Evidence suggests water once flowed vigorously on Mars

Authors


Abstract

“In some cases, when you do geology, a picture is worth 1000 words,” Mars Science Laboratory project scientist John Grotzinger said at a 27 September news briefing to announce that imagery taken by a camera onboard NASA's Mars Curiosity rover shows evidence that water once flowed vigorously in a region on the surface of Mars. One of the pictured rock outcrops, about 10–15 centimeters thick and named Hottah after Canada's Hottah lake, “looked like somebody came along the surface of Mars with a jackhammer and lifted up a sidewalk that you might see in downtown LA in sort of a construction site,” said Grotzinger, who is with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “This is a rock that was formed in the presence of water, and we can characterize that water as being a vigorous flow on the surface of Mars,” he said. “We were really excited about this because this is one of the reasons we were interested in coming to this landing site, because it presented from orbit quite a strong case that we would find evidence for water on the ground.”