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IPFS News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Mars Was Once Covered In Hip-Deep Flowing Water

•, Jennifer Welsh

The Curiosity rover's science team has come to a consensus: There was once a large amount of flowing water in Gale Crater. They can't say when, or for how long, but based on the types, shapes and sizes of rocks they've been seeing, they can say, finally, there was flowing water on Mars.

We aren't talking about a small amount of water either: The stream running from a canyon in Mount Sharpe called Peace Vallis could have been up to hip deep. The water eroded jagged rocks into smooth stones and deposited them in a fan shape across the floor of Gale Crater, Curiosity's landing site.

The team has examined rock outcroppings from three areas along the rover's path, all of which indicate that water had eroded rocks into gravel, then deposited them in layers. These layers cemented together forming what's called a conglomerate rock, similar to a rough cement.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
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Of course, how do they know it was water? Maybe it was alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide, or even mercury. Since the ecology of Mars would have to be somewhat different for there to be "bunches" of liquid water running around loose, who knows how different Mars might have been at some time in the distant past... like when it passed within a few hundred miles of earth to cause the great flood of Noah's day. Could have been any number of liquids.