Has Mars Ever Looked Like Earth? Answers from NASA scientists

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Mars is quite similar to Earth, according to a NASA scientist. In a video interview, astrobiologist Dr Becky McCauley Rench said the Red Planet is not always as dry as we see it today. According to the NASA website, “Mars, like Earth, has seasons, polar ice caps, volcanoes, canyons, and weather conditions.” Signs of ancient flooding have also been detected on Mars. In addition, there is also evidence of liquid salt water, especially on some Martian hills, which makes our heavenly neighbor similar to our own home planet.

On September 14, NASA shared Rench’s interview on Instagram. The question was simple and straightforward: Did Mars ever look like Earth? “Yes, we think it is. Ancient Mars may have been wetter and warmer – similar to our home planet,” Rench replied.

Explaining further, Rench added that whenever the solar system formed 4 billion years ago, Mars and Earth were made “of the same thing” and therefore looked very similar. “Today every time we look at Mars we see a very dry planet compared to Earth which is, you know, our blue marble,” she added.

Shedding light on what makes him believe Mars once looked like earth, Rench said we see evidence of past streams and Mars may also have a shallow northern ocean. “However, they diverged and today we have two different planets,” she added.

“As the Earth progressed with the development of life, on Mars the geological activity calmed down, it lost that water and became a much drier place. That is why it is so fascinating to study Mars. It also helps us better understand its past and future, such as understanding Earth and planetary evolution in our solar system and beyond, “she said.

“So has Mars ever looked like Earth? Yes it did, a long, long time ago,” Rench concluded.

NASA says in its SpacePlace section that Mars, a cold desert world, is half the size of Earth. It is called the Red Planet because of the rusty iron in the ground. “There are signs of ancient flooding on Mars, but now the water mostly exists in icy earth and thin clouds,” the space agency added.

Scientists wanted to understand if there had been life on the red planet in the past. Missions are currently underway to determine whether Mars could support life now or in the future.


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