Researchers from University of Colorado-Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics conducted the study about the history of lake near Meridiani Planum on Mars.
This unusual lake may hold the best possible chance of discovering evidence of life.
It is the best place on Mars to give birth for microbial life, researchers said.
Brian Hynek, lead author of the research, said:
There was life on Earth when this lake was active so by that analogy, we can say there’s potential that Mars had microbial life and this was a great place where it could have resided.
An 18-square-mile chloride salt deposit is thought to have once been a lake bed with water that had only 8 percent the salinity of earth’s oceans, and may have been home to life. “So, these are indicators that water was there in some form”.
The orbiter carries many scientific instruments for photographing martian surface, analyze mineral deposits, search for subsurface water and shorelines of ancient seas, and monitor the weather. The way scientists determine the age of anything on Mars is by counting the number and measuring the size of impact craters in that region. It has salt deposits that could conceivable have housed some of the last living organisms that may have once been on the planet. It has a major role in Mars’ planning by NASA with the help of the images it captures, revealing details as small as just a few square feet, assisting the analysis of potential landing sites for the 2016 InSight lander and Mars 2020 rover. They found evidence to suggest that at one point, the lake grew large enough to spill over the rim of the basin, carving channels in its wake.
As of today, this lake is regarded as the only evidence of water on Mars since 3.6 billion years ago. They cut towards a series of volcanic plains hundreds of miles away, close to Mars’ equator. That means the lake must also be younger than 3.6 billion years. Furthermore, opportunity is not outfitted with the right tools to detect life.
This image released August 27, 2003 captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows a close-up of the red planet Mars when it was just 34,648,840 miles (55,760,220 km) away. Hynek and his colleagues are clear on their plan to continue studying these salt deposits to see if there’s more evidence of water on the planet. Organic matter can be preserved quite well in salt so if there was life in this lake, we could likely find it if we sent a rover there.
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter turns 10 with great potentials for future like landing sites for 2016