Mars may have had water until relatively recently, 700 million years ago

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Mars probably had liquid water until much more recently than previously thought, according to a new Chinese study based on data collected by Chinese rover Zhurong.

Scientists from the National Center for Space Science in Beijing and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, led by Yang Liu, who published the article in the journal Science Advances, estimate that water may have existed on the neighboring planet until about 700 million years ago. not until three billion years ago which is the prevailing theory to this day.

The rover has been moving in the large and relatively unexplored crater Utopia Planitia of northern Mars since May 2021. To date, it has covered a distance of about two kilometers.

Zhurong’s two spectrometers analyzed rocks on the crater surface and found the chemical “signature” of water on hydrated minerals, which come from the most recent era in Martian geological history, the so-called “Amazon”. A time when scientists until now thought it was cold and dry.

The estimates of Chinese scientists should, however, be considered preliminary and confirmed by other findings.

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