Scientists say that a new picture captured by the ExoMars orbiter portrays a spectacular view of the ancient river delta, which proves that water once flowed over the surface of Mars.
Both the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency released the picture which shows a panoramic view of the Eberswalde crater in the southern hemisphere of the Red Planet.
On the left side of the 31-km-wide photo, one can see a delta that looks similar to the Nile river in Northern Africa.
Currently, there is no liquid water present on the surface of Mars but the new photo provides enough proof that water was a part of the planet’s formation years ago. The yellow spots seen in the picture are oxidized iron deposits which is a sign that the rocks that form the delta have been changed by water years ago, according to Roscosmos scientists.
A Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) that deployed in 2016 as a part of the European-run ExoMars program is responsible for this stunning photo. The device looks or gases in the atmosphere that could highlight past biological or geological activity.
Since 2003, ESA has been examining Mars and the next mission is slated for 2020 when an ESA-Roscosmos rover will deploy. The rover will drill into the surface of the Oxia Planum plain located north of the planet’s equator. Its goal is to look for hints of past life on the Red Planet.
Photo credit: Roscosmos, ESA