NASA’s findings suggest Mars even more Earth-like than previously believed
NASA’s Curiosity rover has been exploring the Gale Crater on Mars since 2012, and in that time has come up with some astounding discoveries that suggest the Red Planet was somewhat Earth-like in its earlier times.
The rover has come through again, this time detecting significant amounts of manganese oxides inside of mineral veins.
Said researcher Nina Lanza of New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, “The only ways on Earth that we know how to make these manganese materials involve atmospheric oxygen or microbes. Now we’re seeing manganese oxides on Mars, and we’re wondering how the heck these could have formed?”
She further notes, “One potential way that oxygen could have gotten into the Martian atmosphere is from the breakdown of water when Mars was losing its magnetic field. It’s thought that at this time in Mars’ history, water was much more abundant.”
A combination of that weakened magnetic field, ionizing radiation, and low gravity may have both split the water into its separate elements and rendered the Red Planet incapable of holding onto its hydrogen ions, leaving only the oxygen to linger.
Lanza does admit, “It’s hard to confirm whether this scenario for Martian atmospheric oxygen actually occurred.”
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Stephen Hawking opens up about the greatest threats to humanity
Some things are just too big of a mystery, keeping even geniuses like Stephen Hawking guessing.
“What still mystifies you about the universe?” Larry King asked in a recent interview.
SEE ALSO: Stephen Hawking on black holes: ‘There is a way out’
“Why do the universe and all the laws of nature exist? Are they necessary? In one sense they are, because otherwise we wouldn’t be here to ask the question. But is there a deeper reason?” Hawking answered.
We might not be able to answer Hawking’s question, but there’s a chance we could help with something else he told Larry King he knows all too well.
Hawking said in the roughly six years since he was last interviewed by King, the world hasn’t gotten any less greedy.
Air pollution has increased over that time to the point where now 80 percent of urban dwellers are in danger. And he called global warming Earth’s most pressing issue.