The Perseverance rover made two important discoveries regarding the Jezero crater. The new data will help scientists better understand the region and its geological history.
The Jezero crater on Mars arose during a volcanic eruption and was filled with water several times. There was even organic stuff there!
The Perseverance rover on the Red Planet is relatively recent, but has already managed to make several discoveries and for the first time launched an aircraft on Mars – the Ingenuity drone. The researchers collected the data obtained by the apparatus and were able to draw stunning conclusions based on their analysis.
The two main results of the new work are that the rocks in Jezero crater have come into contact with water on a number of occasions and that some of them contain organic molecules. These organic molecules can arise from both biological and non-biological processes, so they are not evidence that life existed in this place. However, they are a good indication that if there was ever life on Mars, there should be an opportunity to find evidence of this fact.
In addition, scientists have discovered that the rocks in the crater are igneous. This means that they were formed from lava flows. This discovery answers the main question regarding the origin of the crater. Previously, researchers were unsure if Jezero was composed of igneous or sedimentary rocks. Now its origin is becoming clearer.
Analysis of the rocks also confirmed that they were in contact with water. This proves the assumption that the Jezero crater arose on the site of an ancient lake. Researchers are still debating how long the water has been in the area, but significant steps have already been taken in this work. With the help of this crater, scientists plan to plunge deeper into the history of Mars and understand at what time the Red Planet was covered with water.