The Mars Curiosity Rover found signs of ancient explosive volcanoes on the Red Planet.
A whole team of experts in the USA studied the data mined from the surface of Mars by the Curiosity Rover. Among the salient facts gathered was evidence of tridymite, which is a mineral found in explosive volcanoes on earth. Thus Mars must have had similar vicious volcanoes in its past.
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The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The Rover searched and found the samples, they underwent analysis and the results may change our worldview of Mars forever.
Up until now we have had the facts all wrong. Most researchers think that the geological past of Mars was very different from the earth. At least, it has been thought to be mild by comparison to the fury found in earth’s early history.
Mars was never thought to have had any tectonic plates thus preventing any earthquakes or volcanic activity. Yet now we know that such was hardly the case.
Any volcanoes which have been found are thought to be of the slow and steady types. These are the types from which such earthly phenomena as the Hawaiian Islands formed in the first place.
The meltdown of hot mantle plumes beneath the surface lead to such a formation of land masses. With the discovery of tridymite, the game has been changed forever.
The ancient history of Mars is a whole new ball game from now onwards. A rethinking and paradigm shift will have to be made regarding Mars.
The Curiosity Rover has been going here and there in Gale Crater on the surface of Mars since the year 2014. It began scraping the soil and tested various samples too. The rocks looked like they had silica as one of their components.
After the rocks were subjected to X-ray analysis, the high levels of tridymite was quite a shocker for the scientists. This very find was contradictory to all we have known about Mars up until now. It flew in the face of conventional thinking and a reality which we earthlings had taken for granted.
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Some even thought this mineral came from some other planet. The bodies of water that were extant on Mars in the past could have been formed due to these explosive volcanoes. The only legitimate question is how these volcanoes formed despite the absence of tectonic plates. This remains for now a mystery.