Glass Found on Mars Hints at Possibility of Past Life
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
A major breakthrough was attained by NASA’s Reconnaissance as it discovered deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. This discovery raises the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.
Even though the glass had been formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, such deposits provide a delicate window into the possibility of past life on the planet, Nasa said. Previous research had shown that organic material and plant matter entombed in glass can survive for millions of years. In 2014, a study led by scientist Peter Schultz of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island found organic molecules and plant matter entombed in impact glass that was formed millions of years ago in Argentina. This opens up new horizons of research in the search for ancient Martian life.
The glass deposits have been found in a crater called Hargraves which is one of the landing site contenders for Nasa’s Mars 2020 rover. The crater is near the Nili Fossae trough, a 650 kilometre long depression. The trough is of much interest to scientists as it is believed to be the region when the Red Planet was wetter. The discovery of glass deposits has only hiked the prevailing curiosity over the existence of past life.