Makena’s packing for Martian summer camp at Lake Shalbatana Vallis, and mom’s being a little too overprotective… [1:35m]
What’s the facts?
On June 17, 2009, astronomers at the University of Colorado at Boulder announced that they had found definitive evidence of lake shorelines in a deep valley on Mars called Shalbatana Vallis. Using photographs from a high resolution camera aboard a spacecraft called the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (currently orbiting around Mars), the astronomers found formations similar to river deltas. They did not actually find a lake, however; that probably dried up about 3.5 billion years ago (that’s 3,500,000,000 years ago!). So don’t bother bringing your swimsuit. Finding evidence of a past lake is nevertheless important as it suggests that Mars may have been warm and wet billions of years ago, and as such could have supported life.
Original air date 19 June 2009.