“The Vanished Rivers” –Mystery of How Mars Became Uninhabitable Endures

 

Mars Mawrth-Vallis

 

Billions of years ago, Mars was a land of wild and scenic rivers that were wider than those on Earth today—and occurred at hundreds of locations on the red planet. Archived Image data from ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft showed that, at some points, one ancient riverbed that  flowed through a valley called Mawrth Vallis was 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) wide and 984 feet (300 meters) deep. The stereo cameras onboard the satellite also revealed “numerous tributaries” that fed the gigantic river.

(more…)

Mars Mount Sharp Reveals Ancient Environment

Mars Mount Sharp at Gale Crater

 

“Each layer of this mountain is a puzzle piece,” said Curiosity Project Scientist Ashwin Vasavada of JPL  about the Mars epi-center of NASA’s Curiosity mission’s goal, Gale Crater’s Mount Sharp. “They each hold clues to a different era in Martian history. We’re excited to see what this first sample tells us about the ancient environment, especially about water.”

(more…)