Mars Meteorite Gives Clues Of Water And Life on Red Planet
Mars meteorites analyzed by scientists have given evidence that the Red Planet may well have been once covered with water. A mineral found in the meteorites, which had been considered proof of a dry ancient Red Planet, have been found to originally harbor hydrogen. Scientists think that this means there could have been more water on Mars at one stage, possibly even covering the entire planet in oceans.
Merrillite, the mineral found in a meteorite from Red Planet, is regarded as an indicator of dry environments. However, the new study suggests that some of the merrillite may actually have been converted from a "wet" mineral called whitlockite. The conversion is thought to be caused by the asteroid impacts that blasted the Red Planet rocks toward Earth.
To test the theory about the original composition of Martian meteorite, the international research team at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, created a synthetic version of the hydrogen-containing whitlockite. To simulate the condition of ejecting meteorites from the planet, they utilized shock-compression experiments on whitlockite samples. The researchers then studied their microscopic makeup with top-of-the-line X-ray machinery, the Mirror Online reports.
Results of the experiment show that whitlockite can become dehydrated from such shocks. This cause the once wet mineral to turn into a dry merrillite. Study co-lead Professor Oliver Tschauner from UNLV explains that even if a part of merrillite had been whitlockite before, this is enough to change the water budget of Mars dramatically.
According to Space, what adds to the intrigue in the study of Martian meteorites is that the hydrogen-containing whitlockite is water-soluble and contains phosphorus. This means that the planet had one of the key building blocks for life on Earth. Researchers are now confronted with the question that if there was available phosphorus in an environment that had once held water, would that not enable a potential for the generation of life on Mars?
Outdoor Swimming May Improve Physical And Mental Health
New studies reveal the health benefits you can get from outdoor swimming. From a healthy, glowing, skin, stronger resistance, to a happier mood, open water swimming definitely proves to be an invigorating form of exercise and fun.
Exercise And Happiness: Even Small Amounts Of Exercise Boost Mood, Study Says
A recent study on exercise and happiness, reveals that even small amounts of physical activity elevates positive mood. It is the largest-smartphone based study conducted in the UK.
NASA Needs to Keep Up With Today’s Context of Space Exploration, Says PPIRB
Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB) calls NASA to update planetary protection policies
NASA’s Mars Rover Is As Cool As The Batmobile SUV
NASA unveiled a concept for a Mars Rover and it looks a lot like the Batmobile.
Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Wants To Fly, Secret Airship In The Works
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has been secretly working on an airship inside one of NASA’s Ames hangar, with a former Air Force engineer at the helm. Could this be a pure passion endeavor or is it another Project Calcifer?
MORE IN ITECHPOST
12 Self-Publishing Platforms for Authors
Self-publishing has become an incredible opportunity for writers to connect with an unlimited number of potential customers. While there are numerous platforms available, which ones are the best?
How Do Personal Emergency Response Systems Work?
Personal emergency response systems, known as PERS for short, are systems that help people to raise the alarm and get immediate help when a medical or personal emergency occurs. They are ideal for older people and anyone with a mobility issue or an injury or illness that can cause falls.
Game Developers’ Different Roles in the Studio
Learn about the different professionals involved in developing video games. Becoming a game developer is one of the coolest jobs around and your 14-year-old self, perched on the edge of your bed as you play PlayStation, will thank you for making such an awesome career move.