Using detailed sedimentological data collected by the Curiosity rover, scientists were able to discover that intense floods once washed through the Gale Crater on Mars’ equator around four billion years ago. And when I say intense floods, I mean that these were of “unimaginable magnitude.” This finding might be a hint that life may have existed on the Red Planet.
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The research, “Deposits from Giant Floods in Gale Crater and Their Implications for the Climate of Early Mars,” was published Nov. 5 in Scientific Reports.
The raging megaflood—likely touched off by the heat of a meteoritic impact, which unleashed ice stored on the Martian surface—set up gigantic ripples that are tell-tale geologic structures familiar to scientists on Earth.
Learn more details about this over at PHYS.org.
(Image Credit: NASA/JPL/ PHYS.org)