Mars Is More Like Earth Than Moon

Posted: Feb 27 2017, 6:37am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

Mars is More Like Earth Than Moon
This is a solidified lava flow over the side of a crater rim of Elysium. Credit: NASA HiRISE image, David Susko, LSU

New discovery shows Mars is more like earth than moon

Scientists recently discovered that mars surface is not a simple as we think. The new mantle is discovered below Elysium volcanic province on mars that went through several chemical changes. The new discovery published in the Nature affiliated journal Scientific Reports by LSU researchers.

The research team discovered that, the lava that flowed on Elysium had a unique chemistry that remained consistent with a process, like heterogeneous mantle below mars that created different volcanic layers that melted at different temperatures after getting on the surface. The event happened in several years during martin history.

The research team included researchers from LSU Geology and Geophysics, David Susko led the study with colleagues at LSU including his advisor Suniti Karunatillake, the University of Rahuna in Sri Lanka, the SETI Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology, NASA Ames, and the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in France.

According to researchers,Elysium is a huge volcanic area on mars that’s also second biggest behind the Olympic Mons. The height of the volcanic mountains is double that of the earth’s mount Everest, around 16 kilometers.

The geology of Elysium is similar to earth’s Tibesti Mountains in Chad. The comparison was detected through Martian images taken by Mars Orbiter Camera, or MOC, aboard the Mars Global Surveyor.

The volcano is different from other Martian volcanoes, because it exists alone in the northern lowlands on mars. Other Martian volcanoes lie together in the southern highlands. Some young patches of lava also exist on Elysium unlike other areas.

The volcanoes have age of 3 to 4 billion years, however some patchesare 3 to 4 million years old, explained the researchers. They also found that young patches show that there is a chance of eruption, but it can’t be proved at the moment.

Researchers found elements on Elysium, like potassium and thorium. The research was led by Karunatillake, assistant professor in LSU's Department of Geology and Geophysics, researchers in LSU's Planetary Science Lab, or PSL. The detected elements are also found on earth volcanoes that’s why scientists consider Elysium similar to earth’s volcanoes.

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