Ancient Mars may have been covered in ice: study

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Several billion-years-old valleys on Mars may have been formed by glaciers and not flowing rivers. According to the new study in Nature Geoscience, ancient Mars was both colder and icier than prevailing theory supposes.

The team compared the red planet's valleys to Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Writing in a news release, co-author Anna Galofre says the island is "one of the best analogues for Mars on Earth."

The scientists' algorithms indicate that ancient glaciers produced channelized meltwater that cut valleys into the surface of Mars about 3.8 billion years ago. This process would explain the similarities between the valleys of Mars and Devon Island.

According to researchers, if the glaciers once existed, their ice sheets would have deflected solar radiation. This means ancient life would have had a better chance of surviving on Mars than previously thought.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Ancient Mars may have contained glaciers
2. Study compared Martian valleys to Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
3. Ancient glaciers produced channelized meltwater that formed several Martian valleys
4. Glacial ice may have shielded life from solar radiation


VOICEOVER (in English):
"Scientists say several billion-years-old valleys on Mars may have been formed by glaciers and not flowing rivers. According to the new study in Nature Geoscience, ancient Mars was both colder and icier than prevailing theory supposes."

"The team compared the red planet's valleys to Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Writing in a news release, co-author Anna Galofre says the island is 'one of the best analogues for Mars on Earth.'"

"The scientists' algorithms indicate that ancient glaciers produced channelized meltwater that cut valleys into the surface of Mars about 3.8 billion years ago. This process would explain the similarities between the valleys of Mars and Devon Island."

"According to researchers, if the glaciers once existed, their ice sheets would have deflected solar radiation. This means ancient life would have had a better chance of surviving on Mars than previously thought."


SOURCES: University of British Columbia, Nature Geoscience
https://phys.org/news/2020-08-early-mars-ice-sheets-rivers.html
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-020-0618-x