Scientists have discovered intriguing evidence that life may have once existed on Mars, thanks to a NASA rover.

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover, which has been scouring the planet for signs of microbial life, is the source of the new data.

Currently, the 28-mile-wide Jezero Crater—which is thought to be the location where a lake formerly joined a river—is the focus of NASA scientists’ attention.

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According to a recent study’s author, which was published in Science Advances, samples collected by the rover show promise for supporting these beliefs.

If it is a delta, this provides more proof that Mars formerly had water, suggesting that life could have been there.

The paper contains some intriguing quotes, such as “The delta deposits in Jezero crater contain sedimentary records of potentially habitable conditions on Mars.”

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Planetary scientist David Paige of the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote, “From orbit we can see a bunch of different deposits, but we can’t tell for sure if what we’re seeing is their original state, or if we’re seeing the conclusion of a long geological story.”

“To tell how these things formed, we need to see below the surface.”

Thankfully, the Perseverance Rover has been able to map soil layers down to a depth of 10 meters and has been successful in gathering sediment sample down to this point.

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Though the rover’s results won’t be known in full until it returns to Earth, thus far, it appears to be a promising discovery in the hunt for evidence of past life on Mars.

According to the study, “this series of events supports the idea that Jezero crater has preserved a rich geological history that was driven by large-scale changes in the Martian environment.”

“A more complete understanding of these events may need to await the return and analysis of the Perseverance samples.”

For humanity, this is a truly exciting development.