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Martian Meteorite Reveals Evidence Of Water 4.4 Billion Years Ago On Mars

Martian Meteorite Reveals Evidence Of Water 4.4 Billion Years Ago On Mars

Sometimes Mars is called the Red Planet. It's red because of the rusty iron on the ground. Like Earth, Mars has its seasons, polar ice caps, volcanoes, canyons, and weather. It has a very thin atmosphere made up of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon.

The atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than that of Earth. The Red Planet's atmosphere contains more than 95% carbon dioxide and much less than 1% oxygen, in which people would not be able to breathe.

Exploring Mars helps scientists learn about the dramatic changes in climate that can fundamentally alter planets. It also lets us look for biosignatures, signs that might reveal whether life was abundant in the past of the planet — and whether it still exists today on Mars.

Recently, Scientists discover evidence of water on Mars, a meteor that landed on Earth from the Red Planet shows that water may have formed naturally on Mars about 4.4 billion years ago.

Scientists say that the meteorites NWA 7034 and NWA 7533, which landed in the Sahara Desert years ago, came from Mars. Analysis has shown that these meteorites are new types of Martian meteorites and are mixtures of different rock fragments.

Meteorites and rocks like this are rare and can fetch up to $10,000 a gram.

Recently, 50 grams of NWA 7533 were acquired for analysis by an international team at the University of Tokyo in which Professor Takashi Mikouchi also participated.

Prof Mikouchi said: "In Martian meteorites, I study minerals to understand how Mars formed and how its crust and mantle evolved."

After investigating this particular meteorite and its mineral composition, Mikouchi and his team revealed that water was likely to be present much earlier, some 4.4 billion years ago on Mars.

According to Takashi Mikouchi, "Igneous clasts or fragmented rocks in the meteorite are formed from magma and are commonly caused by impacts and oxidation", "This oxidation could have occurred if there was water present on or in the Martian crust 4.4 billion years ago during an impact that melted part of the crust".

He also added, "Our analysis also suggests such an impact would have released a lot of hydrogen, which would have contributed to planetary warming at a time when Mars already had a thick insulating atmosphere of carbon dioxide."

If there was water on Mars earlier than thought, this suggests that water may be a natural by-product of some process early on in the formation of the planet.

The findings could help researchers answer the question of where water comes from, which could, in turn, have an impact on theories about the origins of life and the exploration of life beyond Earth.

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