Tuesday , August 9 2022

Signs Flown Ancient Rivers Across Mars Surface, Billions of Years Action



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Billions of years ago, Mars was likely to be much warmer and wetter than the cold, dry, foul world we see today. One of them was there life or not being an open question. But there is a wall of huge, growing evidence, showing that Mars could have the necessary conditions for life in the past, including at least one system of river valley networks.

In this series of images of the ESA Advanced Solution Gaming on the Mars Express Orbiter, there are clear signs of a system of river valleys. The area is the southern uplands of Mars. The eastern side of Huygens's gravel, a large, well-known Martian crater, and northern Hellas. Hello is the biggest impact basin on the red planet.

Martian river valley network in context. Huygens's huge crater is seen on the left. Image Credit:
MGA ASA MGS Science Team; Map collection: Freie Universitat Berlin
Martian river valley network in context. Huygens's huge crater is seen on the left. Image Credit:
MGA ASA MGS Science Team; Map collection: Freie Universitat Berlin

The area is one of the oldest surface areas on Mars. It's between 3.5 billion and 4 billion years old, and it's a very wide area.

The morphology of the river valley is known as diametric & which means branching as a tree. The brain cells also have dendrites, which are branched nervous cell cornections that stretch out together and look like the river valleys on Mars. But we're digressed.

Another image of the river valley network, which has also been captured by the High Resolution Camera on the Mars Express Orbiter. Image Credit:
ESA / DLR / FU Berlin. http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images
Another image of the river valley network, which has also been captured by the High Resolution Camera on the Mars Express Orbiter. Image Credit:
ESA / DLR / FU Berlin. http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images

It's easy to see the comparison. The valleys are a branch into smaller and smaller tributaries, which are branched again.

Image-color, topographic image of the river valley system. Dark blue is a low look, and red is a high elevation. Image Credit:
ESA / DLR / FU Berlin, p: //www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images
Image-color, topographic image of the river valley system. Dark blue is a low look, and red is a high elevation. Image Credit:
ESA / DLR / FU Berlin, p: //www.esa.int/spaceinimages/ESA_Multimedia/Copyright_Notice_Images

From the topography in the images, the water is likely to flow from a higher elevation on the right hand side to a lower elevation on the left. It is likely that these rivers flow billions of years ago, and what we see now is the drums that have been drum. The proportionate and fragmentary, especially from east to west, are the evidence of this erosion.

The river valleys system is very similar to these river networks on Earth. A great example of this is the Yarlung Tsangpo river in Tibet, which has the same quality as the Martian Valleys.

The Afon Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, near the top of Namche Barwa and Gyala Peri. Image Credit: NASA - http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA03708, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4229722
The Afon Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, near the top of Namche Barwa and Gyala Peri. Image Credit: NASA – http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA03708, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4229722

In a press release, the ESA says that the Martian channels are likely to cause surface water from a strong river flow. It is likely that heavy rainfall will have contributed to it. The stream would have "broken through the current land on Mars, creating new paths and new landscape carving."

Regardless of how the water arrives there, it is clear that water flows on the surface. There are a number of current and future journeys studying and they will study Mars for clues to aqueous past. Marshian water is the central question of studying the planet.

The next year's ExoMars joint mission between the ESA and Russia will see face rolling, drilling under the surface and looking for life. That is the first for Mars examination.

The rover ExoMars will drill into a Japanese surface looking for signs of life. Illustration Image Credit: ESA.
The rover ExoMars will drill into a Japanese surface looking for signs of life. Illustration Image Credit: ESA.

And the Trace Gas Orbiter gives us a detailed analysis of the Mars atmosphere, which could put another piece of the post in solving the mystery of Mars's ancient, aqueous history.

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