Nasa makes astonishing Mars water discovery that could change everything we know about the planet

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NASA has revealed that water once flowed on Mars for much longer than previously thought.

A new study claims that the Red Planet likely had flowing rivers around 2 billion years ago.


Nasa said in a recent statement: "Mars once rippled with rivers and ponds billions of years ago, providing a potential habitat for microbial life.

"As the planet’s atmosphere thinned over time, that water evaporated, leaving the frozen dessert world that NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) studies today.

"It’s commonly believed that Mars’ water evaporated about 3 billion years ago. But two scientists studying data that MRO has accumulated at Mars over the last 15 years have found evidence that reduces that timeline significantly.

"Their research reveals signs of liquid water on the Red Planet as recently as 2 billion to 2.5 billion years ago, meaning water flowed there about a billion years longer than previous estimates."

Nasa's MRO spacecraft orbits Mars and studies its geology and climate.

Its findings could help us determine whether Mars was once home to alien life.

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The recent study focused on salt deposits thought to be left behind by icy water as it flowed across the planet and then evaporated.

The salt deposits are presented as mineral evidence that water once flowed on Mars.

Some experts suspect the water could have supported microbial life but no hard evidence of this has been discovered.

On Earth, where there is water, there is life and researchers hope this could be true for other planets too.

Researchers first found evidence of salt minerals on Mars 14 years ago.

However, the new study used digital elevation maps to show that the salts were largely grouped in depressions once home to ponds and lakes.

Leslie Tamppari, the MRO deputy project scientist at JPL, said: "Part of the value of MRO is that our view of the planet keeps getting more detailed over time.

"The more of the planet we map with our instruments, the better we can understand its history."

In other news, Nasa has upgraded its asteroid hazard software with some key changes that should help it better detect potentially dangerous space rocks.

Nasa has revealed stunning footage of a solar flare in action.

And, we looked into the weird world of ‘puffer jacket porn’ accounts.

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