Mars Evidence Shows It Is More Like Earth

By Rodney Rafols , Feb 28, 2017 01:28 AM EST
Nasa building new rover for Mars 2020 mission

Astronomers are studying Mars in greater detail than before. As there are space programs that plan to send people to Mars, these studies are gaining even more importance. One study has it that Mars evidence shows it is more like the Earth.

A study of Mars' mantle has found that it is more similar to what the Earth has than that of the Moon. This is what has been found out by Louisiana State University Geology and Geophysics graduate researcher David Susko in his study. The study has been made with the help of the SETI Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology and NASA Ames, among others. His study advisor is Suniti Karunatillake.

The study has focused on the area on Mars called Elysium. Lava flows in the area show that they have unusual chemistry, much like what is noticed with magmatic processes on Earth. Elysium is a large volcanic complex, and only second to that of Olympic Mons.

Elysium is also somewhat isolated, since it is found in the northern part of Mars. Most of the volcanoes on Mars are found in the southern part. The lava in Elysium is also much younger, indicating that Mars has been geologically active until fairly recently. Susko has noted that the lava flows in Elysium are only three million years old, which makes them geologically fairly recent.

Susko has further said that the volcanoes in Elysium could still erupt, according to the LSU Media Center. Research though would still have to confirm whether this is possible. The area is found to have low levels of potassium and thorium, two elements which are associated with volcanic eruptions on Earth.

The study is looking into why Elysium have much younger lava flows as well as why the area have lower levels of potassium and thorium. It is speculated that glaciers near it could have altered the surface chemistry, or else that the lava flows could have come from different parts of Mars' mantle.

Another possibility is that Mars' mantle might have changed in time, as Science Daily reports. This might be the reason why more recent volcanic flows are different from older ones. Researchers have said that there should be more understanding on the geological history of Mars to learn more about it.

Susko has said that Mars is more complex geologically. This makes the planet to be more like Earth in terms of its geology than that of the Moon. The study has seen that Mars evidence shows it is more like the Earth. A study has shown that comet Chury has dunes on it.

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