3.5 billion years ago, Mars met the basic conditions for hosting lifeAccording to an international investigation led by the Spanish researcher from the University of Vigo, Elizabeth Lusa Adams which published “Nature Astronomy”.
This scientist, who is part of the Marine Research Center’s UVigo (Geoma) Group on Marine and Environmental Geology, leads an international team co-authored by Luis Gago, UVigo; Alberto González Fairén, of the Center for Astrobiology, and researchers from CNRS/Université de Nantes and NASA, who are part of the Curiosity team, one of the rovers currently on the surface of Mars.
The article is titled “Long-term habitable periods in Gale Crater bound by gluconite mud”, focuses on a glauconitics study collected by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, on Mars, in 2016.
According to the researchers, this type of material, which is also present on Earth, can only form in life environments similar to those on our planet, so its presence in Gale “indicates that during the time period in which it formed there were favorable conditions for life. as we know it today,” Lusa Adams told UVigo magazine.
The study focused on the Gale pit, an ancient formation that probably, as the researcher explains, may have formed as a result of a major impact on the surface of Mars about 3.8 billion years ago, which led to the impact or caused Climate changes on the planet.
The researchers had multiple evidence indicating that “this depression protected the water bodies soon after their formation, considering that this is a lake, which means “there was a wetter climate in the past than the present climate, and a thicker atmosphere that prevents the immediate evaporation of water.”
What the scientists did not have is evidence of whether the lake actually had conditions suitable for life, an assumption that confirms the identification of the gluconite mud they found.
These minerals, according to the author, are known on Earth and are “really complex because of the broad spectrum of structural modifications they have made in the function of time elapsed since the beginning of their formation and the environment in which they formed.”
The study of these modifications allowed the investigation of “the aqueous processes and chemical conditions that prevailed at the time of the formation of these minerals”.
Thus, the evidence shows that 3.5 billion years ago there was a lake in Gale Crater with calm waters, with little sedimentation, slow evaporation and low temperatures.”
These are “the optimal conditions for life as we know it today,” according to the researcher, who asserts that “the presence or absence of life is the mission of the new Perseverance rover and the mission of a “simple return to Mars.”
With information from EFE.
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