Martian meteorite suggests water in red planet's past

NASA researchers spent a year studying the Mars meteorite, which was found in the Sahara Desert in 2011.

Courtesy Photo

The Black Beauty isn't much to look at, but it may hold vast information on the planet Mars. NASA researchers spent a year studying the Mars meteorite, which was found in the Sahara Desert in 2011. What they found from the 11-ounce rock was pretty stunning.

First, it contains 10 times more water than other Martian meteorites that have been found on Earth. Second, it came from the Martian surface and was formed about 2.1 billion years ago. That's a pretty good indication there was some kind of water in the Red Planet's crust way back when.

"This unique meteorite tells us what volcanism was like on Mars 2 billion years ago. It also gives us a glimpse of ancient surface and environmental conditions on Mars that no other meteorite has ever offered," said Carl Agee, leader of the analysis team and director and curator at the University of New Mexico's Institute of Meteoritics in Albuquerque.

(3) comments

Steve Fouga

I wonder how they know it's from Mars.

Gary Miller

Spectrografic analis.
Every rock, planet or moon, in out solar system has a different chemical signature.

Gary Miller

NASA has pretty much confirmed all water on earth came from water berring comets.
Pretty sure all our Oxygen came from that water by ultraviolate conversion.
They say 20 ton comets impact our atmosphere 40,000 times a day. Less than one every 100 square miles. They are mostly water with some dust. The water evaporates on impact and ultraviolate sunlight breaks down the water vapor to free oxygen and hydrogen. The heavier oxygen and dust drifts down in the atmosphere while the hydrogen drifts back into space.
Each of the 40,000 comets are 100 meter diamameter lighter than air clouds. A normal low level cloud that size would weigh 40 tons. They say the dust and water added 70 miles to earths diameter over 4.5 billion years.

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