NASA has earlier revealed its findings about Liquid Water on Red Planet Mars. It has now followed it up with an article about findings of “Ancient Lakes” on Mars Surface by its Curiosity Rover. As can be seen in the above image captured by Curiosity Rover of one of such Ancient Lake, there is deposit of sediment and foreground dip towards the base of Mount Sharp, indicating flow of water toward a basin that existed before the larger bulk of the mountain formed.
“Observations from the rover suggest that a series of long-lived streams and lakes existed at some point between about 3.8 to 3.3 billion years ago, delivering sediment that slowly built up the lower layers of Mount Sharp,” said Ashwin Vasavada, Mars Science Laboratory project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and co-author of the new Science article to be published Friday, Oct. 9.
Though findings of these ancient lakes have made life difficult for scientists as currently Mars is dry and have thin atmosphere. But for flowing water its should have been thicker atmosphere and warmer climate billions of year ago.
A lingering question surrounds the original source of the water that carried sediment into the crater. For flowing water to have existed on the surface, Mars must have had a thicker atmosphere and warmer climate than has been theorized for the ancient era when Gale Crater experienced the intense geological activity. However, current models of this paleoclimate have, literally, come up dry.
At least some of the water may have been supplied to the lakes by snowfall and rain in the highlands of the Gale Crater rim. Some have made the argument that there was an ocean in the plains north of the crater, but that does not explain how the water managed to exist as a liquid for extended periods of time on the surface.