Curiosity Discovers Ancient Mars Lake Could Support Life

An ancient lake on Mars was capable of supporting life for tens or hundreds of thousands of years, researchers reported today based on findings from NASA’s Curiosity rover. In March, NASA announced that the lake was once capable of supporting microbial life, but little more was known. Now researchers have shown that the lake existed around 3.5-3.6 billion years ago and actually contained an “Earth-like” environment.

Not long after touching down in the Gale Crater last August, NASA’s Curiosity rover was driven over to Yellowknife Bay, a trough over 16 feet deep made up of basaltic sandstones. It’s there, near the edges of the lake where lower levels of dirt are accessible, that researchers tested to see if microorganisms could have existed. In particular, they say that chemolithoautotrophs — a type of microorganism commonly found in caves on Earth — could have existed in the lake’s environment, breaking down the area’s rocks and minerals for energy as they do on Earth.

The researchers say that liquid water once existed there, and they’ve previously speculated that it would actually have been drinkable because of its low salinity and neutral acidity level. Actual signs of microbial life haven’t been observed, but researchers say that an elemental cocktail that would have supported them was certainly present.

Full Article

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech


Posted 9 months ago with 343 notes
Tagged:Astronomymarsmars explorationspacecuriosity rovercuriositymars rovermartian lakescienceastrogeologyNASA

  1. excelle28 reblogged this from spaceplasma
  2. electricabigail reblogged this from spaceplasma
  3. plipplopp reblogged this from sagansense
  4. rebexy reblogged this from spaceplasma
  5. octagonperfectionist reblogged this from spaceplasma
  6. jadw reblogged this from spaceplasma
  7. crazy-braesy reblogged this from megami-fuyu
  8. shiyenscelestialtelescope reblogged this from spaceplasma
  9. megami-fuyu reblogged this from spaceplasma
  10. eburp reblogged this from sagansense
  11. eclectic-minded-lucid-dreamella reblogged this from spaceplasma
  12. awesomekarius reblogged this from spaceplasma
  13. onceandfuturebridge reblogged this from spaceplasma
  14. chemman9 reblogged this from sagansense
  15. helldal reblogged this from comaberenice
  16. parsuniverse reblogged this from starstuffblog
  17. craigmac1989 reblogged this from thelordofthebuttz
  18. dixie---normus reblogged this from finn-the-motherfucking-human
  19. finn-the-motherfucking-human reblogged this from celestialreconnaissance
  20. kammartinez reblogged this from sagansense
  21. diabolicalillumination reblogged this from sagansense
  22. celestialreconnaissance reblogged this from megacosms
  23. doctorsnewood reblogged this from sagansense
  24. dukesgeology reblogged this from sagansense
  25. preachrach reblogged this from limitlesscorrosion
  26. echo018 reblogged this from spaceplasma
  27. burkinator17 reblogged this from sagansense