#Mars #Lakes – Mystery of Mars’ mineral veins is solved: Strange structures were formed by ancient lakes that may have supported life : Last year, Curiosity Rover discovered strange, multi-coloured veins on Mars that could give astronomers new insights into the red planet’s watery past.
Now scientists have discovered these mineral veins found were likely formed by the evaporation of ancient Martian lakes.
Researchers say the mineral veins are full of sulphur and may even have supported alien life in the red planet’s watery past.
Scientists at the Open University and the University of Leicester used the Curiosity rover to explore Yellowknife Bay in Gale crater.
Gale crater spans 96 miles (154km) in diameter and holds a mountain rising from the crater floor.
The researchers studied the mineralogy of veins that were paths for groundwater in mudstones.
‘The taste of this Martian groundwater would be rather unpleasant, with about 20 times the content of sulphate and sodium than bottled mineral water for instance,’ said Professor John Bridges from the University of Leicester.
‘However as Dr Schwenzer from The Open University concludes, some microbes on Earth do like sulphur and iron rich fluids, because they can use those two elements to gain energy.
‘Therefore, for the question of habitability at Gale crater the taste of the water is very exciting news.’