US space agency NASA has shared photos of an “enchanted lake” on Mars. These images show that the lake is a rocky outcrop that was named after a landmark in a national park in Alaska. Its presence has given a boost to scientists who believe the Perseverance Rover could help find the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on the Red Planet. These images were captured by the rover on April 30, 2022.
These images provide scientists with the opportunity to research sedimentary rocks. Notably, these sedimentary rocks form over time after fine particles are carried away by the atmosphere or water settles in layers turning into rocks. The image further suggests that the lake is dry, just like the rest of Mars.
After their research, scientists strongly believe that water was present in the lake in the past, making it the possibility of life back then. It is important to note that one of the goals of the Perseverance rover is to discover the possibility of ancient microbial life on the planet. The rover will study the geology of Mars as well as the past climate to help scientists explore the planet.
In a statement, Katie Stack Morgan, assistant project scientist for NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, said when she saw the image of Enchanted Lake, she fell in love with it. She said the images gave her team the first close look at sedimentary rocks, which they were very excited to explore, after Jezero was named the rover’s landing site nearly four years ago.
Reports suggest that the massive, hot, pressure cooker-like conditions that form the igneous rocks that line most floors of Jezero Crater do not provide a favorable environment for sustaining fossilized microscopic life. For this reason, sedimentary rocks are important, as they provide an ideal place to search for the possibility of past life.