Liquid water existed on the surface of Mars more recently than previously thought, according to a new study that found several lakes, some as large as the Great Lakes of North America, that were formed between 2 billion and 3 billion years ago.
The study, which is set to be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, was conducted through NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The new discovery not only suggests that water remained on Mars once it lost its magnetic field it started losing its atmosphere about 4 billion years ago, but also that the Red Planet was capable of sustaining microbial life much longer – and more recently – than previously thought.
“We discovered valleys that carried water into lake basins,” Sharon Wilson of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, said in a statement from NASA. “Several lake basins filled and overflowed, indicating there was a considerable amount of water on the landscape during this time.” READ MORE.