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Dark regions on Mars made of glass

Posted on Monday, 16 April, 2012 | Comment icon 11 comments


Image credit: NASA

 
10 million square kilometres of the Martian surface is believed to comprise of volcanic glass.

Studies of images from the Mars Express orbiter have helped Briony Horgan and Jim Bell of Arizona State University determine the true nature of the mysterious dark regions of the planet's surface - sand-sized grains of glass coated with silica-rich "rinds". It is thought that the material may have been produced by volcanoes interacting with snow and ice.

"The dark regions make up more than 10 million square kilometres of the Martian northern lowlands, but their composition wasn't clear."

  View: Full article

 Source: New Scientist


  Discuss: View comments (11)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by OverSword on 16 April, 2012, 14:46
From the article: On Earth, such rinds coat volcanic glass weathered by water. How the glassy grains formed on Mars is unknown, but Horgan says magma from Martian volcanoes interacting with water ice and snow is a possibility. That would make these regions (pictured right) potential hotspots for alien life because they would have held chemical-rich water - a key ingredient for life.\ More disclosure.
Comment icon #3 Posted by spud the mackem on 16 April, 2012, 16:34
Was it volcano's or did they have a nuke war and were turned into glass ?...
Comment icon #4 Posted by mxcx on 16 April, 2012, 21:28
Mars was supposedly inhabited in ancient times, and 2/3 of the atmosphere destroyed. Supposedly. I would suspect something nuclear because that's the only temperature sand can turn to glass, other than lightning or meteor, but those two would only create small areas of glass. In Libya there is tens of kilometers of fields of shards and plates of glass. "Some geologists associate the glass not with impact melt ejecta, but with radiative melting from meteoric large aerial bursts." - Wiki. In my opinion there is no way a meteor could be responsible, glass on a massive flat surface, and lightning?... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by willowdreams on 16 April, 2012, 22:54
Mars was supposedly inhabited in ancient times, and 2/3 of the atmosphere destroyed. Supposedly. I would suspect something nuclear because that's the only temperature sand can turn to glass, other than lightning or meteor, but those two would only create small areas of glass. In Libya there is tens of kilometers of fields of shards and plates of glass. "Some geologists associate the glass not with impact melt ejecta, but with radiative melting from meteoric large aerial bursts." - Wiki. In my opinion there is no way a meteor could be responsible, glass on a massive flat surface, and lightning?... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by DKO on 17 April, 2012, 8:09
Im trying to find the article now but I remember reading that there was evidence of a natural nuclear explosion millions of years ago.
Comment icon #7 Posted by DKO on 17 April, 2012, 8:16
Heres the article: Natural nuclear explosion on mars And a UM thread on it: Thread
Comment icon #8 Posted by 27vet on 17 April, 2012, 10:10
Send a manned mission to Mars and a lot of mysteries will be cleared up.
Comment icon #9 Posted by karmakazi on 17 April, 2012, 12:48
Mars was supposedly inhabited in ancient times, and 2/3 of the atmosphere destroyed. Supposedly. I would suspect something nuclear because that's the only temperature sand can turn to glass, other than lightning or meteor, but those two would only create small areas of glass. In Libya there is tens of kilometers of fields of shards and plates of glass. "Some geologists associate the glass not with impact melt ejecta, but with radiative melting from meteoric large aerial bursts." - Wiki. In my opinion there is no way a meteor could be responsible, glass on a massive flat surface, and lightning?... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by space11498 on 17 April, 2012, 14:52
It is just the glass formed due to volcanoes or it is volcanic glass.There can't be any other source.
Comment icon #11 Posted by OverSword on 17 April, 2012, 14:52
Send a manned mission to Mars and a lot of mysteries will be cleared up. Probably to everyone except the tax payers who paid for the mission.


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