NASA and a host of other space agencies continue to look for signs of life on Mars.
Space scientists are also hoping to find signs of ancient life so they can prove that the Red Planet was once habitable.
A group of researchers has claimed to find evidence that soil on Mars could indicate the planet was habitable for a long period of time.
The team published their study online in the journal Icarus.
They studied images taken by Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
A specific area called Margaritifer Terra was focussed on.
Mars’s Margaritifer Terra is an ancient and heavily cratered area on the Red Planet.
Researchers think they’ve spotted clay-bearing sediments there.
Clay is said to indicate there was once water on Mars.
The study suggested water was there from 3.8 billion years ago until around 2.5 billion years ago.
Catherine Weitz, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, said: “In addition, colorful light-toned layered sediments that display relatively low bedding dips and contain clays across 200 kilometers [124 miles] in distance are evidence that a lake was most likely present within Ladon basin and northern Ladon Valles.
“The low-energy lake setting and presence of clays support an environment that would have been favorable to life at that time.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t proof of life.
It is just evidence to support the idea that Mars may have been habitable.
Even if a planet had the right conditions for life, it doesn’t necessarily any life would or used to live there.