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Current Affairs

Flood on Mars

Date: 09 October 2021 Tags: Space

Issue

A study of Jezero crater of Mars by Perseverance rover has revealed that it was once home to a well-fed lake system.

 

Background

The Perseverance mission has gone dark after its communication with Earth ended. The mission managed to send this data before completing its life.

 

Details

  • Evidence going back to 3.7 billion years ago showed that the area experienced flash floods. This was concluded after studying boulders.

  • The displacement of boulders was evidence of intense flooding events. This occurred at a time when rivers were flowing on Mars and it had thick atmosphere to retain moisture.

 

The study

  • The study indicated that powerful currents brought down boulders from as far as 10 miles upstream. They were deposited in the lake bed.

  • The rover has collected soil samples from the area, which will be brought back to Earth during future missions.

 

Significance of study

A better deep analysis of Jezero’s delta is important to understand the change in hydrology for the area, which could provide valuable insights into why the entire planet dried out.

 

Jezero crater

  • Before going dry, the Jezero crater was a huge lake, drained by many rivers. Evidences of water flow can still be found.

  • The study of crater was long planned as it had the potential for harbouring signs of ancient microbial life. 

 

Perseverance rover

  • The Perseverance rover is a part of Mars Exploration Programme of NASA which aims to study Mars planet in details.

  • Along with the rover, the mission also includes Ingenuity Helicopter that will mark the first time a copter is flown in a place other than Earth.