Much has been said about the Red Planet’s past. One of the topics about which science debates is the presence of water there. Well, the controversy should be over now. Why? Because we finally have direct evidence of an ocean on Mars.
It was Chinese researchers who made the discovery on this planet. What did they find, specifically? Marine sedimentary rocks were detected. So, it is the proof of the existence of an ancient ocean on the northern plain of Mars. These rocks prove that there were once tides there. And it means that maybe it was not so different from what our planet was once like.
There are previous studies in this regard that already considered this possibility. There, what they found was evidence of a large amount of liquid on early Mars. But the claims remain controversial due to the lack of in situ analysis. The theory, however, was already gaining momentum.
A research team led by Xiao Long, a professor at the University of Goeciences of China, returned to the fray. It analyzed scientific data from the multispectral camera of the Mars rover Zhurong. Thus, he finally found for the first time direct evidence of an ocean on Mars. It was by the petrological of marine sedimentary rocks on the surface of the planet. This is detailed in a research article published in the journal National Science Review.
Rocks and tides
“When we looked at the images from the rover’s onboard camera, we found out. The bedding structures of the exposed rocks are significantly different from common volcanic rocks on the surface of Mars. They are also different from bedding structures formed by aeolian sands,” said Xiao, quoted by Xinhua.
He added information on the bidirectional flow characteristics indicated by knowledge of the bed. They were consistent with low-energy tidal flows. This occurs in the coastal and shallow ocean environment of the Earth.