Nasa Mars rover finds evidence of life-friendly ancient lake
SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - Scientists have found evidence of an ancient freshwater lake on Mars well suited to support microbial life, the researchers said on Monday.
The lake, located inside Gale Crater where the rover landed in August 2012, likely covered an area 31 miles (50 km) long and 3 miles wide, though its size varied over time.
Analysis of sedimentary deposits gathered by Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity shows the lake existed for at least tens of thousands of years, and possibly longer, geologist John Grotzinger, with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, told reporters at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco.
"We've come to appreciate that is a habitable system of environments that includes the lake, the associated streams and, at times when the lake was dry, the groundwater," he said.