Monday, 02 November 2020 11:32
I wrote – Menna Allah Gamal:
Several years ago, a pair of dark meteorites were discovered in the Sahara Desert, which they named NWA 7034 and NWA 7533.
The analysis showed that these meteorites are new types of Martian meteorites, which are a mixture of different rock fragments, rocks such as these are rare and can fetch up to $ 10,000 per gram.
Most recently, 50 grams of NWA 7533 was obtained for analysis by the international team that included Professor Takashi Mikuchi of the University of Tokyo.
In a research paper published in Science Advances, Micucci said that our NWA 7533 samples underwent four different types of spectroscopy and chemical fingerprint detection methods, and the results led our team to draw some interesting conclusions.
It is well known to planetary scientists that water was present on Mars at least 3.7 billion years ago.
But through the meteorite’s mineral composition, Micucci and his team revealed that water likely existed much earlier, about 4.4 billion years ago.
“Igneous rocks, or fragmentary rocks, in a meteorite are formed from magma and usually caused by shocks and oxidation,” said Micucci.
This oxidation could occur if there was water present on or within the crust of Mars 4.4 billion years ago during an effect that caused part of the crust to melt.
“Our analysis also indicates that such an effect would have released a lot of hydrogen, which would have contributed to the planet’s warming at a time when Mars already had a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide,” he added.
If there was water on Mars earlier than previously thought, this indicates that the water may have been a natural byproduct of some processes early in the planet’s formation.
This discovery could help researchers answer the question of the source of water, which in turn could influence theories regarding the origins of life and the exploration of life beyond Earth.