HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Ancient Lake on Mars Turn...

Mon Oct 7, 2019, 01:48 PM

Ancient Lake on Mars Turned Salty for a Spell, Curiosity Rover Finds


By Mike Wall 3 hours ago Science & Astronomy

Gale Crater's water apparently didn't stay drinkable forever.



This September 2016 self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle in the scenic
Murray Buttes area on lower Mount Sharp. (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)


NASA's Curiosity Mars rover may have just captured a snapshot of the Red Planet's long-ago Great Drying.

Curiosity has detected relatively high levels of sulfate salts in the rocks of Gale Crater, a new study reports. Gale hosted a lake-and-stream system in the ancient past, and the newfound salts were likely concentrated by evaporation during a period of low water levels, researchers said.

This period may have been part of a normal cyclical fluctuation, a regular climatic change perhaps driven by recurring shifts in Mars' axial tilt or orbital parameters. "Alternatively, a drier Gale lake might be a sign of long-term, secular global drying of Mars, posited based on orbital observations," the scientists wrote in the new study, which was published online today (Oct. 7) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

A planet transformed
Mars was once a relatively warm and wet world, complete with rivers and lakes and, most researchers believe, an ocean covering a large swath of the planet's northern hemisphere.

More:
https://www.space.com/mars-lake-salty-curiosity-rover.html?utm_source=notification

0 replies, 358 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread