What Is Jezero Crater?
The Jezero Crater is one of the oldest craters on Mars with a stunning landscape. The crater is a dried-up paleo-lakebed, with a preserved river delta and sediments; it is also estimated to contain at least five different types of rocks, which can further be sampled for further studies. What’s more, the Jezero Crater holds geological features that are approximately 3.6 billion years old.
A new research paper says that the Jezero Crater was formed over periods long enough to promote both habitability and the preservation of evidence. Naturally, the crater is one of the ideal places to study and possibly, collect samples for the eventual return to Earth. This is where scientists are hoping the NASA Perseverance Rover may find fossilized evidence of early, single-celled life.
Today, NASA is tapping into a study titled The Pace of Fluid Meanders on Mars and Implications for the Western Deposits Of Jerzero Crater, published in the journal AGU Advances. Before this study, one of the crucial factors that were a major roadblock to understanding Mars is time.
Although we know a lot about the planet thanks to satellites and advanced telescopes, the question of time remained. Without knowing the time frame, it’s difficult to answer questions like How long ago was the Jezero Crater created?
Role Of NASA Perseverance Rover
Scientists have determined that if there was life at the Jezero Crater, it mostly wouldn’t have evolved much and might be limited to single-celled organisms. With this new understanding of how the sediment deposits in Jezero Crater were formed, and how it likely preserved evidence of life, it makes the Perseverance Rover mission even more exciting to look forward to.
Comparatively, life on Earth began about 3.5 billion years ago, around the same time that Jezero Crater was formed. Life on Earth would have also begun as a single-celled organism, evolving into a multi-cellular life form. However, something might have stalled the Martian life, brining evolution to a standstill.
Sending the NASA Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover straight to the Jezero Crater might bring us a few answers that might answer these questions and absurdities.