Alien life on Mars has been something folks have been talking about for decades. We've seen several movies that depict this, and other documentaries that talk about the possibilities.
Scientists have always been wondering if the Red Planet was or is in any way capable of being a home for living things. There's still no concrete information on this, and it might take decades more before anything substantial is released to the public.
However, a new piece of report released recently claims that Mars, at one point in its life, was home to several lakes of water, some of which were bigger in size when compared to North America's Great Lakes. Furthermore, the team claims the lakes were generated 2 billion to 3 billion years ago.
This is interesting because some researchers believe Mars was too cold for water to forge and survive without quickly becoming a block of ice during that time frame.
"This paper presents evidence for episodes of water modifying the surface on early Mars for possibly several hundred million years later than previously thought, with some implication that the water was emplaced by snow, not rain," says Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) project scientist Rich Zurek.
Sharon Wilson of the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Virginia is the leader of the study team. But how did Wilson and her team come to their conclusion?
For starters, the team studied photos of the Red Planet. The images were taken exactly from the northern Arabia Terra region via several orbiters. Wilson claims her team came across valleys that carried water in lakes.
They believe several lakes were on the planet, and the water in them was so abundant that the lakes overflowed into a basin known as Heart Lake. Apparently, this lake could hold more water than Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, which are two of the largest lakes sitting alongside the U.S. and Canadian border.
These findings will likely see the rise of more studies to fully understand how Mars operates in the past. Researchers will want to find out how conditions managed to warm up enough to melt ice on the frozen planet to allow for life.
As it stands, if water was on Mars billions of years ago, then chances are, life could have thrived as well, and that's something we need to learn more about.
Photo: Moyan Brenn | Flickr