The Chinese Zhurong Martian rover has made a recent discovery of salty liquid water droplets, suggesting that Mars may have had snow and frost as recently as 400,000 years ago.
This timeframe coincides with the emergence of Homo sapiens, which scientists believe occurred around 300,000 years ago, implying that our earliest modern ancestors may have existed at the same time that water was flowing on Mars.
Although it has been previously established that conditions for water are possible on Mars, this is the first time that evidence of liquid water has been found on the neighboring planet, the Good News Network reported.
The IGG team discovered significant physical attributes on the dune exteriors, including cracks, crusts, polygonal ridges, granulation, and a strip-like imprint.
These dunes, which date back between 0.4 and 1.4 million years, are made up of salts that cause snow or frost to liquefy and form salty water droplets at low temperatures.
Qin Xiaoguang, the lead author of the study and a geophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, stated that they deduced that these dune surface traits were related to the presence of liquid saline water formed by melting frost/snow that fell on salt-containing dune surfaces.
The IGG team applauded the discovery as a significant breakthrough that offers crucial observational proof of liquid water in the low latitudes of Mars, where temperatures are relatively warmer and more conducive to life than at high latitudes.
Written by staff