BLACK BEAUTY METEORITE SUGGESTS LIFE ON MARS STARTED EARLY
A new study says that Mars was a potentially habitable planet. The process of planet formation involves heat. Rocky planets such as Earth and Mars ended up covered molten rock after they formed. On Mars, the oceans of molten rock froze up immediately, which could have given to the existence of life very early on the planet. The crust formed on Mars 130 Million years before Earth’s crust formed.
Back in 2011, pieces of a Mars meteorite called Black Beauty (NWA 7034) was discovered in the Sahara Desert. Today, every gram of it is worth 10,000 USD. The scientists studied the pieces of the meteorite and looked at its zircons, which act as time capsules. Each one preserves the environment, in which it was created. There were seven zircons isolated in the study. They were formed 4.43 to 4.48 Billion years ago.
The oldest of the zircons (aged 4.48 Billion years) is said to be the most ancient material that has ever come from Mars. The scientists also said that the hafnium in the zircons could have come from the Martian crust that most likely solidified 4.547 Billion years ago.
The Curiosity Rover discovered that the Gale Crater on Mars hosted a lake-and-stream system that lasted a long time. But when Mars lost its magnetic field 4 Billion years ago, the solar wins started stripping away its thick atmosphere. That is why it turned into a cold and dry desert planet.