Scientists identify lake shorelines on Mars

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Washington, August 9(ANI): A team of scientists, using images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on board NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, have reported direct evidence of lake shorelines in the Shalbatana Vallis in Mars.

Scientists generally believe that warm, wet conditions existed on Mars until only about 3.7 billion years ago.

In recent years, however, remote sensing studies have hinted at the existence of Martian lakes during the Hesperian epoch (about 3.5 billion to 1.8 billion years ago).

Now, sub-meter-scale images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show clear, unambiguous evidence of shorelines of a lake more than 450 meters (1,476 feet) deep that formed about 3.4 billion years ago.

The study indicates that conditions favorable for flowing water and lake formation may have existed for thousands of years on Mars during the Hesperian epoch, which has been thought to be a period during which surface conditions did not allow significant hydrological activity.

According to the researchers, the sedimentary deposits associated with the lake in Shalbatana Vallis should be considered a priority for further study by future landed Mars missions. (ANI)

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