Mega-floods raged through Mars' equatorial region 4 billion years ago, study finds
New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: Mars' equatorial region endured floods of unimaginable magnitude around four billion years ago, a new study has found, indicating that life may once have flourished on the red planet.
Using sedimentological data observed by NASA's Curiosity rover, scientists identified signs of megafloods that once washed through Gale Crater on Mars' equator. The findings were published in the journal scientific reports.
"We identified megafloods for the first time using detailed sedimentological data observed by the rover Curiosity," said study's co-author Alberto Fairen, as quoted in a report by IANS. "Deposits left behind by megafloods had not been previously identified with orbiter data.
The megafloods may have been the result of the melting of ice from the heat generated by a meteorite impact. Earlier, Curiosity rover science team had established that Gale Crater once had persistent lakes and streams.
"Early Mars was an extremely active planet from a geological point of view,"Fairen said.
Due to Mars' similarities to Earth, coupled with its proximity, the possibility of life on the planet is a huge interest in astrobiology. Earlier this year, scientists had discovered an ice crater in Mars' north pole that could potentially be a source of water and life on the planet. In a video posted on June 30, the European Space Agency (ESA) showed a crater 1.8 km deep and 82 km wide which is likely to be a source of water on Mars and can help future humans to colonise the red planet.
Earlier this month, a new data from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter has suggested that Martian dust storms may have lofted the planet's water to upper atmosphere, where it gets broken down by electrically charged particles
Posted By: Lakshay Raja