Mars Confirmed To Have 2 Billion Years Of Volcanic Activity

Posted: Feb 3 2017, 7:20am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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Mars Confirmed to Have 2 Billion Years of Volcanic Activity
Something slammed into the surface of Mars 1 million years ago, hitting a volcano or lava plain. This impact ejected rocks into space. Fragments of these rocks crossed Earth's orbit and fell as meteorites. Credit: Image courtesy of University of Houston

Analysis of a Martian meteorite found in Africa in 2012 confirms that some of the longest-lived volcanoes in the solar system may be found on the Red Planet.

Research team recently studied a martin meteorite that was discovered in 2012 in Africa. This meteorite is an evidence of an ancient volcano that occurred 2 billion years before. The discovery shows that ancient volcanoes existed on mars.

Shield Volcanoes develop through lava that flows over long distance just like Hawaiian Islands. Olympus Mons is the biggest martin volcano that is 17 miles high, a height that’s 3 times more than earth’s biggest volcano named Mauna Kea, at 6.25 miles.

The research discovered something new that shows how the planet formed and how volcanoes occurred on mars, said Tom Lapen, a geology professor at the University of Houston and lead author of a paper published Feb. 1 in the journal Science Advances.

Some of evidences of mars volcanoes are meteorites discovered on earth. Scientists analyzed a variety of data that helped them understand meteorite’s age, its magma source, the time duration in space and how long they stayed on earth.

Some accident caused lava on mars 1 million years ago that created rocks. Pieces of the rocks fell to earth as meteorites while passing from there.

The 2012 meteorites discovered in northwest Africa were due to volcanic rock named shergottite. Scientists found 11 such meteorites similar to each other in chemical composition and their ejection time. The discovery shows that they were from same source and same area on mars.

All these meteorites give information of one location on mars. Previous meteorites were 327 to 600 million years old. But, the meteorites studied by Lapen’s team were developed 2.4 billion years ago and show that they appeared from the long lived volcanic centers in our solar system.

Scientists will study more on different evidences about meteorites to understand atmosphere of ancient mars.

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