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NASA surprised the world once again, when it announced on Monday its latest discovery of deposits of glass on Mars, which could give an important glimpse into the existence of past life on the Red Planet.
The glass deposits were gathered up by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and is said to have been formed by the crashing of a meteorite on Mars’ surface.
The discovery can throw light on the possibility that life have previously existed on the planet, scientists believe.
And they have every reason to do so if we are to remember that similar glass was discovered on Earth as well, on a site in Argentina, and it contained organic molecules dating back to several million years ago.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has sent information showing ample deposits of glass on various areas of the planet.
Two pioneers from Brown University underwent an extensive research in which they created glass
from rocks which are similar to those found on the Red Planet. The process consisted in measuring light’s spectra in order to establish the characteristics of Mars found glass.
The process was carried even further, with the scientists doing laboratory work. Similar chemicals to the ones found in the planet’s rocks were mixed in the lab and by comparison the team was able to observe if similarities were present. They also could establish where and how much glass is present on Mars.
Holding the previous knowledge of having found traces of ancient life on similar glass on Earth,
points to a future in which scientists could discover areas on Mars that held life millions of years ago.
“These areas could be targets for future exploration as our robotic scientific explorers pave the way on the journey to Mars with humans in the 2030s” stated the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, Jim Green.
Brown University team’s research have been published in the journal Geology.
Image Source: Astrobio