NASA has many rovers exploring the barren wasteland of Mars, and most are making solid progress in relaying valuable information about the planet's climate, geology, and history.
Now a new study has been published that details researchers examining several photographs taken by Curiosity over the course of its mission. The scientists examined the halo-like fractures that are found across Mars' surface, and their Curiosity led to NASA's rover being instructed to take samples from the area.
According to reports, these halos are possible opal deposits, and if proven to be true would mean that Mars harbored water much more recently than scientists estimate, as water is a primary component in the development of opal deposits. What does this mean for astronauts? Well, if the halos are proven to be opal deposits, it would mean that their locations may be a valuable source of water for the colonization of Mars.
Depending on the size of the opal deposit and the water vein that has supplied it, these regions of land may be what stands between astronauts having a stable supply of water and not. NASA is already moving ahead with its Mars sample return mission, where it will transport samples from these deposits, and many other locations around Mars, back to Earth for a comprehensive examination. Researchers will be able to discern more information about samples after they are safely returned to Earth.
If you are interested in reading more about this story or would like to learn more about NASA and its Mars rovers, check out this link here.