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Vá! 3 billion years ago, Mars looked a lot like Iceland

More than three billion years ago, Mars was home to vast oceans, and a new study shows this world may have once looked familiar — especially to the residents of Iceland.

The Curiosity rover has been exploring Gale Crater on Mars since 2012. That region may have resembled modern Iceland, careful examination of the geology of Gale Crater reveals.

Curiosity has been examining mudstones for more than eight years. However, that analysis can not reveal climatic conditions upstream from the sample, where the sediment was produced.

“Ancient rivers and streams on Mars physically and chemically altered the surface, then transported and deposited sediments, resulting in sedimentary rock production in downstream basins, as we observe in the remnants of Gale crater,” researchers describe in a paper published in JGR Planets.