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The water on Mars was similar to that of the Earth's oceans

2020-01-24T13:10:43.463Z

Curiosity data reinforce the search for traces of life (ANSA)



The water that once bathed the surface of Mars had a pH and salinity similar to those of Earth's oceans teeming with life forms. This is indicated by the analyzes conducted by NASA's Curiosity rover on some clay sediments taken from the Gale crater. The data, which further reinforce the search for traces of life on the Red Planet, are published in the journal Nature Communications by an international group led by the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Experts analyzed the mineralogical and chemical data that Curiosity had sent to Earth after passing through a sieve of smectite, a clay mineral found in the Gale crater where the footprint left by the ancient Martian water would be hidden.

The study reviewed various parameters, such as the salinity of the water (i.e. the concentration of dissolved salts), the pH (the measure of its acidity or alkalinity) and what is called the 'oxidation-reducing state', i.e. the tendency to lose or acquire electrons (in other words, the measure of the abundance of gas such as hydrogen, typical of reducing environments, or of oxygen, typical of oxidizing environments).

The results indicate that the clayey sediments of the Gale crater would have formed in the presence of slightly saline liquid water and with a pH close to that of the Earth's oceans. Since our seas are home to a myriad of life forms, it is plausible that even the ancient Martian water could host life, at least microorganisms. In the next missions the task of finding evidence.

Source: ansa

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