JAKARTA – A number of astronauts discover new things from Marsit turns out that the Red Planet originally contained water and then dried up until now.
Quoted from Space, Saturday (14/5/2022), Mars has been known as a cold and dry planet, but recent findings reveal a new fact that the Red Planet actually had water about 700 million years ago.
The presence of water on Mars, earlier than previously thought, ie 3 billion years ago. Where during the planetary Hesperian period, Mars was a wet planet, before finally drying up.
The astronauts’ findings are based on data from China’s Zhurong rover, which was part of the Tianwen-1 mission that landed on the surface of Mars in May 2021. From the data revealed that the Martian soil contains minerals.
This data was collected by the rover during its first 92 days on Mars, from its landing site on Utopia Planitia. The data was then reviewed by a researcher at the National Space Science Center (NSSC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Together with his colleague, Yang Liu analyzed data from three different instruments, in Zhurong which is a laser-induced damage spectrometer (MarSCoDe), a telescopic micro-imaging camera, and a short-wave infrared spectrometer.
These instruments, studied the minerals on Mars and finally concluded that about 700 million years ago, deep in the Amazonian era today, in the area of Mars called Utopia Planitia there was water.
Eva Scheller, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the study, said that Yang Liu’s findings were very interesting and different from other findings.
“Evidence for the presence of water on Mars is usually in the form of mineral salts. But the Zhurong instrument sees water molecules locked in the rock, which is very interesting and different from other young liquid water environments that have been observed,” said Scheller.
“This means that certain forms of water-carrying minerals would have formed over much longer periods of time than had been previously considered in other scientific studies,” he added.
China’s Zhurong rover has now covered about 1.24 miles (2 kilometers) in more than 350 days on Mars, and has analyzed various features on its journey. There will likely be more new discoveries in the future.