Mud Cracks on Mars Suggest a Watery Ancient Past
NASA’s Curiosity rover has photographed shallow crevices on Mars that may have formed from ancient mud cracks, yet more evidence that the planet had a watery past.
In addition to the network of cracks observed on Old Soaker, scientists have found evidence of interspersed layers of sandstone and mudstone, as well as cross-bedding — a pattern of rock layers created when water passes over a loose bed of sediment.
“This pattern can form where water was flowing more vigorously near the shore of a lake, or from windblown sediment during a dry episode,” NASA officials said in the statement. Further observations of Mount Sharp will help scientists determine how and when Mars became a dry planet.