Posted by Heba El-Sayed
Sunday, May 14, 2023 04:00 PM
The Perseverance rover is exploring the Jezero Crater on Mars as part of its mission to search for evidence of ancient life on Earth MarsThe history of water is central to the search for life, and Mars is currently thought to have lost its water around 4 million years ago.
The rover has located evidence of what was once one of the deepest and fastest-flowing rivers yet discovered on the planet.
The rover took a series of hundreds of images using its Mastcam-Z instrument, which were stitched together into this mosaic that shows a hill structure called the Pinestand.
In the photo you can see the many layers left by the flowing river, which were formed by sediment deposits.
The way the sedimentary rocks are formed indicates that the river running through this area was fast and powerful, Digitartlends reported.
“It refers to a high-energy river that’s trucked in and carries a lot of debris.
“The stronger the water flow, the easier it can move larger pieces of material,” Libby Ives of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement. “It was a pleasure to look at rocks on another planet and see very familiar processes.”
Evidence that a river once existed can also be seen in this mosaic of nearby rocks, which have a striped structure.
“The wind acted like a scalpel that cut off the tops of these sediments,” said Michael Lamb, members of the Persistence Science team, from Caltech. “We see deposits like this on Earth, but they are never exposed like they are here on Mars. The Earth is covered in vegetation that hides these layers.”
These images were taken while Perseverance was exploring an area of the crater, the site of an ancient river delta. This feature is one of the reasons why Jezero is such an exciting place to explore, as it is a promising site in the search for evidence of life.
“What’s exciting here is that we’ve entered a new phase in Jezero’s history. It’s the first time we’ve seen environments like this on Mars,” said Katie Stack Morgan of JPL. “We’re thinking about rivers on a different scale than we did before.”
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