NEWS: Curiosity Does Drilling U-Turn on Wobbly Mars Rock
The presence of water is exciting, but evidence of ancient pooling liquid water on Mars is very exciting. Liquid water supports the evolution of life as we know it, might Mars have also supported life? Although Curiosity isn't designed to look for direct evidence of life, it is providing a detailed picture of Mars' life-giving potential.
Now, by looking at the skies, Curiosity has identified clouds that are most likely formed through the accumulation of water ice crystals or supercooled water droplets. This adds another dimension to our understanding of Mars' current climate and its ancient environment.
"Clouds are part of the planet's climate system," Robert M. Haberle, Planetary Scientist at NASA Ames and a team member for the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS), told Astrobiology Magazine. "Their behavior tells us about winds and temperatures."
"Some studies suggest that clouds in the past may have significantly warmed the planet through a greenhouse effect. A warmer environment is more conducive to life," he said.