A study of a Martian meteorite has reported water present on Mars much older than known.
Mars and what the world knows about it
Scientists have gathered that there has been water on Mars for at least 3.7 billion years. New research attests that water is present much earlier than thought, i.e., around 4.4 billion years ago.
A unit of researchers at the University of Tokyo has concluded this by analyzing a Martian meteorite (found on Mars), nicknamed Black Beauty.
According to a Science Daily statement, an international crew investigated 50 grams of meteorite named NWA 7533.
“I examine minerals in Martian meteorites to conjecture how Mars formed, and its crust and mantle developed.”
NASA's SOFIA discovers water on sunlit surface of Moon https://t.co/zMJ4FUynls
— ScienceDaily (@ScienceDaily) October 28, 2020
“This event is also the first time I have examined this particular meteorite, nicknamed Black Beauty, for its deep color.”
The statement quoted Professor Takashi Mikouchi at the University of Tokyo as telling.
The Science Daily news said that a couple of dark meteorites named NWA 7034 and NWA 7533 — were found in the Sahara Desert several ages ago.
Researchers discovered that “the earliest fragments were built on Mars 4.4 billion years ago, making them the earliest known Martian meteorites.”
They stated that these “rare” stones could fetch up to $10,000 per gram.
The researchers examined 50 grams of NWA 7533. Consequently, they discovered that the “fragmented stone in the meteorite formed from magma.”
Also, findings reflected common causes for the stones, such as impacts and oxidation.
Mikouchi said, “This oxidation could have transpired if there was water present. Subsequently, either if it was in the Martian crust 4.4 billion years ago through an impact that dissolved part of the crust.”
The need to find the origin of life on Mars
This interpretation of an ancient Martian meteorite feeds the belief that water might be one of several naturally occurring substances during planets’ development.
However, another system says that it came from asteroids, including comets post-formation.
In case there was water present on Mars earlier than believed, it suggests that water is “probably a natural byproduct of the unusual process early on in planet development.”
This finding could support researchers to answer the mystery of where water comes from and more such questions.
In turn, this verdict could also unknowingly impact hypotheses on the origins of life and the search for life beyond Earth.
Image courtesy of VICE News/YouTube Screenshot