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Mars probably had life-threatening conditions much earlier than thought



As scientists continue to investigate the history of Mars and its potential to host microbial life, a group of researchers has discovered that the solid earth crust surrounding the rocky world was formed only 20 million years after the solar system

The find indicates that the outer surface of the surface of the red planet had already hardened 4.547 million years ago. This means that our neighboring world has fulfilled one of the most important conditions for receiving life at least 100 million years before Earth, in order to complete the processes that have made our world what it is.

Crust formation is essential to the existence of life and life that happened on Mars so fast that it probably also contained a dense atmosphere, liquid water and perhaps life at the same time.

"This is much earlier than Earth, about 1

00 million years, which means life has its origin on Mars," said study author Martin Bizzarro of the Center for Star and Planetary Formation (CSPF) told Newsweek. "Note that this is speculative and requires additional evidence."

Previous work indicated that the Martian crust – the final product of planet formation – took at least 100 million years to form. But the latest work by Bizzarro and colleagues completely changes this view. [194559006]  Mars and Jupiter [19659007] This is an artistic illustration intended to illustrate the early solidification and formation of the primary crust on Mars with Jupiter in the background. </span> <span class= Photo: Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

The group He came to these conclusions after examining a 2011 Saharan Mars stone. Today, each gram of this precious meteorite, called "Black Beauty", costs $ 10,000, but in 2014, Bizzarro bought other precious stones for it. He received 44 grams and smashed five of them to extract samples of a rare mineral known as zircon.

Also found on Earth, zircons serve as a popular dating tool of an archaeologist. They store information about the environments in which they were formed and act as time capsules, giving scientists critical insight into the period in question.

In this case, researchers tested zirconium pieces and were able to measure the age of decaying uranium trapped in the mineral as molten Marsmagna solidified to form the planet's crust. The process revealed the age of the Martian crust in which the zircons formed

"We discovered the oldest minerals – zircons – from Mars," Bizzarro told Newsweek. "These zircons, some 100 million years older than the oldest terrestrial zircons, tell us that Mars developed a crust much earlier than Earth."

The findings mentioned in this study also lend credibility to a famous though recently proposed theory of planet formation. According to this method, known as "gravel accretion," centimeter-to-mega-sized planet-forming particles accumulate in layers to aid rapid planetary growth. This method, as the researchers have described, is much faster than the other, more conventional theory, which proposes that planets begin as dust particles that merge into a young planet over 50 to 100 million years.

The study titled "Evidence for extremely rapid magma-ocean crystallization and crusting on Mars" was published June 27 in the journal Nature.


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