Rounded pebbles give evidence of past flowing water on Mars

By on June 3, 2013
The outcrop of rocks on Mars (NASA/photo)

The outcrop of rocks on Mars (NASA/photo)

NASA’s Curiosity rover has found pebbles that appear to have been rounded by streamflow, according to a release from University of California Davis. Experts say the finding represents the first on-site evidence of sustained flowing water on Mars.

The rounded pebbles discovered are only known to form when transported through water over long distances. Their discovery supports theories that the red planet could once have supported life.

The smooth rocks were found between the north rim of the planet’s Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside the crater. Researchers say they chose Gale Crater for study because there was a sediment deposit there that typically requires water to form.

Image: The outcrop of rocks on Mars (Credit: NASA)

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