Scientists have been keenly analysing two craters on the surface of Mars and have discovered a ‘good candidate site for evidence of past life’.
The two depressions, Hellas and Galaxias Fossae, are well-known and are several kilometres across and seveal hundred metres deep.
Using a Mars rover, Dr Joseph Levy and his team from the University of Texas, ventured inside the depression for the first time and found that if life ever existed on Mars, it would have been in this area, the Sun reports.
Speaking about his key findings, Dr Levy said:
The key finding (published this month) is that both depressions appear to be places where large amounts of subsurface ice were removed. The potential combination of heat, meltwater, volcanic gases, and geological weathering products makes these kinds depressions potential habitable zones for past Martian life.
The potential combination of heat, meltwater, volcanic gases and geological weathering products makes these kinds of depressions potential habitable zones for past Martian life.
Finding evidence for past life preserved near the surface would raise the distinct possibility that some organisms could present deep in the Martian subsurface, similar to the organisms that live deep within Earth’s crusts.
For scale, Levy said that ‘If you put Trump Tower in Chicago at the bottom of the North Hellas depression, only the top 3m would poke out above the plains’ and the Trump Tower is 423m tall.
Director of planetary science at NASA, Jim Green, said:
Our rover’s finding a lot more humidity in the air than we ever imagined. As we inject the soils, they’re moist, they’re hydrated, full of water,” he said at a highly-anticipated press conference.
These discoveries are very important, but only part of the hydrological cycle on Mars that we are just now beginning to understand. What we are going to announce today is Mars is not the dry, arid planet that we thought of in the past.
NASA found there to be flowing water on the surface of Mars, a huge discovery which hints and some sort of Martian life.
Levy said it was ‘imperative’ that humans become a ‘multi-planet species’ but that only conflict on par with the Cold War would provide enough motivation to actually get people onto Mars.