Photos from NASA’s Curiosity mission may reveal evidence of climate change on Mars, including the drying up of a previous watery surface.
The findings were published last week in NASA’s statement on Curiosity’s ten-year mission.
“We no longer see the lake beds we’ve seen for years at Mount Sharp,” he said. aforementioned Ashwin Vasavada is Curiosity’s project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
“Instead, we see a lot of evidence of drier climates, such as dry sand dunes with streams flowing around them from time to time. This is a big change from lakes that perhaps existed millions of years ago,” he added.
Over the past year, the Curiosity rover has crossed a transition zone from a “clay-rich region” to a sulfate-filled one, the statement said. The observations could provide a record of an ancient shift in climate change for the red planet.
The images of the finger-like rocks also supported the possibility that groundwater was moving in certain regions of Mars.
“They were probably formed billions of years ago, through groundwater, leaving behind minerals. In the Martian atmosphere, winds eroded the softer parts and left behind the harder parts,” Curiosity Rover’s Twitter account says alongside an image sample.
Fence… rocks? While researching, I noticed these strange shapes. They probably formed billions of years ago when groundwater swept through it, leaving minerals behind. In the Martian atmosphere, winds eroded the softer parts and left the harder parts behind. https://t.co/XKbiJuUMEC pic.twitter.com/U091p6DOf1
– Curiosity Traveler (@MarsCuriosity) 15 June 2022
Curiosity’s mission has already revealed images that support the view that ancient Mars experienced a climate that could include long-lived lakes.
Is not it beautiful?
I’m passing through a transition zone between a clay-rich area and a sulfate-filled area. Groundwater has descended and flowed through these geological features over time, leaving behind a puzzle that my team and I can’t wait to solve. https://t.co/umIr7ctS3r pic.twitter.com/gZ8aSzYwtn
– Curiosity Traveler (@MarsCuriosity) June 22, 2022
In 2014, Gale Crater research suggested that the flow of water and sediment may have been large enough to build the three-mile-high Mount Sharp.
“If our hypothesis for Mount Sharp holds, it challenges the notion that hot and wet conditions are temporary, local, or only underground on Mars,” Vasavada said. aforementioned regarding previous findings.
“A more radical explanation is that Mars’ old, thicker atmosphere is driving temperatures globally above freezing, but until now we don’t know how the atmosphere does this,” he added.
NASA in 2013 observed Sedimentary rocks that gave rise to the idea that Mars once held fresh water. Images from 2012 also observed small rocks that appear to have been smoothed and shaped by water.
After a Curiosity image showed a “gate” on Mars, a lot of speculation swirled around the internet. However, NASA noted that despite the familiar door appearance, the image captures a natural geological feature.
Some of you may have noticed this image I took on Mars. Sure, it may look like a wicket door, but in fact, it’s a natural geological feature! It may just seem *like a door* because your mind is trying to make sense of the unknown. (This is called “pareidolia”) https://t.co/TrtbwO7m46 pic.twitter.com/VdwNhBkN6J
– Curiosity Traveler (@MarsCuriosity) 18 May 2022
The water debate on Mars isn’t limited to the Curiosity mission. NASA has been searching for evidence of ancient water on the planet since the 1970s.
Science Magazine reported, “Scientists have traced ancient water trails on Mars since the 1970s, when orbiters revealed networks of branching valleys that matched the dendritic shape of water-eroded valleys on Earth.” reported. “In the 1990s, the Mars Global Surveyor zoomed in on deep-carved troughs that could only have been carved by powerful water currents and even saw shorelines from an ancient ocean.”