Home LATEST NEWS Mars would have hosted a stable ocean three billion years ago

Mars would have hosted a stable ocean three billion years ago

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The history of the Martian climate still conceals many unknowns, explain in a statement the researchers from NASA and the Paris-Saclay Geosciences Laboratory.

There is strong geological evidence to claim that Earth’s neighboring planet once had liquid water on its surface, such as the presence of ancient shorelines. On the other hand, the presence of an ocean and its temporality still remained a mystery.

Scientists still wonder about the conditions that could have made the presence of such bodies of water possible when they observe the features of the planet today.

Franco-American collaboration publishes in the journal PNASHave (New window)Have (in English) works that support the hypothesis of a cold and humid climate about three billion years ago on Mars.

The simulations predict the presence of glaciers that bring ice from the highlands to the ocean, in agreement with the geological interpretations of the images, explain Frédéric Schmidt and his colleagues.

Thus, according to them, the climate was probably cold on the equatorial continents, but the circumpolar ocean may have remained liquid, which is supported by a number of geological clues such as paleoshores or megatsunami deposits indirectly indicating the presence of an ocean.

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This scenario suggests that Mars could also have been conducive to the development of microbial life during this period, which corresponds to when it developed on Earth for conquer a large number of ecosystems.

If we could time travel to three billion years ago, we could live on this ancient Mars with just a space suit for oxygen, explains Schmidt.: all of these elements were very similar to what is found on Earth today. Only oxygen was missing,”,”text”:”Pressure, clouds, liquid water, ocean, rain, snow and glaciers: all of these elements were very similar to what is found on the Earth today. Only oxygen was missing,”}}”>Pressure, clouds, liquid water, ocean, rain, snow and glaciers: all of these were very similar to what is found on Earth today. Only oxygen was missing, he adds.

These results were obtained from modeling and observations from other studies, but certainty of the past presence of an ocean can only come from geological evidence.

This evidence could well be provided by the Chinese probe Zhurong, which landed last May in an area of ​​Mars that would have been covered with water.

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