Deep Water May Have Surrounded Ancient Mars Mountain
A giant lake could have filled Gale Crater and encircled Mount Sharp.
Water-carved rocks high up on a Martian mountain, just reported by planetary scientists, point to a very watery past for the red planet.
The new finding comes from Gale Crater, where NASA's Curiosity rover landed in 2012. The rover has already discovered the remains of ancient streams and ponds there. (See "Six Cool Takeaways From NASA's Curiosity Rover.")
NASA has long looked for signs of past water on Mars, as evidence of conditions that perhaps supported life there billions of years ago. Whether the bone-dry landscape of Gale Crater was once quite wet, and maybe even home to a giant lake, has remained controversial.
Now, new research into an unusual series of gridlike rock formations high up on Mount Sharp—an