Mars Rover Finds Signs of Ancient Streambed

Hip-deep water, habitable for life, may have flown across the planet

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff | Suggested by AstroDude

Posted Sep 27, 2012 4:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – One of the Mars Rover's main goals on its current mission was to find a site on the planet that could have supported life. Ding, ding, ding. NASA says the rover Curiosity actually landed on what looks to be an ancient streambed, reports the Washington Post. Rounded pebbles and other telltale signs suggest that a fast-moving stream ran as high as hip-deep across the planet.

“Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them,” says a professor on the team. “This is the first time we’re actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it.”

This image provided by NASA shows shows a Martian rock outcrop near the landing site of the rover Curiosity thought to be the site of an ancient streambed.
This image provided by NASA shows shows a Martian rock outcrop near the landing site of the rover Curiosity thought to be the site of an ancient streambed.   (AP Photo/NASA)
An image provided by NASA shows the robotic arm of Mars rover Curiosity in action.
An image provided by NASA shows the robotic arm of Mars rover Curiosity in action.   (AP Photo/NASA)
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