4.4 million years of hidden water in Mars; study

When could have water formed in Mars? Well, a new study from a group of Japanese scientists say that water could have formed in the red plant about 4.4 million years ago. The scientists came to the conclusion after analysing a ancient meteorite.

The Meteorites named NWA 7034 and NWA 7533 had originated on Mars millions of years ago. They were found in the Sahara Desert several years ago. The meteorites are costly and can fetch up to 10,000 dollars per gram. Recently an international group of scientists obtained 50 grams of NWA 7533 for analysis.

Earlier scientists believed that water was formed in Mars about 3.1 billion years ago. The meteorites fetched by the scientists were formed in mars about 4.4 billion years ago.

Professor Takashi Mikouchi (University of Tokyo) said that he has not come across such a meteorite. He said that it was for the first time that this particular meteorite, called as Black Beauty, was analysed.

The professor said that NWA 7533 samples were subjected to different kinds of spectroscopic analysis. Mikouchi said certain minerals from the crust of the meteorite were seen to be oxidised. This showed that water was present on Mars during the impact that created the meteorite.

The oxidation might have formed because of water presence 4.4 million years ago. The scientists said that the impact by which the meteorite had formed could have released a lot of Hydrogen.

The scientists believe that the discovery could help in studying life in the Universe, beyond Earth.


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