One such feature of the Martian landscape, studied by Curiosity while it was at a small depression near its landing site called Yellowknife Bay, is an outcrop researchers dubbed Shaler.
Further, this water had to be neutral and benign. That's a big deal as far as habitability goes; Curiosity's smaller, older cousins, NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers, found plenty of evidence of ancient Martian water after touching down in 2004, but most of it was likely extremely acidic.
And the words that could be heard most often were hydrogen, hydration, rocks and water. Especially water.
And then there are the ancient river deposits.
The announcements have come in dribs and drabs, but presented together recently here at the European Planetary Science Congress, they provide compelling evidence that Mars was quite wet in the distant past. [The Search for Water on Mars (Photos)]
She talked about rocks that Curiosity studied earlier this year, Air Max 90 Heat Pack
Shaler is an example of cross stratification, which comprises thin, inclined layers of sediment. Features resembling Shaler are commonly formed by rivers here on Earth; turbulent water creates "dunes" on the riverbed, which slowly migrate in the direction of the current.
(PHOTOS: Mars Winter Wonderland)
LONDON Water, water everywhere, and some of it fit to drink.
What Curiosity has seen are the remnants of that migration process, researchers said.
"The grain size there are small pebbles and coarse sand grains, too large to be lifted up and transported by wind, so the only way we can produce these dunes is by water flow," said presenter Sanjeev Gupta from Imperial College London, a member of the Curiosity team."And these look exactly like the sort of features I've looked at on Earth formed by ancient rivers," Gupta Air Max 90 Yeezy
added. "So we can tell that these outcrops are clear evidence for sustained water transport and dune migration. When they are preserved, they are recording minutes to hours of motion, and they've been preserved for millions to billions of years."
(MORE: Moon is MUCH Younger Than We Thought)
a better place to live."
(MORE: No Life on Mars)
Researchers think the mudstone formed in a place where water was calm, such as a lake perhaps an ideal place for microbes to survive and reproduce. [Curiosity's 7 Biggest Achievements (So Far)]
"We know that we had an initial habitable environment when these rocks formed, and then sometime later we don't know when these rocks had water flowing through them, through these fractures, leaving calcium sulfate behind," Rice said. "We don't know if that era would have also been habitable, but it tells us that there were at least two major wet stages."One of the rocks Rice mentioned was a mudstone that Curiosity drilled into. Inside, researchers found clay minerals, which meant either formation in, or substantial alteration by, water on Mars.
During many sessions at the conference, which was held Sept. 8 to Sept. 13 in London, scientists presented details of the rover's most exciting finds, made before it began the long drive toward the towering Mount Sharp this past July.
"It's amazing that we found a mudstone," said presenter Aileen Yingst, a Curiosity science team member from the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz. "Mudstones mean that you have very fine grains inside the rock meaning that these grains settle down slowly. On Earth, that usually means that it happened because of wind or water. And we think that it was probably water."
Curiosity Rover Uncovers a Flood of Evidence
finding evidence that ancient Mars could have supported microbial life.
"We know that on Mars there was what we interpret to be a habitable environment, where water was good enough for us to drink," Melissa Rice, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said after a presentation on imaging results from Curiosity's workhorse Mastcam instrument.
"If you have veins, then you have had water that has some sort of rock forming mineral solution that has dissolved in the water, transported somewhere else and then deposited again. So it's just another indicator that you've had about water activity," Yingst said.
"If you're a microbe that is trying to get a hold on a place to live, you don't necessarily want to be living in churning water; it's not good for you to start growing and thriving," Yingst said. "[Calm lake] water is 2016 Air Max 90 Releases
Another rock that received a lot of attention at the conference is Tintina, a tiny Nike Air Max 90 Black And White Spots pebble that Curiosity rolled over and broke apart.
That's the picture of ancient Mars that has emerged during the past few months thanks to discoveries by NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been exploring the Red Planet since touching down inside Gale Crater in August 2012.
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