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The Curiosity Rover May Have Discovered What Wiped Away Ancient Signs of Life on Mars

Evidence of ancient life may have been scrubbed from parts of Mars, a new NASA study has found. 

The space agency’s Curiosity rover made the surprising discovery while investigating clay-rich sedimentary rocks around its landing site in Gale Crater, a former lake that was made when an asteroid struck the Red Planet roughly 3.6 billion years ago.

Clay is a good signpost towards evidence of life because it’s usually created when rocky minerals weather away and rot after contact with water – a key ingredient for life. It is also an excellent material for storing microbial fossils.

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