As NASA's Perseverance rover explores the surface of Mars, scientists hunting for signs of ancient life on the distant planet are using data gathered on a mission much closer to home at a lake in southwest Turkey.
NASA says the minerals and rock deposits at Salda are the nearest match on earth to those around the Jezero Crater where the spacecraft landed and which is believed to have once been flooded with water.
A general view of Salda Lake in Burdur province, Turkey, March 1, 2021.
Information gathered from Lake Salda may help the scientists as they search for fossilized traces of microbial life preserved in sediment thought to have been deposited around the delta and the long-vanished lake it once fed.
A general view of an exposed island of old microbialites at Salda Lake in Burdur province, Turkey, March 1, 2021.
A team of American and Turkish planetary scientists carried out research in 2019 on the shorelines of the lake, known as Turkey's Maldives because of its azure water and white shores.
A general view of Salda Lake in Burdur province, Turkey, March 1, 2021. The official Twitter account of NASA Earth mentioned lake Salda in their tweet a day before NASA rover Perseverance touched down on Mars.