The Red Planet continues to fascinate a large number of researchers as the bleak and rusty world may have offered conditions suitable for the existence of life at some point in the past. A new study argues that the ancient water found on Mars may prove that it could host at least some life forms.
Samples recovered from the Gale Crater infer that the water that was present at some point at the location featured a mild pH, traces of salt, and a redox state similar to the one encountered in a semiarid climate. The redox state is represented by the amount of hydrogen and oxygen found in the water.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has been hard at work in the Gale crater, one of the most exciting locations of the planet. Current data shows that the crater could be up to 3.8 billion years old, and previous research has offered valuable information about the way in which the climate shifted on the planet. The rover has also observed interesting phenomena, including high levels of methane within the atmosphere, which remained puzzling for some researchers.
Water on Mars Could Have Contained the Proper Ingredients for Life
By using geochemical-reaction transport modeling, researchers can attempt to produce samples of water as it was during a specific timeframe in a predetermined area.
A key element is represented by the fact that several factors have to be anticipated before the modeling process takes place, including the composition of the solution, reactive minerals, and related chemical reactions. This adds a level of uncertainty based on parameters that are hard to narrow.
An alternative method involves the use of clay-bearing rocks as their mineralogical and chemical composition can be analyzed by researchers to collect data related to the chemical structure of the water without the need to filter and refine the parameters which were mentioned before. More information can be found in the study, which was published in a scientific journal.