Lake in Turkey may yield answers on life on Mars

Similarities between a lake in southwestern Turkey and the Jezero Crater on Mars has captured the interest of U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in its research on possible life on the Red Planet, according to a scientist.

The mineral makeup between the Martian crater and Lake Salda in Burdur province, Turkey, was established with morphological and remote sensing, Candan Gökçeoğlu, a professor of geological engineering at Hacettepe University in Turkey's capital Ankara, told Anadolu Agency.

The 28-mile wide Jezero Crater is the planned landing site for NASA's Perseverance rover in February when it will begin a mission set to last for one Mars year, the equivalent of 687 Earth days. The depression is thought to have been home to a large lake - and perhaps microbial life - according to the space agency.

Gökçeoğlu, who is also a member of Turkey's Environmental and Natural Assets Science Board, recalled a recent Twitter post by NASA on Friday, in which it pointed out the similarities between Jezero and Salda.

"Though located a world away, Lake Salda, #Turkey, has geological similarities to Jezero Crater on #Mars. In fact, researchers even did field work at Lake Salda to prepare for #CountdownToMars," it said, juxtaposing top-view images of Jezero and Salda.

"You may not be able to travel to Jezero Crater on Mars, but you can visit the next best thing: Lake Salda, Turkey," said NASA's Earth Observatory.

"Though it is located a world away, Lake Salda shares similar mineralogy and geology as the dry Martian lakebed."

Gökçeoğlu explained that scientists had found similarities between a kind of sediment found in Salda that is formed by algae - microorganisms critical to the creation of suitable...

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