For years, theorists have suggested that Mars once contained the necessary requirements to support life. Now, NASA’s Curiosity rover may have finally found indication of this from images showing what appear to be fossilized microbial structures.
Over the past five and a half years, NASA’s Curiosity rover has been mapping and imaging the Martian surface to gain more insight on the dusty planet. In addition to snapping pictures, the nomadic vehicle has been searching for signs of water, while also determining the viability for human colonization.
Scientists know that water once flowed on Mars and have been on a quest to discover whether it still does to this day. Aside from ice caps on the Martian poles, evidence of flowing water can be seen in lakebeds, gullies, and what was once a large body of water in the planet’s topography.
In recent images of the Gillespie Lake outcrop, in the Yellowknife Bay area, Curiosity sent back pictures of small stick-like formations in a segment of sedimentary rock. To the untrained eye these formations wouldn’t appear to be much, but to a microbiologist who has studied microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS), the pictures could have some profound implications.
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