Afghan Voice Agency(AVA)_Monitoring, Since landing in Mars’ northern hemisphere in May 2021, the rover has rolled close to four nearby crescent-shaped dunes in the Utopia Planitia region to investigate their surface composition.
All four of the miniature, wind-formed geological features are coated with thin, widespread fractured crusts and ridges that formed from melting small pockets of “modern water” sometime between 1.4 million years to 400,000 years ago, according to a new paper published Friday.
“This means a more recent time in Martian history,” Xiaoguang Qin, a scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and an author of the new study, told Space.com.
Scientists have long thought that early Mars harbored abundant liquid water about three billion years ago. But dramatic climate changes froze much of it as ice now locked in poles and left the bulk of the planet parched.