Rover finds evidence of fresh-water Mars lake, scientists say
Washington Post: The Curiosity rover mission found evidence of an ancient lake on Mars with water that may have been described as drinkable.
cientists have known that the young Mars was warmer and wetter, but this is the best evidence yet that the planet had what people would call swimming holes (though scientists say it would have been chilly — you’d have wanted to wear a wetsuit).
The “fresh water” lake could have harbored life, in theory. The chemistry of the lake would have been congenial to organisms known as chemolithoautotrophs — mineral-eaters. Whether such organisms, which thrive on Earth in exotic environments such as caves and deep-sea hydrothermal vents, actually existed on the young Mars is a question Curiosity lacks the tools to answer.
The mission’s findings will be discussed at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Monday.
Photo credit: NASA via Washington Post