Sunday, 23 June 2013

Mars Had Oxygen-Rich Atmosphere 4,000 Million Years Ago

June 19, 2013 — Differences between Martian meteorites and rocks examined by a NASA rover can be explained if Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere 4000 million years ago -- well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth 2500m years ago.


Mars. Differences between Martian meteorites and rocks examined by a NASA rover can be explained if Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere 4000 million years ago -- well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth 2500 million years ago. (Credit: NASA (Image Processing by Jody Swann/Tammy Becker/Alfred McEwen, using image processing system developed by the U.S. Geological Survey)
 
Scientists from Oxford University investigated the compositions of Martian meteorites found on Earth and data from NASA's 'Spirit' rover that examined surface rocks in the Gusev crater on Mars. The fact that the surface rocks are five times richer in nickel than the meteorites was puzzling and had cast doubt on whether the meteorites are typical volcanic products of the red planet.

'What we have shown is that both meteorites and surface volcanic rocks are consistent with similar origins in the deep interior of Mars but that the surface rocks come from a more oxygen-rich environment, probably caused by recycling of oxygen-rich materials into the interior,' said Professor Bernard Wood, of Oxford University's Department of Earth Sciences, who led the research reported in this week's Nature.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130619132446.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29

Sources: University of Oxford, American Assocaition for the Advancement of Science, ScienceDaily.com .

Related Blog Posts ---

Mars Meteorite Hints at Life Building-Block (2013 June 12):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/06/mars-meteorite-hints-at-life-building.html


Unique Martian Meteorite Found in Sahara Desert (2013 Jan. 3):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2013/01/unique-martian-meteorite-found-in.html


Rare Mars Meteorite Up For Auction Oct. 14 (2012 Oct. 14):

Link >>> http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/2012/10/rare-mars-meteorite-up-for-auction-oct.html


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