Crater Lake is one of the most possible sites for a future landing of a new Mars Rover of NASA. As the portal phys.org in this Martian crater, scientists were able to detect a mineral that theoretically could save the signs of life on Mars in its distant past. Due to the fact that the district Lake is the place where once was the Delta of the ancient river, scientists hope to find ancient microfossils of potential Martian life. Is there a chance to find life on Mars, and if so, how this can help the detection of hydrated silica on the surface of the planet?
Could life on Mars exist in the past?
Hydrated silica is a mineral, considered the best to search for fossils because of their unique qualities while maintaining biosignature. Jesse Tarnas, graduate of brown University, has developed a unique method of finding the mineral, which allowed to find traces of it on Mars in the crater Lake. The main attraction of this area is a large deltaic Deposit formed by the confluence of ancient rivers that once fed Martian lake. As you know, the river deltas on Earth save a huge amount of biological material that could be held once on the red planet similar processes.
As mentioned above, one of the Martian silica deposits were discovered in the crater Lake, located on the edge of the Delta at a relatively lowResearchers believe that the material forming the bottom layer of the Delta may be most productive to preserve traces of ancient bacteria. The presence in it of silica can be a double bonus for the scientists involved in the search for alien life.
To conduct the study, researchers used data from the compact reconnaissance image spectrometer of Mars (CRISM), flying aboard the Orbiter NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The method is applied to CRISM data, used big data Analytics to identify weak spectral signatures of silica deposits.
Despite the fact that researchers are hopeful to detect the first traces of life on the red planet in the Delta of the ancient river, rich in minerals, there is a risk that the silica could be formed upstream in the watershed, being washed subsequently in the crater of volcanic activity. In order for scientists to identify its real source, a future Mars Rover yet to explore this unique area.