2.1 Billion-Year-Old Martian Rock Discovered in Sahara Desert Contains Ancient Water

Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Earth, Space, Videos with 0 Comments
YouTube Preview Image

A 2.1 billion-year-old Martian rock offers scientists clues to to a period in the planet’s history when its climate finally changed. It is among the oldest known from the planet and matches findings from NASA rovers. The meteorite contains a concentration of water by weight about ten times higher than in any of the other 100 or so known Martian meteorites — those rare rocks that get ejected from the Martian surface into space when an asteroid hits the planet, and eventually find their way to Earth. It’s also the only known Martian sample on Earth that hails from a critical period, about 2 billion years ago, when Mars is thought to have become colder and drier than it was originally.

 

(Ron Cowen | Nature.com)

Meteorite carries ancient water from Mars

Rock is among the oldest known from the planet and matches findings from NASA rovers.

It may just look like your average rock, but in fact it’s an extra-special delivery from the red planet. Laboratory analysis has revealed that a specimen bought from a Moroccan meteorite dealer in 2011 is the first sample of Martian origin that is similar to the water-rich rocks examined by NASA’s rovers.

The meteorite, dubbed Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, contains a concentration of water by weight about ten times higher than in any of the other 100 or so known Martian meteorites — those rare rocks that get ejected from the Martian surface into space when an asteroid hits the planet, and eventually find their way to Earth. It’s also the only known Martian sample on Earth that hails from a critical period, about 2 billion years ago, when Mars is thought to have become colder and drier than it was originally.

Carl Agee of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and his colleagues report their findings from samples of the meteorite in Science online today1.

Water clues

“Agee and his collaborators have thrown open the door to a whole new part of Mars,” says planetary scientist Munir Humayun at Florida State University in Tallahassee, who was not involved in the study. The meteorite, he adds, is “the first of a new class of Martian meteorites that provides more direct clues to the surface history of Mars.”

Moreover, Humayun says, NWA 7034 may provide the only direct corroboration for the rovers’ observations for some time to come, as the fate of a long-delayed mission to bring samples of Mars back to Earth is still uncertain.

The elemental composition of the meteorite strongly resembles that of rocks examined in 2005 by NASA’s Spirit rover at Gusev Crater2. Those rocks showed evidence of chemical alteration by interactions with liquid water, notes Agee. The composition of NWA 7034 also matches that of rocks studied by Curiosity, NASA’s newest rover, as described in preliminary reports from members of that mission.

Missing link

Dating from 2.1 billion years ago, NWA 7034 is the second-oldest Martian meteorite, and provides a “missing link” in the planet’s geological record, according to Agee.

Read the rest of the article…

GaiamTV_Bnr_600x76

Open Your 3rd Eye and Contact Your Spirit Guides

Tags: ,

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube
Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the stories on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Top
Close
Please support ConsciousLifeNews
Like us on Facebook