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Mawrth Vallis is one of the largest valleys on the red planet and experts claim it may have been HABITABLE up to 3.6 billion years ago.
According to reports, Mawrth Vallis on Mars once had MASSIVE amounts of water passing through the area, during a time when the red planet was eerily similar to Earth.
The European Space Agency has published new images of what many are calling a remarkable discovery of a swirling valley on Mars, which could potentially become one of the main landing sites for ExoMars 2020.
The new photographs of Mars captured by the Mars Express show us a region of over 205,000 square miles where once ancient water carved different shapes on the surface of the planet.
With a staggering 600 km in length and up to 2 km in depth, this valley is one of the most massive valleys on the planet.
Large amounts of water once passed through it from a higher region, part of which appears in the lower right corner of the photograph, flowing towards the plains of the northern parts, which are seen in the upper left corner of the image.
Among the most notorious figures, we find large amounts of phyllosilicates (eroded clay minerals) marked with a brighter color throughout the course of the valley.
But most importantly, Phyllosilicates on Mars tell us that in the distant past, liquid water existed on the planet in great amounts and that Mars may have been a habitable environment some 3,600 million years ago.
According to reports from the European Space Agency, remains of volcanic ash is visible in the form of dark cap rock and may have protected traces of ancient living organisms in the clay.
In order to come up with this fascinating image of Mars, scientists joined nine images taken by the high-resolution camera on board the Mars Express.
It is noteworthy to mention that everything about Mars has changed with recent discoveries. Earlier this year, scientists found that Mars once had more water than the Arctic Ocean and the oceans were present on the surface of Mars for a period of over 1.5 billion years, enough for life as we know it to develop.
The finding discovered that over the past 3.7 billion years, Mars lost around 57 percent of its water.
Sharon Wilson from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington said “We discovered valleys that carried water into lake basins. Several lake basins filled and overflowed, indicating there was a considerable amount of water on the landscape during this time.”