A recent discovery made by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) shows the evidence of ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits that may offer clues about life on the Red Planet and Earth as well.
The authors of the study, Paul Niles and Joseph Michalski, believe there were volcanoes on the planet long ago that led to water being heated and may provide clues on how life began.
“Even if we never find evidence that there’s been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth,” said Niles, who works at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, in a statement.
“Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time — when early life was evolving here,” Niles added.
The researchers believe that the Eridania sea once had as much as 50,000 cubic miles of water in it, or about nine times more than the combined volume of the Great Lakes. Minerals such as talc, carbonate and serpentine have been found using the spectrometer.
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