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

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

Jason Major

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!

Recent Posts

The Lunar Eclipse, Seen From the International Space Station

If you were able to witness the lunar eclipse on May 15-16, 2022, the view…

16 mins ago

May 31st Could Be the Most Powerful Meteor Storm in Generations, or Nothing at All

Be sure to watch the skies on the last morning of May, for a possible…

5 hours ago

LISA has Passed a key Review Phase, it’s Time to Actually Design the Final Mission

Any project manager will tell you that a phased review project system is the way…

9 hours ago

InSight is Losing Power, it Probably Will be Shut Down in a Few Months

The InSight Mars lander will cease science operations sometime in the next few months due…

23 hours ago

Maybe We Don’t Hear From Aliens Because They Choose To Go Silent

How will humanity meet its end? That's only a depressing question if you think that…

23 hours ago

Ceres Probably Formed Farther out in the Solar System and Migrated Inward

When Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi spotted Ceres in 1801, he thought it was a planet.…

24 hours ago