Confirmed: Mars Once Had Water

The Mars Curiosity rover has at last confirmed what astronomers have long believed.

The landing site of the Mars rover Curiosity was once covered with fast-moving and possibly waist-high water that could have possibly supported life, NASA scientists announced Thursday. While planetary scientists have often speculated that the now-desiccated surface of Mars was once wet, Curiosity cameras provided the first proof that flowing water was present on a least one part of Mars for “a long time.” Curiosity team scientists determined that flowing water was once present near the Gale Crater landing site based on the telltale size, shape and scattering of pebbles and gravel nearby. The roundedness of the pebbles is especially significant, they said, and strongly suggests that the rocks were carried down a roughly 25-mile stream or river and were smoothed along the way.