedimentary rocks that contain spectroscopic evidence for minerals formed through interaction with water. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter recorded the image.
Image by: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Nasa has found new evidence of a wet underground environment on Mars.

In a paper published in the online edition of Nature Geoscience, scientists wrote about the results of their analysis of  spectrometer data taken from McLaughlin Crater taken by Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The crater is about 92 kilometres in diameter and 2.25km deep.

The layered rocks of the crater contain carbonate and clay minerals that form in the presence of water. Because McLaughlin lacks large inflow channels, and what small channels it has end at a level that could have been the surface of a lake, it indicates that the lake was fed from ground-water.

"Taken together, the observations in McLaughlin Crater provide the best evidence for carbonate forming within a lake environment instead of being washed into a crater from outside," said Joseph Michalski, lead author of the paper.

"This new report and others are continuing to reveal a more complex Mars than previously appreciated, with at least some areas more likely to reveal signs of ancient life than others," said Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Scientist Rich Zurek of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

You can read the full story on Nasa’s website.

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Thu Apr 17 05:51:28 SAST 2014 ::