"It is easier to build a strong child than to repair a broken man." - Frederick Douglass

Mars Exploration Brings Humanity Closer to the Red Planet

Mars
Courtesy of Kevin Gill (Flickr CC0)

NASA’s most acclaimed Perseverance rover landed on Mars’ Jerezo crater in February and brought humanity closer to the red planet by sending images to Earth. The pictures sent by the Mars rover helped researchers know where to look for life on Mars. Scientists controlling the Perseverance said they are definitely in the right place based on these pictures. According to the team, the Jezero crater was once filled with water but dried up.

Mars
Courtesy of Raziel Abulafia (PDM CC0)

Scientists think that the rocks trapped tens of kilometers upstream accumulated in the ancient lake because of occasional flash floods which are evidence of catastrophic climate change billions of years back. Based on the images on the Western edge of the crater, the area resembles river deltas on Earth when layers of sediments settle into a fan as the river flows into a lake.

When researchers closely examined the images, they noticed that the large boulders measuring as wide as one meter across and weigh several tons, and had gravel embedded in the smaller and longer delta layers.   

The team concluded that the massive rocks originated outside the crater. They say that the rocks were carried to the lake bed by rapid flooding and buried by a tilted layer of mud and gravel, indicating that Jerezo Lake was fed by a gently flowing river for most of its existence there. But, when the climate became extreme for an unknown cause, the lake dried up, and winds eroded the landscape, leaving the crater. 

What is surprising about the result of the images is the opportunity to capture the time as this crater transforms from a habitable earth-like environment into a desolate landscape. Researchers confirmed that the Jezero crater was once a lake, and its sediments may contain traces of aquatic life.

Written by Janet Grace Ortigas
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources: 

Forbes: Perseverance Rover Spots Evidence For Catastrophic Climate Change In Mars’ Distant Past; David Bressan

Republic World: Scientists Running Perseverance Now Know Where To Look For Life On Mars; Riya Baibhawi

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Kevin Gill’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Inset Image Courtesy of Raziel Abulafia’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

 

Leave a Reply