A team from the University of Leicester and the Open University, working on a complex study of the red planet, have found that a type of rock found on Mars bears remarkable similarity to the geology of Watchet in West Somerset.
Mudstones found in the Gale Crater are close to the composition of rocks in Watchet and point to the likelihood of water once present on the planet.
The discovery has delighted local tourism chiefs who say that it’s yet another reason to visit the ancient port – and the wider area.
“We’ve always known that Watchet and West Somerset are special with a history spanning millennia. We have some fascinating geology and it’s a well-known spot for fossil-hunting,” said Cllr Karen Mills, West Somerset Council’s lead member for tourism.
“This discovery is wonderful – it’s amazing to think that we have something in common with a mysterious planet 225 million kilometres away.
“But while we would welcome people to come and discover Watchet and its history, we don’t want them taking our rocks home with them wholesale as souvenirs!”
For those interested in the research findings more details can be found here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2016/august/veins-on-mars-were-formed-by-evaporating-ancient-lakes
Debbie Rundle, on behalf of West Somerset Council,01984 635280 or 01823 356407 or 07714 759899 email email@example.com