Most astrophysicists agree that liquid water once existed on Mars. However, it is disputed how much water it was. In a new analysis, a research team from the University of Copenhagen concluded that the planet may have been covered by an ocean 300 meters deep about 4.5 billion years ago. The study was published in the journal Science Advances. So was the Red Planet once blue and maybe had life?
“In the early stages, young Mars was bombarded by ice-filled asteroids,” says Martin Bizzarro of the Center for Star and Planet Formation at the University of Copenhagen, one of the lead authors of the study. “This happened during the first 100 million years of the planet’s evolution.” In addition to water, icy asteroids also brought with them biologically relevant molecules such as amino acids. They are found in all living things known to date and serve as building blocks for proteins. “Although the degree of preservation of biologically relevant molecules depends on a number of factors, our results provide evidence that exotic organic matter reached the Martian surface,” the authors write.
Scientists have been able to reconstruct the early history of Mars using a billion-year-old meteorite. The meteorite was once part of the crust of Mars and offers a unique insight into what happened during the formation of the solar system. The chromium isotopes it contains provide information on the history of nucleosynthesis and the time scale of the formation of planetary deposits. The mystery lies in how the surface of Mars, which once contained a meteorite, formed, the study says, because the surface does not move. On Earth it is the opposite. Tectonic plates are in constant motion. This erased all traces of the first 500 million years of Earth’s history.