A River Ran Through It: Why Do They Think There Was Once Water on Mars?

by Jason Major on September 28, 2012

Why is everyone so excited about these dusty Mars rocks?

This week’s big news was the announcement of evidence for flowing water on Mars, based on images of what appear to be smooth river rock-type pebbles found by Curiosity. Of course that’s a big statement to make, and for good reason — identifying water, whether present or past, is one step closer to determining whether Mars was ever a suitable place for life to develop. Yet here we are, not even two months into the mission and Curiosity is already sending us solid clues that Mars was once a much wetter place than it is now.

JPL released a video today providing a brief-but-informative overview of what Curiosity has discovered in Gale Crater and why it’s gotten everyone so excited.

Check it out so you’ll have something to talk about over the weekend:

MSL Long Term Planner Sanjeev Gupta reviews Curiosity’s latest discovery

Video: JPLNews. Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech


A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

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