Study shows Mars was once covered in 300m deep oceans – ScienceDaily

Mars is called the red planet. But once upon a time, it was actually blue and covered in water, bringing us one step closer to knowing whether Mars harbored life at all.

Most researchers agree that there is water on Mars, but how much water is still up for debate.

Now a study from the University of Copenhagen shows that about 4.5 billion years ago, there was enough water to cover the entire planet in an ocean 300 meters deep.

“At this time, Mars was bombarded by asteroids full of ice. This happened in the first 100 million years of the planet’s evolution. Another interesting angle is that asteroids also carry organic molecules that are biologically important for life,” says Professor Martin Pizarro. From the center of formation of stars and planets.

In addition to water, icy asteroids have also brought biologically relevant molecules such as amino acids to the Red Planet. Amino acids are used when DNA and RNA form bases that contain everything a cell needs.

The study has been published in the journal Science advances.

Perhaps the conditions for life on Mars predate Earth

The new study indicates that the oceans that covered the entire planet with water were at least 300 meters deep. It may have been up to a kilometer deep. By comparison, there is actually very little water on Earth, Martin Pizarro explains.

“This happened during the first 100 million years of Mars. After this period, something catastrophic happened to potential life on Earth. It is believed that there was a massive collision between Earth and another planet the size of Mars. It was an energetic collision that formed the Earth-Moon system, and spent time Same, for all possible life on Earth,” says Martin Pizarro.

So, researchers have really strong evidence that the conditions that allowed life to emerge existed on Mars long before Earth.

A billion-year-old meteorite

It was by using a meteorite that was billions of years old that the researchers were able to look into the past history of Mars. The meteorite was once part of the original crust of Mars and offers a unique insight into what happened around the time the solar system formed.

The whole secret hides in the way the surface of Mars was formed – of which meteorites were once a part – because it is a surface that does not move. On Earth it is the opposite. Tectonic plates are in perpetual motion and are being recycled in the interior of the planet.

“Plate tectonics on Earth erases all evidence of what happened in the first 500 million years of our planet’s history. Plates are constantly moving, recycled again and destroyed in our planet’s interior. Mars, by contrast, does not have plate tectonics like those. The planet’s surface holds a record for the oldest A history of the planet,” explains Martin Pizarro.

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