May has been a big month for scientific discoveries on Mars, as NASA’s Perseverance rover has continued to find more convincing evidence of what could have once been a “deeper and faster-moving” river than data initially suggested. New images taken by the rover’s main camera show two mosaics of course sediment grains and tall, curving layers of rock that suggest the river once flowed powerfully through the region.
But Perseverance isn’t alone in its discovery, as the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express orbiter has also had a busy month, as it studied the Martian planet’s second tallest volcano, and has captured new, stunning images of its fissured flank. These images provide a deeper glimpse of how the grooves on the surface were created, whether by water or lava.
Mars is the most explored planet in the Solar System (outside of Earth) due to its interesting landscape that could harbor signs of ancient microbial life. Perseverance landed on Mars in February 2021 and since then has been working with its helicopter companion, Ingenuity, to study its surface and cache samples of the Martian surface to return to Earth. Mars Express has been surveying the Red Planet since its launch in 2003 and continues to surpass what was expected to be only a two-year mission.