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A Nasa space probe has discovered a new category of minerals spread across large regions of Mars.
The find suggests liquid water remained on Mars' surface a billion years later than scientists had previously thought.
The US Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft found evidence of hydrated silica, better known as opal.
The discovery adds to the growing body of evidence that water played a crucial role in shaping the Martian landscape and - possibly - in sustaining life.
Dr Murchie, who is chief scientist on the CRISM team, added: "The identification of opaline silica tells us that water may have existed as recently as two billion years ago."