Scientists have come to the conclusion that ancient Mars had a vast ocean and a much warmer, wetter climate.
According to a team of researchers from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, new estimates indicate an ocean once covered about 20 percent of Mars' surface. That ocean contained approximately 20 million cubic kilometers of water, which would be more than the Atlantic Ocean.
Researchers used three different observatories' telescopes to take a picture of the entire hemisphere of Mars.
The infrared telescopes revealed that only about 13 percent of the once-large ocean remains on the planet, and that small percentage is stored in the polar ice caps.
The previous ocean water was "lost to space."
"As Mars lost its atmosphere over billions of years, it lost the pressure and heat needed to keep water liquid, causing the ocean to shrink," a NASA narrator tells us.
The Curiosity rover has shown Mars was "wet" for over 1.5 billion years, which is much longer than previously thought (and long enough to develop life). But what does this all mean?
It means there is a much greater chance Mars has been a host to life.
In a related story, NASA also discovered that Jupiter's moon Ganymede has oceans 10 times deeper than Earth's oceans. So basically, we could just be flying around in space with a bunch of other planets that may have vaguely resembled us billions and trillions of years ago.
Check out the video from NASA below.
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