Meteorites Reveal Water Comes From Different Sources on Mars

Scientists studying Martian meteorites believe water came from different sources on Mars.

The more scientists analyze Mars, the more information we gather about the planet’s rich and watery history.

Currently, it is understood Mars was probably warm enough to keep liquid water on its surface. Dorothy Oehler at the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona and her colleagues found that ancient Mars may have had hot springs. Researchers compare images of bright areas on Mars with similar-looking geography on Earth.

Oval-shaped areas were spotted inside a crater on Mars, and the irregular shapes and bright concentric ellipses allowed the researchers to conclude this is where the fluid came from underground. That hot liquid may have been released by the impact, which created the crater, and is similar to how hot springs are created on Earth.

The Lunar and Planetary Science Conference were going to present the new scientific finding but, it was canceled due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

It is unknown whether there is still any liquid beneath Mars’ surface. However, scientists have found water molecules in the chemical structure of the planet’s rocks. Barnes used data from Martian meteorites to determine where that water came from. They expected to find similar chemical signatures in all fo the meteorites. But, there were differences, which might mean the magma ocean did not cover the entire surface, suggesting there are multiple reservoirs of water beneath Mars. “Different parts of the interior have different signatures,” says Barnes. “Maybe these different sources of water are telling us something about the building blocks of Mars.”

In relevant science news, between 3.7 to 4.5 billion years ago, life on Earth began. Now, researchers argue meteorites splashed down and leaked essential elements into warm ponds.

Scientists at McMaster University and the Max Planck Institute in Germany report wet and dry cycles bonded basic molecular chemicals int he pounds producing a nutrient-rich solution, which in turn created self-replicating RNA molecules that formed the first genetic code of life on Earth.