New evidence discovered by NASA's Curiosity Rover suggests Mars was once covered in water that may have been fit for humans to drink. During recent sessions at the European Planetary Science Congress, scientists presented many details that corroborate previous findings of water once existing on the Martian planet. Earlier this year, Curiosity analyzed samples that suggested Mars could have supported microbial life.
Speaking during one of the sessions, which were held between Sept. 8 and Sept. 13, Melissa Rice, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said Curiosity's Mastcam instrument found what scientists interpret to be a "habitable environment."
"We know that we had an initial habitable environment when these rocks formed, and then sometime later—we don't know when—these rocks had water flowing through them, through these fractures, leaving calcium sulfate behind," Rice said. Rice also explained that findings suggest Mars went through at least two wet stages, but scientists are unsure of the era when rocks formed was actually habitable.
Perhaps the most significant find came when Curiosity drilled into Mars' surface, finding clay minerals that hint at either formation in or alteration by water on Mars. NASA's other rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, found signs of water way back in 2004, but much of it was considered highly acidic; the evidence found by Curiosity is apparently neutral and benign, hence the suggestion that it may have even been safe for human consumption.
Another huge piece of evidence backing up Curiosity findings was a small pebble the rover accidentally drove over, which revealed a snowy-white interior, leading scientists to believe the presence of hydrated minerals formed at some point throughout Mars' history. There's been plenty of other evidence, too, and seemingly every new analysis and discovery suggests water was once very presence on the Red Planet.
Curiosity is currently on its way to Mount Sharp, where scientists are hoping to do more analysis on the mountain's base. Given what's been discovered thus far, scientists are hopeful the best is yet to come. "It's only going to get better," said one scientist.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Excite your kids curious mind with these science kits
Interactive, mind-blowing learning while you construct, engineer, explore, and experiment.