Mars Hills, Crater Yield Evidence of Flowing Water

The hills of Mars yield more tantalizing clues about how water shaped the Red Planet. Tests by NASA's robotic geologist, Spirit, found out this information, while its twin, Opportunity, observed the deep crater it climbed into two months ago.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said Spirit discovered a swath of bedrock that showed signs of being altered by water. It may yield clues about the planet's primordial atmosphere. Scientist believe the bedrock was thrust up from below the lava-covered surface of the vast Gusev Crater, where Spirit landed Jan. 3 and spent months crossing to arrive at a series of promontories dubbed the Columbia Hills.

For the past week, the rover has conducted a series of tests on a rock nicknamed Clovis, that is perched on a spur about 30 feet above the plain. Both Spirit and Opportunity found ancient evidence of water on Mars earlier in their missions, but new data recorded by Spirit's scientific instruments this week suggests that the life-giving liquid was once more plentiful than they thought.

News source: Reuters

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