by Brooks Hays
Houston (UPI) Feb 1, 2017
Mars may be home to some of the oldest volcanoes in the solar system. New evidence suggests the Red Planet has been home to volcanic activity for at least 2 billion years.
The evidence is a small Martian meteorite discovered in Africa in 2012. The rock was named Northwest Africa 7635.
Scientists has studied many Martian meteorites over the years. Most arrived on Earth's surface roughly 1 million years ago, when a large object collided with Mars, dislodging significant amounts of rock -- much of it volcanic.
The researchers who analyzed Northwest Africa 7635 determined it to be shergottite, a kind of volcanic rock. They also estimated that it was forged some 2.4 billion years ago.
Scientists have previously found 11 other Martian meteorites with a similar chemical composition. The fragments were all found within the same strata on Earth, suggesting they were dislodged from Mars and fell to Earth at the same time.
"We see that they came from a similar volcanic source," Tom Lapen, a geology professor at the University of Houston, said in a news release. "Given that they also have the same ejection time, we can conclude that these come from the same location on Mars."
Lapen and his colleagues detailed their analysis of Northwest Africa 7635 in the journal Science Advances.
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|