New Study rewrites the history of Mars! Red planet more likely to have had life

Mars water
Artist’s impression. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre

A new study promises to rewrite the history of the red planet. According to a new research, our neighboring planet Mars might have been FAR MORE LIKELY to support life than we ever thought.

Everywhere on Earth where there’s water there’s life.

Scientists have recently discovered that the red planet was far ‘wetter’ than we ever imagined.

A new study simulated Martian meteorites in order for scientists to understand more about the ancient environment on the red planet. The finding suggests that everything we thought we knew about Mars is wrong.

The study published in the Journal Communications presents evidence that a mineral found inside of Martian metoerites—which had been considered as proof of an ancient dry environment on Mars—may have originally been a hydrogen-containing mineral that could indicate a more water-rich history for the Red Planet reports the Berkely Lab.

As scientists put it, water is considered one of the most important building blocks and requirements for life as we know it. And discover of water greatly improves chances that Mars was inhabited in the distant past.

Experts have also found that the material could help create phosphorus–one of the essential elements for life on Earth, and on Mars as scientists have found.

This changes EVERYTHING we thought we knew about Mars.

Mars Im wet

To make this unprecedented discovery, scientists built a synthetic version of a mineral dubbed as whitlockite. Scientists performed shock compression experiments on the samples, simulating the conditions of being tossed on meteorite from Mars. Afterward, the sample was studied with X-Rays to understand its microscopic composition.

Shock compression induces deformation, phase transformations and chemical reactions in meteorites.

Experts found that whitlockite could become dehydrated from the shocks and form merrillite—an element commonly found in meteorites thrown to Earth from Mars but doesn’t occur here naturally.

“If even a part of merrillite had been whitlockite before, it changes the water budget of Mars dramatically,” said Oliver Tschauner, a professor who co-led the study with Christopher Adcock.

Martin Kunz, a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab’s ALS who participated in X-ray studies of the samples, said: “This is important for deducing how much water could have been on Mars, and whether the water was from Mars itself rather than comets or meteorites.”

Since whitlockite can be dissolved in water and has phosphorous, an essential element for life on Earth—and merrillite appears to be common to many Martian meteorites—the study could also have implications for the possibility of life on Mars.

“The overarching question here is about water on Mars and its early history on Mars: Had there ever been an environment that enabled a generation of life on Mars?” Tschauner said.

Recently, experts have found enough water ice beneath the Martian surface to fill Lake Superior, our planet’s largest freshwater reservoir. The deposit varies in thickness from about 80 to 170 meters, with a composition which is from 50% to 85% water ice. Experts analyzed part of the Utopia Planitia region in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere of Mars with a radar instrument aboard the orbiter.

Utopia Planitia is a basin with a diameter of about 2,050 miles (3,300 kilometers), resulting from a major impact early in Mars’ history and subsequently filled.

Data analyses of more than 600 flyovers revealed an icy reservoir with a larger area than the state of New Mexico.

The deposit varies in thickness from about 80 to 170 meters, with a composition which is from 50% to 85% water ice, mixed with powder or larger rock particles.

The so-called ‘frozen treasure’ is located halfway between the equator and the pole. The ice water cannot persist on the surface of Mars. It sublimates into water vapor in the thin, dry atmosphere of the planet.


New Evidence for a Water-Rich History on Mars

Shock-transformation of whitlockite to merrillite and the implications for meteoritic phosphate

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  1. Millions of years ago Mars was a living fertile planet, but then, for unknown reasons, the inner core stopped spinning.
    This caused the planet’s magnetic field to fall down to it’s current levels (60 times lesser than Earth’s).
    The absence of magnetic field caused the Solar radiation to pass free and kill most of life.
    The absence of magnetic field caused the atmosphere to be blown away by the solar wind.
    The absence of atmospheric pressure caused all the waters to evaporate and being blown away into the space by the solar wind.
    Radiation + No Air + No Water = End of all life in Mars.

  2. Perhaps Mars was in fact wetter in the past….and perhaps it was inhabited by a highly evolved entity. Human-like even.
    And perhaps the indigenous population got too big, or produced too much cow farts, or pumped too much toxin into the atmosphere which eventually killed off everyone and everything.
    And perhaps before the final solution occurred, they sent two astronauts to the nearest planet to repopulate.
    Perhaps those two astronauts names were Captain Adams and Sergeant Evelyn, with their trusted robot SNAKE.
    Unfortunately, the Kidological part was supposed to bring levity to any situation to keep the astronauts/colonizers in good spirits (just in case) and failed in it’s mission using an apple as a prop for one of its’ jokes.
    (I should charge money for this stuff…..heh heh)

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