The Mars rover Opportunity looks over Endeavour Crater, where it turned up signs of ancient water. Scientists created this image by combining photos taken with different filters on the rover’s panoramic camera.
Ten years ago, a golf-cart-sized science lab on wheels started to roll across the surface of Mars. Within three months of landing, this Opportunity rover found signs that water had once pooled on the Red Planet. Fast forward to 2014, and the rover is still going strong. And it’s still finding evidence that water flowed on Mars — but not recently. The traces Opportunity has just found suggest that water might have existed some 4 billion years ago.
That water would not have been overly salty or acidic, scientists also report. In other words: Life might once have thrived on Mars.
There’s no actual water present now — certainly no Martian waterfalls or alien pools. But the rover…
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