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Early Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere

Posted on Monday, 24 June, 2013 | Comment icon 5 comments

Image credit: NASA

Mars could have sustained a habitable oxygen atmosphere more than a billion years before the Earth.

The conclusion was reached by researchers who have been examining both the data recorded by the Mars rovers and the composition of meteorites believed to have come from Mars. While the oxygen on Earth 2.5 billion years ago was most likely a direct result of life, the oxygen on Mars may have instead been created by a chemical process involving water.

"What we have shown is that both meteorites and surface volcanic rocks are consistent with similar origins in the deep interior of Mars, but that the surface rocks come from a more oxygen-rich environment, probably caused by recycling of oxygen-rich materials into the interior," said Dr Bernard Wood.

"Mars' atmosphere could have been rich in oxygen four billion years ago - well before Earth's air became augmented with the gas."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by highdesert50 on 24 June, 2013, 14:35
Maybe Edgar Rice Burroughs was right after all ...
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 24 June, 2013, 19:30
So maybe we aren't the Martians?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Lava_Lady on 25 June, 2013, 1:07
I thought this had already been established...
Comment icon #4 Posted by ashven on 25 June, 2013, 13:04
Maybe humans are the aliens that came from Mars to destroy this planet,we're doing a good job so far
Comment icon #5 Posted by gOOgLer on 28 June, 2013, 19:17
Perhaps billions of years ago Sun activity changed and therefore forced Marsian atmosphere, water and life to move towards Earth :-)

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