Planet Mars has been such an enigma for astronomy over the years. Plenty of probes had been studying the planet’s surface, and astronomers are still far from knowing everything about the cosmic object.
Mars is also the best candidate from our Solar System that’s theoretically capable of hosting any life forms at all. That’s why astronomers are taking more and more seriously the idea to go to the Red Planet in the near future. But while scientists are aiming to uncover more secrets about our neighboring planet, a recent discovery is outstanding.
Moving Megaripples found
Megaripples are giant structures that cover certain regions from the Mars’ surface. Scientists knew about these structures for quite a while, but they had no idea that they could move. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to obtain the ultimate proof that there’s significant motion characterizing the Megaripples, which can be defined as coarse grains that slither across the surface of Mars.
The new research aimed at 1400 Megaripples scattered across two sites from Mars: the McLaughlin crater and a portion from the Nili Fossae region. The conclusion was that the Megaripples moved for an average of 3 inches per year over the course of 9.4 years at Nili Fossae and 7.6 years at McLaughlin.
The research team was led by Simone Silvestro of the National Institute of Astrophysics in Naples (Italy), and it released the following statement:
Here we show the first evidence for the movement of bright megaripples on Mars showing that some of these bedforms can be active today and do not require past climatic states for their origin as has been assumed,
Terraforming Mars seems like a mandatory task, and astronomers are hoping to achieve it in the near future.
The new study was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Letters.
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