The images of Perseverance confirm this: it is located in the middle of what (millions of years ago) was a lake on Mars
Perseverance’s arrival on Mars was an extremely premeditated mission. Virtually nothing was left to chance, certainly not the landing site. The Jézero crater where it is located, astronomers intuited that it was previously a lake of liquid water. Now, images in-situ reveal that indeed millions of years ago the crater was filled with water.
A new study published in Science by an interdisciplinary team of geologists and planetary scientists has been able to take a closer look at the Perseverance landing site. This is due to the images that the rover has captured with the help of its Mastcam-Z camera system.
While there is no liquid water on the surface of Mars today, there is indications that it existed billions of years ago. Proof of this is the new geological study of the Jézero crater. The crater has a diameter of about 45 kilometers and previously had liquid water accumulated inside it in the form of a lake. Millions of years of history have caused it to dry out little by little.
According to the authors of the study, they have discovered two different evidences of the presence of water in the crater millions of years ago. The first one is the Kodiak stratigraphy, a small rise in the crater showing different strata and different rock layers. Layers that form when there is an accumulation of water. The team explains that these layers of sediment could only have been deposited by a river that emptied into a lake.
On the other hand, the images have revealed more than 300 small rocks in the upper part of the delta. The rocks are ancient igneous bedrock that may have broken the crater rim or been transported to Jezero by a river that flowed into the crater. These rocks are believed to come from floods that occurred on Mars in the past.
Mars hides a lot of water, more than we think. Perseverance’s first analyzes of rocks in-situ they have confirmed it once again.
The presence of water on Mars, as much as we already know it, is still important in each and every advance that is made. Why? Because better understanding what water was like on Mars in the past and what it is like now allows us to more easily search for the presence of biological remains and organisms on the planet. It is one of the main missions of Perseverance, to find remains of life on Mars. And for this, knowing where there was water before is essential.
Via | CNN
More information | Science