Ancient Mars Could Have Supported Life for Hundreds of Millions of Years
By Keerthi Mohan | January 24, 2014 6:27 PM EST
New data released from two NASA rovers - Curiosity and Opportunity - has revealed that ancient Mars may have had a favorable environment to support microbial life, reports said.
Mars could have supported primitive organisms, reports indicate.
Opportunity, which landed on Mars on 25 January 2004 for a mission that was to last three months, is still active and has found that water with a neutral pH flowed on the planet around four billion years ago.
“These [benign] water conditions existed over a long period of time," Ray Arvidson, lead author of the new study and Opportunity deputy principal investigator, told Space.com, adding that primitive organisms would have been able to survive on the planet for long periods.
Plus, a lake and groundwater system dating back to around 3.7 billion years could have been habitable, data obtained from Curiosity noted.
Opportunity, which has driven just over 38.7 kilometers since it landed on Mars a decade ago, is approximately 5,200 miles away from Curiosity. And when combined, these discoveries provide scientists with a clear picture of Martian habitability.
"These results demonstrate that early Mars was habitable, but this does not mean that Mars was inhabited," John Grotzinger, lead scientist on the Curiosity mission, wrote in an introduction to the studies in the journal Science.
It was only last year that NASA confirmed Mars was habitable, based on the findings of Curiosity.
"We have found a habitable environment that is so benign, and supportive of life, that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it," Grotzinger said in a news conference at the time, according to CNN.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- Pope Francis: World War III Has Started On Piecemeal
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Enhanced Footage Of NASA's Tether Incident Proves Aliens Exist, Say UFO Believers And Experts [Watch Video]
- Headache: Rx – Sex 3X A Day
- Philippines’s Mayon Volcano Shoots Lava & Hot Boulders
- A Jawbone Found In Sydney Beach Has Been Matched To An 800-Year Old Skull
- George, The Goldfish Underwent Surgery To Remove Brain Tumour - Watch Video
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. BlackBerry Passport — Specifications, Features, Release Date And Price Showdown
- 2 Reasons Nexus 6 Release Date is Worth the Wait: Android L Data Encryption & Material Design
- 3 Signs Apple iPhone 6 Could be in Short Supply Following its Sept 19 Release Date
- Australia Actively Rallying Support For International Coalition Against ISIS
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Update: Pangu Devs Will Outrace Evad3rs in Rollout of iPhone 6, iPad Unlocker
- Micromax Canvas A1 Vs Spice Dream Uno Vs Karbonn Sparkle V: A Choice On Which Android Is The Best