PerspectivePlanetary Science

The martian lake chronicles

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Science  09 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6257, pp. 167
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0902

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Ray Bradbury's science-fictional archaeologist character, Hinkston, in The Martian Chronicles, thought: “Well, I think I'd rearrange the civilization on Mars so it resembled Earth more and more each day. If there was any way of reproducing every plant, every road, and every lake, and even an ocean, I'd do so. Then by some vast crowd hypnosis I'd convince everyone in a town this size that this really was Earth, not Mars at all.” Hinkston may have his way without the need for hypnosis, because the latest discoveries on Mars geology, reported in this issue on page 177 by Grotzinger et al. (1), reveal records of lakes and other environments that remarkably resemble Earth. These findings provide “a good read” through the stratigraphic record of Mars, with tales of moving sand and pebble grains from ancient rivers to past lakes.