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Pebble Rocks, Streambed on Mars

Evidence that water was once on Mars

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It was one year ago when Curiosity discovered rocks containing pebbles on the surface of Mars. But it is only now after the researchers have done a detailed analysis that they have concluded that they were part of an ancient streambed!

The shape and structure of the rocks that were found helped the scientists to calculate the exact depth of the water and the speed of the stream that flowed in this location. The speed of the water was calculated to be approximately three feet per second and up to half a meter deep.

For this report three rocks were examined using the photos from Curiosity’s telephoto camera. Rebecca Williams of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona said that those three conglomerates look very similar to streambed deposits on Earth. Furthermore, the researchers have discovered alternate layers of pebble and sand, which again is very common on Earth.

The flow of this stream was constant for weeks or months and carried the rocks for a few miles, as the researchers suggest. Other evidence on Mars has shown that liquid water once existed on Mars so it is not a question anymore.

Today Mars has a very thin atmosphere to make a sustained stream flow of water possible. Researchers today are looking for further information regarding the history of Mars, and specifically the Gale Crater on Mars since they found conditions favourable for microbial life.

By John Black

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