There has been a significant amount of liquid water activity on Mars about a billion years ago, according to the latest findings from China’s first mission to Mars.

Map of archaeological pits, cones, trenches and mounds in the Zurong landing area Photo: CCTV

The latest batch of scientific research results from China’s first Mars exploration mission show that a large amount of liquid water activity was present in the landing zone of Zhurong, China’s first Mars spacecraft, about a billion years ago.

According to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), as of Thursday, the Tianwen-1 Mars probe has been in orbit for more than 780 days, traveling a total of 1,921 meters, completing specified scientific exploration missions and gaining 1,480 gigabytes (GB). ) from raw scientific exploration data, China Central Television reported on Sunday.

Through the comprehensive study of typical landforms such as concave cones, wall impact pits and trenches distributed in the landing zone, the scientific research team has revealed the important link between the terrain formation and aquatic activities in the Zhurong subsidence zone.

Camera images and spectroscopic data show that there are water-bearing minerals in crustal rocks near the subduction zone, providing evidence of a significant amount of liquid water activity in the Zhurong subduction zone 1 billion years ago.

Combined with camera images and information on the Mars rover’s moving grooves, the research team found that the soil in the landing zone has strong compressive strength and low friction parameters, and there are properties associated with water activity, wind and sand erosion.

These new findings reveal the influence of Martian sand and water activities on geological evolution and environmental changes, provide strong support for the conjecture that oceans once existed on the Martian utopian plain and enrich human scientific knowledge of geological evolution and environmental changes on Mars, the CNSA said.

The results of this research have been published in prestigious academic journals such as Nature Astronomy, Nature Geoscience, Science Advances and Science China.

In addition, the scientific research team also used the data of the Tianwen-1 probe to obtain a number of outstanding scientific results on the relationship between the density of rocks on the surface of Mars, the degree of surface erosion, the distribution of ions and neutral particles in the near Mars space environment, and the gravitational field of Mars.

Currently, the Tianwen-1 orbiter continues to conduct scientific exploration in the orbit of the remote sensing mission, and continues to collect direct scientific data to make contributions to the in-depth knowledge of Mars for humans, according to CNSA.

Earlier in the week, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) also Latest results from China’s exploration of the moon, with 1,731 grams of lunar minerals returned to Earth by the robotic Chang’e-5 mission. And on September 9, Chinese scientists announced that they had discovered for the first time a new mineral on the moon and named it Changesite- (Y), making China the third country to discover a new mineral on the moon.

Global Times