Mars is teeming with craters. Despite being significantly smaller than Earth, our neighboring planet has over 43,000 impact craters that have diameters exceeding 5 kilometers. By comparison, our planet has only about 120 impact craters.
Some of Mars’ craters can surely ignite our imagination in ways we didn’t even think possible. It’s also the case of a newfound crater on the Red Planet that was photographed by the ESA’s Mars Express mission.
— NDTV News feed (@ndtvfeed) June 13, 2022
The crater obviously looks like a giant eye, and it’s located in Aonia Terra, meaning a region from the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet. The crater measures 30 kilometers across, which means more than the diameter of a neutron star that’s established at 20 kilometers.
Liquid water existed on Mars much earlier than initially thought
Chinese astronomers are also interested in exploring the Martian soil, and thanks to the Zhurong rover, they concluded that water existed on the Red Planet in liquid form ‘only’ 700 million years ago. That means a lot earlier than initially thought. Before the exploration, astronomers were betting on 3 billion years ago for the period when liquid water existed on Mars.
Yang Liu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences explained to CNN:
One of the most important resources for human explorers is water,
Hydrated minerals, which contain structural water, and ground ice can be used as the important water resource on Mars.
Eva Scheller from CalTech declared for space.com:
One of the major things we’ll have to find out and that I look forward to seeing from the Zhurong rover is how extensive these ‘young’ water-bearing minerals are,
Are they common or uncommon in these ‘young’ rocks?
There are still plenty of astronomers wondering if any alien life forms can be found on our neighboring planet. That’s one of the reasons why space agencies are insisting on exploring Mars.