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New Perseverance rover images reveal what happened before ancient Martian lake disappeared

Last updated October 12, 2021

By Tina Underwood

When the Mars rover Perseverance landed on the red planet’s surface in February 2021, scientists instantly began collecting photos of Jezero Crater – a spot believed to be a quiet lake billions of years ago. New information published in the journal Science shows evidence of dramatic flooding events associated with the lake. CNN reached out to coauthor of the study, Amy Williams, a 2007 Furman University alumna, who commented on the importance of the mission.

“It helps us understand so much more about the water cycle on Mars,” Williams said. “From orbital images, we knew it had to be water that formed the delta, but having these images is like reading a book instead of just looking at the cover. This is the closest I will ever get to going to Mars and doing this work in person. Seeing these rocks as I would in real life, looking up at them, is really staggering and really beautiful.”

Williams, a Furman Earth and environmental sciences graduate, is a University of Florida assistant professor of geology and astrobiologist whose work is the focus of this related story.

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