Stars at night

BBC Inside Science features OU academic on water on Mars

The quest to discover whether life exists, or has existed, on the Planet Mars has been one of the driving forces of space science research for decades. In a special interview with BBC Inside Science, co-produced by The Open University, Senior Lecturer at The Open University, Dr Matthew Balme, introduces us to his collaborative research, which has been published in Geology Journal.

Dr Balme, said:

“Our team has been looking for potential landing sites for the ExoMars Rover – a European mission that will look for signs of ancient life on Mars. One of these sites is called Aram Dorsum – it’s an ancient fossilised” riverbed, nearly 80 km long and several km wide and is surrounded by what look like ancient flood plains.

“Since studying Aram Dorsum, our group has found many more of these “fossilised rivers” around this area,  which suggest that ancient Mars was warmer and wetter than it is today; this makes Aram Dorsum a great site to visit to look for evidence of past life on Mars."