Wednesday, 8 February 2017

For 2 Billion Years This Antique Martian Volcano Erupted Continuously

Mars hosts various volcanoes, same as Earth and is home to the ‘Olympus Mons’ largest volcano in the Solar System. Scientists have just exposed indication that as well as being massive, Martian volcanoes vary from ones on Earth in the pure length of time they erupt for. An uncommon meteorite was discovered in Algeria in 2012 which was as tiny as just weighed 7 ounces (0.2 kilograms) and to fit in the palm of your hand.

NASA/Wikimedia


The researchers named it (NWA) Northwest Africa 7635, and although small in size, it exposed to them some fascinating mysteries related to Martian volcanoes.

The discoveries were published in the ‘journal Science Advances’.

Investigation of the rock directed researchers to date it at approximately 2.4 billion years old.

This was astonishing, because out of the 100 meteorites recognized as initiating from Mars, same as NWA 7635 and 10 others in this group, and researchers have dated all of them at approximately 500 million years old.

"We have never seen anything like that on Earth," Marc Caffee said in a statement, member of the research team professor of astronomy and physics at Purdue University.

The group of 11 meteorites, containing NWA 7635, were all uncovered to cosmic rays for approximately 1.1 million years. But the age difference between the NWA 7635 and 10 others, shows that there was a gap of at least 2 billion years where one particular volcano was erupting.

Marc Caffee said that "what this means is that for 2 billion years there's been sort of a steady plume of magma in one location on the surface of Mars. We don't have anything like that on Earth, where something is that stable for 2 billion years at a specific location."

The scientists are not sure whether the meteorites came from any another volcano or Olympus Mons, but it is a good nominee. It is 27 km (17 miles) high with a footmark closely to the size of Germany. Mars have no plate tectonics as we have on Earth that’s way volcanoes can develop so gigantic on Mars.
According to NASA, Mars was a lot more alike Earth than, it is today and it also contained early tectonic plates that ground past each other and produced volcanoes and craters.

Although, at some point in its history, Mars cooled down. Thus the molten rock beneath the plates solidified and the tectonic plate development ground to a halt.

Now that there seems to be no geological movement and there is minimum chance of explosions being disturbed by the crust shuffling around.

Astronauts have never walked on Mars but thanks to these meteorites, they can still investigate and study its surface.

Mars also has a thin atmosphere and a low gravitational force, which creates it easier for rock wreckages released during impressions to fly off the planet's external surface.

While, these wreckages do not aimed straight for Earth. As an alternative, they can orbit in space for hundreds of thousands of years, until something else in space disturbs their journey.

Then it can still take another thousand years or so for the wreckages to collide with our planet. In simple words, these small meteorites have been roaming a long time to reach the Earth and they comprise some interesting insight.

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