Astronomers find a river on Mars that flowed 3.7 billion years ago


Astronomers found evidence of a 3.7 billion-year-old extinct river on Mars, which lived for about 100,000 years and provided water necessary for life.

The discovery revealed 650 feet of permanent marks pointing to the existence of a river. The river was a deep, fast-flowing body of water that existed when the solar system was still very young.

The findings prove that Mars owned an abundant supply of liquid water that is capable of supporting life.

Researchers from the University of Utrecht took a look at the high-resolution images of the planet and found the extinct river.

According to popular belief, the river constantly shifted creating sandbanks just like the Rhine, or other rivers located in Northern Italy.

The large cliff face painted the beautiful picture of this river. It is located in a certain place called Izola Mensa from the northwestern rim of Mar’s southern hemisphere.

Scientists created a video out of the findings suggesting the presence of a river.

Mars river findings

Scientists found soft sedimentary rocks that were scrutinized in detail. The advanced imagery from the satellite showed a resolution reaching an inch per pixel.

Marks found in the rocks appeared identical to those you can see on Earth when water continually flows past rock for a long time period.

Because of the age of the cliffs, it is hard to predict how long the river exactly died. However, data dictates that the river existed more than three billion years ago.

The leader of the research, Dr. Francesco Salese, said that analyzing the marks in the rocks was actually easy using the correct technology.

He even added that the available high-resolution images allow them to read the rocks just like they are standing right next to the cliff.

Geologists on Mars river

Geologists use this same method in most locations on Earth for them to trace the history of our own planet’s waterways.

According to William McMahon, the technology is available to extend this testing method to terrestrial planets like Mars.

Mars hosts much ancient sedimentary rock records. These records examined reveal more information about Mars’ history.

The study was published in the Nature Communications journal and proves that Mars owns its own version of the water cycle from rain.

Researchers said the discovery backs up past claims that Mars had water. Dr. Salese said that a river existed on Mars 3.7 billion years ago.

These rivers contained large volumes of water for long periods of time. The researcher shared that this is an important study to find out if life on Mars exists.

Image used courtesy of Facts Verse/YouTube Screenshot

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