Similarities in Formation of Mars and Earth


Scientists have found evidence in meteorites that Earth and Mars had a similar origin, but the two planets evolved differently. They have come up with analyses of two Martian meteorites; Astromaterials researchers concluded that water in the Martian interior is from planetary building blocks, like those the Earth formed. Their finding shows that chondritic meteorites containing granular minerals are the main source of water for terrestrial planets.

The researchers’ findings are published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Researchers explain that, unlike Earth, rocks on Mars containing atmospheric volatiles like water were not recycled into the planet’s interior. Investigating the history of Martian water and other volatiles, scientists at JSC, Carnegie Institution in Washington, and Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston compared hydrogen and water concentrations isotopes trapped in crystals inside the meteorites.

One out of the two was highly rich in hydrogen, while the other wasn’t. Usui of Tokyo, Japan, explains that Mars initial hydrogen isotopic composition was Earthly in nature, when he designs an feature that perfectly reduce contamination to the meteorite on Earth. Sculpted of the Martian southern hemisphere speaks loudly of flowing water, planetary scientists do describe current Mars as dry andcold and early Mars as wet and warm.

One of the meteorites has changed while moving to the surface of Mars from Martian mantle. It possesses a hydrogen isotopic composition that is similar to Earth. While the other meteorite incorporate some Martian crust that is in touch with the Martian atmosphere. Hence the meteorites identify two different sources of water. One water existing in the deep interior and represents the water that is present when Mars is formed as a planet, the other sampled the atmosphere and shallow crust. With this, the team deduces that Martian surface water has a different geologic history when compared to Martian interior water. The concentrations of water present in the meteorites are also different. One of it has a low concentration that shows Mars’ interior is dry. While the enriched meteorite contains water 10 times more, meaning the surface would have wet at some time. This can help scientists as they continue to better their understanding the geologic history of Mars.