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Mars had water in its craters longer than estimated

London, Mar 26 (Prensa Latina) The Gale crater on Mars hosted abundant water long after the Hesperian period, which lasted between 3,700 and three billion years when they believe that most of the liquid was lost, it was reported.

According to a research by the Imperial College London, based on images from NASA’s Curiosity rover of the basin, which is 154 kilometers in diameter and is located south of the equator of Mars, there was still abundant water underground, near the surface of Mars, towards the later Hesperian period.

Experts visualized deformed layers within a desert sandstone that could only have been formed by water, but could not clarify whether it was pressurized liquid, ice or brine, they said.

The study, published in Geology, indicates that the water could have been a pressurized liquid, forced into the sediment and deformed; frozen, with the repeated process of freezing and thawing causing the deformation; or salty, and subject to large temperature changes.

The leading author, Dr. Steven Banham, from the Department of Engineering and Earth Sciences at Imperial College London, explained that when sediments are moved by flowing water in rivers or by wind, they leave characteristic structures which “can act as fingerprints of the ancient processes that formed them.”

This finding changes the view of the Stimson Formation and similar desert sandstones on Mars that were previously considered less promising targets when looking for evidence of past primordial life, the research noted.