13:29 20 June 2013
Mars had lots of oxygen many years before Earth, a new study has said. It is being claimed that the ‘red planet’ had an atmosphere rich with oxygen long before our planet.
This relates to Mars having an environment enriched in oxygen around 4,000million years ago.
Experts came to the conclusion after studying rocks from Mars. The matter was gathered by a rover from Nasa.
The claim that Mars’ atmosphere may have had plenty of oxygen in it in the distant past – 4,000 million years ago – comes from an author of a study in Nature journal.
Leader of the study, Professor Bernard Wood, from Oxford University, has commented on the topic.
“What we have shown is that both meteorites and surface volcanic rocks are consistent with similar origins in the deep interior of Mars,” he said.
“But that the surface rocks come from a more oxygen-rich environment, probably caused by recycling of oxygen-rich materials into the interior.”
He added: “The implication is that Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere at a time about 4000million years ago, well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth around 2500 million years ago.”
Professor Wood went on to say that in regards to oxygen, this may be why Mars is red, and also that it may have been ‘warm’ and ‘wet’ well before the environment on Earth was enriched with oxygen.
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