Published on June 27th, 2012 | by James Johnson0
Mars Express Discovers Evidence Of Ancient Water On Red Planet
The European Space Agency’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter worked together this week to discover craters on Mars that appear to have held ancient water at some point in the planets past.
The Mars Express was examining craters in the southern highlands called Tyrrhena Terra where scientists were able to identify 175 sites that held minerals formed by the presence of water.
According to the ESA the impact craters offer a natural window into the history of the planets surface and the deeper the crater the further back that history goes.
Damien Loizeau, lead author of the study, revealed in a press release:
“The large range of crater sizes studied, from less than 1 km (.62 miles) to 84 km (52-miles) wide, indicates that these hydrated silicates were excavated from depths of tens of meters to kilometers.”
He then added:
“The composition of the rocks is such that underground water must have been present here for a long period of time in order to have altered their chemistry.”
According to the ESA:
“The water generated a diverse range of chemical changes in the rocks that reflect low temperatures near the surface to high temperatures at depth, but without a direct relationship to the surface conditions at that time.”
In the press release the ESA says at least one spot shows a time when water was held underground and helped possibly sustain life on the planet.