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Thursday, September 9, 2004

Opportunity Landing Site Was Huge Sea

An ocean.
An ocean.
Credit: Pinqcybies
New research based on the Opportunity rover's findings and observations from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft indicates that the location where Opportunity landed was a very large sea for a long time.

The research suggests that the sea would have been about the size of the Baltic Sea or all of the Great Lakes combined, or an area of around 127,000 square miles. In order for this to happen in the way that the study found, the sea must have existed for a great deal of time.

This has far reaching implications for the development of life. Current theory holds that long term, stable conditions involving liquid water were necessary for the development of life on Earth. If this is true, Mars had all of the ingredients for life, and the time to grow it. Coupled with what we know about current organic compounds on Mars, the evidence is slowly building to a consensus that it is very likely that if there is life anywhere else in the Universe, it probably should be on Mars.

(More info: USA Today)

- posted by Brian @ 14:22 EST