The researchers created a map of Mars, which shows traces of water in the planet’s soil. This instrument was produced using data collected by ESA’s Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance probes, located in Mars orbit.
This is the most comprehensive map produced to date. With it, scientists can observe deposits of aqueous minerals, which have been altered by time, due to the presence of water. This new instrument can help in the search for traces of water on the planet.
Before the map, about a thousand deposits of aqueous minerals were already known, now hundreds of thousands of them have been identified, mostly in some of the oldest parts of the planet’s surface. The history of water on the planet can be determined by the type of mineral that makes up the soil, because for each formation the amount of water spent is different. Watch the video provided by ESA:
The map suggests that water hasn’t changed much on Mars, while suggesting that reconstructing its early water history could be very straightforward. According to the planetary scientist involved in the research, John Carter, of the University of Paris-Saclay and the University of Aix Marseille in France, “if Earth’s life processes are excluded, Mars presents a diversity of exploitations mining in geological environments, as well as the earth”.
Another paper, produced by ESA planetary scientist Lucie Riu, based on the map, quantified the abundances of aqueous minerals as seen on the global map. It is hoped that these two papers together will provide important groundwork for identifying and answering questions from the scientific community about the presence of water and subsequently sending future missions in search of more information.
Via: Science Alert
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