Saturday 24 February 2018

Water was flowing on Mars 200,000 years ago

An artist's concept of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft approaching Mars.
An artist's concept of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft approaching Mars.

John von Radowitz

WATER flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as 200,000 years ago, new research suggests.

A young crater in the planet's southern hemisphere contains well-preserved gullies and sediment deposits thought to have been formed by water.

Scientists estimated it to be no more than 200,000 years old, so the water features must have appeared since then.

The crater formed long after the most recent proposed ice age on Mars, which ended some 400,000 years ago.

Lead scientist, Dr Andreas Johnsson, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said: "Gullies are common on Mars, but the ones which have been studied previously are older. Our study crater . . . is far too young to have been influenced by the conditions that were prevalent then."

Press Association

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