NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection
Newton Crater: Evidence for Recent Water on Mars
What could have formed these unusual channels? Inside a small crater [ http://www.jpl.nasa ] that lies inside large Newton Crater [ http://ic.arc.nasa. ] on Mars [ http://www.seds.org ], numerous narrow channels run from the top down to the crater floor. The above picture [ http://www.msss.com ] covers a region spanning about 3000 meters across. These and other gullies [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] have been found on Mars in recent high-resolution pictures [ http://www.msss.com ] taken by the orbiting Mars Global Surveyor [ http://mars.jpl.nas ] robot spacecraft. Similar channels on Earth [ http://www.msss.com ] are formed by flowing water, but on Mars the temperature is normally too cold and the atmosphere [ http://windows.ivv. ] too thin to sustain liquid water [ http://www.es.mq.ed ]. Nevertheless, many scientists now hypothesize that liquid water did burst out here from underground Mars [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ], eroded the gullies, and pooled at the bottom as it froze and evaporated. If so, life-sustaining ice and water [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] might exist even today below the Martian surface [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ] -- water that could potentially support a human mission to Mars [ http://www-sn.jsc.n ]. Research into this exciting possibility [ http://www.sciencem ] is sure to continue!
Credit and Copyright:
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
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