Remains of ancient lake in Mars spotted by ESA Mars Express satellite (Photos)

By on Sep 3, 2011 in Astronomy, Science, World Comments

Updated: September 29, 2012 7:45 p.m.

Read Signs of water on Mars discovered by NASA via rover Curiosity (Photo)

The remains of an ancient lake in Mars were recently spotted by Mars Express satellite of European Space Agency (ESA), as shown in the photos below.

Delta in Eberswalde crater
Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

As announced by ESA on their official website on Friday, September 2, 2011, the images of the ancient Martian lake were captured by Mars Express satellite, which has been orbiting around the Red Planet since 2003.

According to the report, the 65 km-diameter dry crater is in the southern highlands of the planet and can be seen as a semi-circle on the right of the image, a reminder that ancient Mars had a wet climate.

Scientists said they believed the Eberswalde crater was formed more than 3.7 billion years ago when Mars was hit by an asteroid, in which a delta was formed and laid down in water.

The delta, an ancient fan-shaped deposit of dark sediments, was noted to have provided clear signs that the surface of the Red Planet was once filled with water.

Apparently, the rim of the crater is noticeably intact on its right-hand side only as the rest of it appeared faintly or cannot be seen at all; as a 140 km diameter Holden crater was created on a later impact.

This Holden crater, which is mostly the the center and left side of the image, was formed by a huge amount of material or rock and buried parts of Eberswalde.

Nevertheless, the delta and its feeder channels are well preserved within the visible part of Eberswalde, with the delta covering an area of 115 square kilometers and feeder channels would form a lake.

This delta structure was was first identified with NASA‘s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, as both craters Eberswalde and Holden to be among its possible destinations.

According to NASA, the Mars rover will be launched this November, with ESA’s Mars Express helping to find the best landing site.

Holden (left) and Eberswalde craters
Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Eberswalde crater in perspective
Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Holden and Eberswalde in high resolution
Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

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