Mud on Mars Seems to Flow like Earth’s Lava

Mars’ surface is covered in all sorts of features, which all point to the distant past if the planet. The conclusion when studying it seems to be that water was at some point present on the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun.

A new study seems to indicate that lava-like formations have appeared on the surface of Mars, and they could actually be the product of a form of mud that flowed in the same way that lava does. This is similar to what happens with the volcanoes on Earth. This study was published on Monday in the academic journal Nature Geoscience.

Years on end, Petr Broz, who is a scientist at the Institute of Geophysics at the Czech Academy of Sciences, has been dumbfounded by how the detailed satellite imagery of the planet shows some unique features on the surface of the planet. There are steep cones of tens of kilometers in height, and they seem to be spread across the northern hemisphere of Mars. Each of these cones has a small crater on top of them.

The researcher was curious to see whether the craters were formed by some form of magma or by mud. To properly determine the cause of these craters, Broz, and a research team led by him would have to determine how mud would behave when put on Mars’ surface. So far, none of the researchers knew the answer when they were posed with this question.

In order to test what would happen with this theoretical mud, Broz communicated with Manish Patel, a senior lecturer of planetary sciences at The Open University who has also conducted researchers on various instruments for robotic space missions, including the ExoMars rover, which will be launched in 2022 by the European Space Agency.

This article was originally published on CNN.com.

Melanie J. Gullett
Melanie is one of our most experienced contributors. With ten years of experience in this domain, Melanie covers topics related to health, movies, TV series, and more.