In February 2021, the Her perseverance rover NASA arrived at Jezero Crater of Mars. Until then, the crater was studied by scientists through observations from spacecraft, such as Mars Express satellite and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
But now, thanks to Perseverance, scientists can do better estimates about the past of this area of Mars, which once had water since it was a lake. As Perseverance rover's main mission is to discover signs that once proved that life once existed on Mars, the new information is vital to where scientists should look for these signs.
Today, there is no liquid water on the surface of Mars. He is one very cold, very dry world, but in the past the planet was warmer and wetter. The 28-mile-wide Jezero Crater was once a lake, and although the water has long since disappeared, the evidence for its existence and the way it moved is obvious. A recent paper published in Science, describes great rocks that may contain geological evidence for the interior of Mars.
According to Nicolas Mangold, scientist at University of Nantes in France and lead author of the new work, the findings show that there was a lake in the past but slightly different from what we expect. Jezero Crater was a quiet lake 3,7 billion years ago. A small river was heading towards the lake, and sometimes the water was so rapid that it could carry large rocks and throw them into the lake. Huge rocks still exist today.
Scientists reported more than 300 rocks and stones. The largest rocks were almost 5 feet wide. The scientist also said that the rocks come from floods and other related phenomena that may be related to some change in the climate of Mars.
Ο Ken Farley, a Perseverance scientist described the complexity of the Jezero Lake system at a NASA press conference in July:
""One of the hypotheses we are trying to address is that the lake that once filled the Jezero was not only there once, but that it went through many episodes of filling, drying and filling again." said Farley. "This is very important because it means that we will have multiple time periods in which we could possibly learn about the environmental conditions on Mars and we have multiple time periods where we could look for ancient life that could exist on the planet.".
Researchers still have a lot to learn about the crater and the ancient lake on Mars. New images from NASA's Perseverance rover have helped scientists conclude that the level of Lake Jezero was about 328 feet lower than previously thought. The rover moves to the edge of the crater to discover other elements.
Now, researchers will pay more attention at points where other rocks and elements may be present to better understand this change in the liquid element of Mars.
NASA's Perseverance's biggest task is to search for and collect evidence that any species on Mars may have left behind. The new data help scientists understand where to look for possible fossils.
Experts believe that these fossils, if they exist, will not be fossils of entire creatures that may have lived on Mars, but traces they have left.
It's amazing that Perseverance of NASA and scientists have already discovered so much evidence for the history of Jezero crater through images of rocks in the crater. Whether fossils are found or not, samples of Mars arriving on Earth will be impressive anyway.