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Ancient Martian lake confirmed in rover images

12 Oct 2021, 12:00 UTC
Ancient Martian lake confirmed in rover images
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View of Scarp A in the ancient river delta in Jezero Crater. This photo was taken by the Perseverance rover on April 17, 2021. Image via NASA/ JPL-Caltech/ ASU/ MSSS.
NASA’s Perseverance rover is looking for evidence of past Martian life in one of the best places possible: the ancient remains of a Martian lake, in Jezero Crater. Previously, orbiting spacecraft showed that the crater even contains a still-visible river delta. Now, images from the rover confirm the ancient lake and the river that once fed into it, as well as, surprisingly, flash floods.
The new peer-reviewed findings from the Perseverance mission team were published in the journal Science on October 7, 2021.
Delta provides clues about Martian lake
In particular, the delta itself provides many of the clues about past water in Jezero Crater. The rover took detailed images of the delta, which showed steep slopes called escarpments or scarps. The delta formed just like deltas on Earth, from accumulating sedimentary deposits. The images were taken by the rover’s left and right Mastcam-Z cameras as well as its Remote Micro-Imager (RMI), which is part of the SuperCam instrument.
Now, we know that not only was there a lake fed ...

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