Chinese Rover reveals a new SECRET about water on Mars!
The Mars water theory is getting more and more exciting! Earlier, it was believed that Mars carried water in the liquid form about 3 billion years ago, when the second geological age of the planet, known as the Hesperian Epoch, ended. Now, the current period of Mars, which is known as the Amazonian period, has no water on the surface. So, is there water on Mars? Any such revelation will pave the way towards the expections of some form of life on the Red Planet.
Now, China’s Zhurong Mars rover has found evidence that the Red Planet, which is in a cold and dry state right now, used to have liquid water on its surface more recently than it previously thought. According to the new study based on data from China's Zhurong rover, the evidence of water on the surface of the red planet is just around 700 million years ago! China's Zhurong rover touched down on the surface of Mars in May 2021, and is part of the Tianwen-1 mission.
Data from three multiple systems on Zhurong were analysed by scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' National Space Science Center (NSSC): the laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (MarSCoDe), the telescopic microimaging camera, and the short-wave infrared spectrometer. The researchers used data from the rover's first 92 Martian days, or sols, at its Utopia Planitia landing site. The researchers discovered "hydrated sulfate/silica compounds on the Amazonian soil at the landing location," according to the study.
These hydrated minerals are found in bright-toned rocks that have been described as duricrust that has formed locally. The lithified duricrusts show that the creation of liquid water comes from either groundwater rising or subsurface ice melting, according to scientists. Researchers have speculated that instead of suffering a single dramatic shift, Mars may have gone through temperature cycles, moving from wet to warm and dry to frigid.
Till now, the previous evidence of liquid water systems on Mars were usually in the form of salt minerals. But Zhurong's instruments have found water molecules locked away in the rock. Zhurong Mars rover has covered nearly 2 km and evaluated a variety of features during its more than 350 days on Mars, indicating that the rover will likely continue to provide fresh Martian insights.