NASA: life on Mars could have existed much longer than previously thought

© Photo : NASA/JPL-CaltechТрещины in the rocks of the Bridger basin on the slopes of Martian mount sharp, where scientists have discovered deposits of sandNASA: life on Mars could have existed much longer than previously thought© Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Rover Curiosity found the unusual deposits of sand on mount sharp, indicating that liquid water existed on the red planet’s surface for much longer than scientists thought, according to a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

«Today we know that the Gale crater was a lake in the distant past, the water of which even you could drink. On the other hand, we don’t know how long it could exist life. Our latest discovery suggests that even when the lake is completely evaporated, in the soil of Mars remained significant reserves of moisture, which extends the «window» possible existence of life on Mars,» says Jens Frydenberg (Jens Frydenvang) from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark).

In early February 2013, Curiosity Rover using borax drilled a flat stone, located in a small basin, which was named «John Klein». The study of samples of «stone dust» poepsel that the conditions on ancient Mars were favorable for the existence of microorganisms.

Two years later, John grotzinger (John Grotzinger), head of mission of Curiosity, and his colleagues have shown that at the bottom of Gale crater, there was a «regular» lake, not persihable for hundreds of thousands of years. This confirmed the hypothetical possibility of the origin of life in these waters.

Freidenberg and his colleagues found that the water in Gale crater could exist much longer than expected members of the research team’s Curiosity, drawing attention to the pictures that the Rover received in the place called «plateau, Naukluft» at the top of mount sharp in the beginning of the last and at the end of 2015.

In these pictures, scientists noticed an unusual cleft in the rocks, filled with an unknown white material similar to sedimentary rocks of aqueous origin. Naukluft plateau, as previously thought, scientists have formed in the «anhydrous» era of Mars, and therefore the opening of these veins made the science team of Curiosity to examine in detail their composition, «firing» them with a laser gun ChemIn and APXS spectrometer.

As it turned out, cleft in the rocks were filled with fine sand, got there, as scientists believe, along with the water that sometimes can fill in the soil and cracks in rocks in the Gale crater at a time when Mars was no longer able to support the existence of «permanent» lakes.
The traces of such Sands, as the researchers note, are found on almost all of the naukluft plateau in the higher regions of mount sharp at a height of several dozen meters from the line, presumably where the story ends «water» epoch of Mars.

This means that liquid water was present on Mars in one form or another for a very long time after the Red planet lost all of its oceans and other bodies of water. Accordingly, life could survive on Mars for much longer than the billion years that she is now «there» geologists and planetary scientists.