The possibility of life on Mars has always been a hot topic. Even the slightest indication of it moves man a step closer to achieve one of their ultimate goals of finding a “backup” environment, where they can relocate incase Earth is no more capable for accommodating mankind.
Recently, researches have found evidence to support the claim of an ancient megaflood on Mars. Studying sedimentary data, researchers have determined that a megaflood occurred as a result huge meteoritic collision in the Gale Crater on the Martian surface. The generated heat, as a result of impact, enabled the surface ice to melt down approximately 4 billion years ago. This resulted in great changes in Mars’s geology, causing immense ripples to form in the sedimentary rocks. More often known as “antidunes” or “megaripples”, these features stand 10 meters high, and are 130 meters apart.
Eventually, the water condensed to form clouds, causing heavy rainfall across the planet. With water coming in from Mount Sharp as well, the rainfall landed in the Gale Crater which is the main reason for the formation of vast ridges in the sedimentary rocks. Having formed such lakes and streams in the ancient past, Gale Crater provides a good indication of existence of microbial life, researchers say.
“Early Mars was an extremely active planet from a geological point of view. The planet had the conditions needed to support the presence of liquid water on the surface – and on Earth, where there’s water, there’s life,” said Dr. Alberto G. Fairén, an astrobiologist at Cornell University.