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Mars, Perseverance may have already found traces of life

Mars, Perseverance may have already found traces of life

If indeed any life form exists at all MartyThere is a possibility that the Perseverance rover has already found it. New radar data published In the magazine Advancement of scienceIn fact, it suggests that NASA's rover is looking in exactly the right place: ancient lake sediments in… Jezero craterthus strengthening the scientific community's hope that they can be found there traces of life Passed.

Years of changes

The study, coordinated by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Oslo, shows that at a certain point, the pit It was filled with water, and several layers of sediment were deposited at its bottom. after that Lago It retreated and the sediments carried by the river that fed it formed huge deposits Delta. As the lake receded, the sediments in the crater were eroded, forming the geological features on the surface that we see today. As the new data indicates, periods of sedimentation and erosion occurred over centuries of environmental change, confirming those conclusions about Earth's geological history. Jezero crater Based on images of Mars obtained from space, it is correct. “From orbit we can observe several different deposits, but we cannot say with certainty whether what we are seeing is their original state, or whether we are witnessing the conclusion of a long geological history.”“, explained the first author David Page. “To know how it formed, we have to see what is beneath the surface.”

the right place

We remind you that the rover, carrying seven scientific instruments, is exploring Jezero Crater to study its geology and atmosphere, while collecting… Samples Of dust and rocks, which will then return to Earth on a future expedition. In particular, as the vehicle was heading toward the delta, the onboard ground-penetrating radar made contact Radar imaging of an experiment under the surface of Mars (RIMFAX), transmitted radar waves downward at 10-centimetre intervals and measured the reflected pulses from a depth of about 20 meters below the surface. Thanks to this device, which has the ability to detect ice and water at a depth of more than 10 meters below the surface, and can map rocky layers up to a depth of 20 metres, scientists were able to “a light“Structure and composition of underground strata.”

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Old lake

Data collected by ground penetrating radar presented today An unprecedented look Under the surface of Mars, where scientists suspect there is a lake. In fact, underground images now indicate that the crater, which formed 4 billion years ago as a result of an asteroid impact, was later filled with younger sediments and rocks. In particular, he referred to two distinct periods of Deposit Of sediments between two periods of Stripping. In fact, the bottom of the crater beneath the delta is not uniformly flat, and the sediments are regular and horizontal, just like those deposited in lake environments on Earth.