Mars has always surprised scientists with its astonishing environment. And recently, with the help of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, scientists have found out another interesting thing. They discovered an ancient dried-up lake bed that once held ten times as much water as all of the Great Lakes combined. Most probably the huge lake gradually dried up in the Hesperian period when got transformed from a wet planet to a cold and dry planet. And with respect to this discovery, it is expected that this place might have seen the evolution of life billions of years ago.
The data collected by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed that massive deposits minerals are buried underneath the Eridania basin. When the scientists analyzed those minerals they got to know that they were formed by volcanically heated underwent vents. Billions of years later, those volcanoes might have become extinct, and along with that the lakes would have dried up, but the mineral deposits remained intact.
NASA’s Paul Niles said that this site indicated towards a deep, long lived-sea and a deep-sea hydrothermal environment on ancient Mars. He also said that this situation reminded about the deep-sea hydrothermal environments on Earth, similar to environments where life might be found on other worlds- a life that doesn’t need a nice atmosphere or temperate surface, rather it needs just rocks, heat and water.
So, the recent findings at the Eridania basin are very important to get more information about how life first evolved on Mars and eventually we will get to know how first life might have looked like on Earth. Niles told that even if we never find evidence regarding the possibility of life on ancient Mars but this site could tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth.