On the subject of his latest research, Dr Matthew Balme, said:
“Our team has been looking for potential landing sites for the ExoMars Rover – a European mission that will look for signs of ancient life on Mars. One of these sites is called Aram Dorsum – it’s an ancient fossilised” riverbed, nearly 80 km long and several km wide and is surrounded by what look like ancient flood plains.
“Since studying Aram Dorsum, our group has found many more of these “fossilised rivers” around this area, which suggest that ancient Mars was warmer and wetter than it is today; this makes Aram Dorsum a great site to visit to look for evidence of past life on Mars.”
Dig deeper into the red planet
Try a free course on astronomy or geology
This article is part of the Astrobiology Collection on OpenLearn. This collection of free articles, interactives, videos and courses provides insights into research that investigates the possibilities of life beyond the Earth and the ethical and governance implications of this.