Mars Express orbiter suggests evidence of ancient microbial life, water and volcanism on Red Planet

A team from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory has used spacecraft images and data from ground penetrating radar to create 3D reconstructions of lava flows in Mars’ Elysium Planitia. The researchers discovered that lava likely erupted through fissures as recently as one million years ago, covering a region on the Red Planet about the size of Alaska. 

The team uncovered over 40 volcanic events, the most massive of which seems to have filled a Martian valley called Athabasca Valles with almost 1,000 cubic miles (4,168 cubic kilometers) of basalt. These findings could have implications for Mars’ ability to harbor life as we know it.


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