Mars once had ancient oceans. A photo of the Valles Marineris on Mars.

© NASA/ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY VIA GETTY IMAGES Mars once had ancient oceans. A photo of the Valles Marineris on Mars.

A study published Thursday confirmed that the cracks identified on Mars’ surface last year by the Curiosity rover are indeed evidence of ancient lakes that likely dried up about 3.5 billion years ago. The new study provides further evidence of what the climate on the Red Planet may have been like in its ancient past.

Continue reading:  Cracks on Mars Reveal a System of Ancient Lakes

17 thoughts on “Cracks on Mars Reveal a System of Ancient Lakes

    • It’s possible. Life on Earth originated about 4 billion years ago, and an abundance of water existed in a liquid state on Mars up until about 3.5 billion years ago. So, that’s roughly a 500 million year span in which life could have arisen on Mars. Since the early conditions of the two planets were very similar, there’s no reason to think that it wouldn’t have happened there; but, even if it did, Martian life probably didn’t evolve very far because of the massive loss of atmosphere and water to space. However, evidence of recent volcanism on Mars (i.e. within the last few million years) suggests that atmospheric pressure could temporarily increase sufficiently to allow liquid water to form on the surface. If true, that could theoretically be enough to sustain rudimentary forms of life which can survive dormant for extended periods of time.

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  1. While we on Earth are doing our best-est in turning the surface of our planet into a Martian landscape, we-humans hold onto hope that Mars could be our future refuge. How ironic it would be if we were to discover that our species had first originated on Mars!

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    • That is possible, Ros. It’s referred to as transpermia and panspermia. However, what we’re doing to Earth (i.e. anthropogenic global warming) is more akin to Venus than Mars. The process is known as “the greenhouse effect.”

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