Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Significant Portion of Mars Could Be Friendly to Life, New Models Suggest

Sunrise at Gale Crater Gale Crater, future home of the Mars Science Laboratory, looms in the distance, distinguished from adjacent craters by its central mountain. Gale Crater straddles the dichotomy boundary of Mars, which separates the broad, flat, and young northern plains from the much older and rougher southern highlands. Water may have flowed across this topographic boundary, from highland to lowland. 
Last week, the Opportunity rover team found slam-dunk evidence of liquid water on the surface of Mars, an intriguing find for astrobiology. NASA/JPL-Caltech
Now that we have slam-dunk evidence that Mars was once a wet and likely temperate place, astrobiologists are pondering the implications for ancient Martian life. One new study says the Red Planet has even more habitable space than Earth — albeit underground.

MORE: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-12/large-regions-mars-could-be-friendly-life-new-models-suggest


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