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Mars once was warm, wet and humid

Sharon Gaudin | Dec. 9, 2014
NASA scientists today touted new evidence of a warm, wet and humid Mars that lasted for millions of years and could have supported life.

At this point, Curiosity is studying the lowest sedimentary layers of Mount Sharp. Dubbed the Murray formation, this section of rock is 500 feet high. NASA scientists explained that rivers carried sand and silt to the lake, depositing the sediments at the mouth of the river to form deltas similar to those found at some river mouths on Earth.

These sedimentary deposits occurred repeatedly to form the mountain.

"As Curiosity climbs higher on Mount Sharp, we will have a series of experiments to show patterns in how the atmosphere and the water and the sediments interact," said Grotzinger. "We may see how the chemistry changed in the lakes over time. This is a hypothesis supported by what we have observed so far, providing a framework for testing in the coming year."

This is not the first time the robotic rover has discovered proof that there once was water on Mars.

Not even two months after Curiosity began its work on the Red Planet, it found evidence of a "vigorous" thousand-year water flow there. Then, in September 2013, Curiosity found evidence that there also is frozen water in the soil on the Martian surface.

Scientists don't think that the water is just in the soil in the area tested but can be founded across the planet.


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