What Mars Looked Like 4 Billion Years Ago

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Mars wasn’t always the dry, rocky uninhabitable place we know today. 4 billion years ago it was nearly a vacation paradise.

Mars wasn’t always the dry, rocky uninhabitable place we know today. 4 billion years ago it was nearly a vacation paradise.

Loaded with beautiful blue lakes and fluffy clouds, the planet was a landscape photographers dream.

At least, that’s how NASA sees it.

A team has been hard at work putting together a time-lapse animation of 4 billion years of climate change on Mars.

They got some help from the scientists over at the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution – or MAVEN – mission.

That group has been tirelessly examining surface characteristics of the red planet and coming up with the most probable reasons for certain features.

For example, some are consistent with signs of water erosion often found on Earth, so the working theory is that once upon a time, Mars also had lakes large enough to cause the wearing away of the landscape.

They’ve also found natural substances like hematite and clay that can only exist in the presence of water.

What remains unknown is if the conditions that allowed for the formation of the lakes were around long enough to spawn any form of life.

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