European Space Agency Releases New Images From Mars, Shows Where Ancient Rivers Once Flowed

By  //  February 25, 2019

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researchers: Mars had rivers around 3.5 billion years ago

Mars had rivers dotting its landscape billions of years ago. (ESA/DLR/FU Berlin)

(FOX NEWS) – Although we think of Mars as a dry and dusty wasteland, it once contained enormous amounts of water on its surface.

Newly released images from the European Space Agency (ESA) provide more evidence of the Red Planet’s previous incarnations — which included water on what was a warmer planet around 3.5 billion years ago.

The photos, taken by the ESA’s Mars Express satellite, show an ancient region in the southern highlands of Mars filled with craters that have markers of flowing water. The space agency says the region’s topography suggests that water flowed downhill from north to south, carving out valleys up to 1.2 miles across and 656 feet deep as it did so.

“We see Mars as a cold, dry world, but plenty of evidence suggests that this was not always the case. Research in past years instead increasingly indicates that the planet once had a thicker, denser atmosphere that was able to lock in far greater amounts of warmth, and therefore facilitate and support the flow of liquid water on the surface below,” the ESA said in a statement.

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An artist’s impression of Mars when it had surface water, a few billion years ago. (ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger)

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