15-million-year-old Crater On Earth Confirms Presence Of Water On Mars

Science

The findings of a recent study conducted on meteorite samples from Earth's Ries Crater provide evidence of presence of water on Mars before NASA's Mars Rover.

Written By Gunjan Shah | Mumbai | Updated On:
earth

Scientists from all around the world have been trying to find traces of life on Mars. NASA’s Mars Rover is an upcoming space project meant to explore craters and other bodies of Mars and explore what is unknown. Recently, meteorite samples from an ancient impact site situated in Germany, hint towards the possibility that oceans and life existed on Mars. Here are all the developments in the story that have surfaced so far:

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Was there life on Mars billions of years ago?

According to reports, Mars is too cold to host liquid water on its surface, which is essential for life as known on earth. However, according to a recent study done on the meteorite samples of the Ries Crater, formed roughly 15 million years ago, Mars may have been warm enough to surface oceans and life. The researchers studied rock samples of the crater, which was once a water body. However, the findings show that the samples that were analysed have a high pH value considering the ratio of the nitrogen isotopes. They also were reported to have high alkalinity, which indicate an imbalanced pH level.

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Though it is unlikely that Mars would have had enough oxygen to support complex life structures like humans and animals, simpler microorganisms could have possibly sustained themselves if Mars had water with a neutral pH level and was highly alkaline. According to researchers, these conditions would indicate that the atmosphere had enough carbon dioxide to provide warmth to the planet and make liquid water possible.

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NASA’s Mars Rover 2020 is planned to land in a well-preserved ancient crater which is believed to have contained liquid water in the past. The findings suggest that the Martian crater that will be studied by NASA’s Mars Rover 2020 will have similar pH values and alkalinity to that of Earth’s Ries crater. Therefore, samples collected by NASA’s Mars Rover could be used to study the nitrogen isotope ratios and confirm whether the red planet has carbon dioxide in its atmosphere.

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