New information from the Curiosity Mars apparatus reveals a potential history of hydrothermal activity in the Gail crater on the Red Planet. It turned out that the content of zinc and germanium in the detected rocks is 10-100 times higher than in typical Martian crust.
Usually these elements are enriched in conditions of high-temperature liquids and are often found on our planet. In our case, such sites indicate the presence of microbial life. Perhaps these were the first evolving organisms.
Evidence of hydrothermal activity was also found by other rovers. Scientists used computer models and experiments to sort out the past of the planet. This finding confirms that Mars possessed favorable conditions for the emergence of life. Most likely, these deposits preserve traces of microbial life or its predecessors.
Overview from the Curiosity rover camera, showing the territory with mineral veins below the ridge of Mount Eolid. Devices recorded the presence of an unusual material with the highest concentration of germanium Crater Gale appeared 3.5-3.8 billion years ago due to a meteorite impact. After a few hundred million years, it was filled with 1-2 km of precipitation of rock. This is thought to be due to the presence of lakes or streams. Researchers consider this object important for the search for Martian life.
Rover Curiosity managed to measure 16 elements, among which suddenly found germanium and zinc, whose concentration is 100 times higher than usual indicators for the Martian surface. In one of the veins, the mark went off 300 times.
It was the presence of these elements that confirmed hydrothermal activity in the past. If there was enough water in this area, the energy from the impact could heat the crust and create a similar concentration. Volcanic activity could also lead to this. Deposits are able to be transported through water, gravity or wind.