Recent glass traces on Mars’ surface suggest early signs of life might have existed on the Red Planet many years ago. The finding was confirmed by researchers at NASA after analyzing the samples collected from the celestial body.
Many hypotheses have been put forth in relation to the possibility of life to have pre-existed on the Red Planet. Mars is the planet that has the right characteristics to support life, so scientists are investigating the territory to find signs of older forms of life.
Their beliefs have been partially confirmed on early Tuesday morning, when scientists at NASA found deposits of a strange material in Mars’ craters. Astronomers have closely analyzed the withdrawn samples and they have thus, reached the conclusion that those deposits could be made out of glass.
Images were carefully studied by the research team at the Brown University to establish where the glass might be coming from. Most likely, deposits appeared during those meteoroid impacts that have also led to the formation of craters. Glass is said to have resulted from the heat produced during the impact.
Kevin Cannon, an active PhD student at the Brown University has stated that the recently spotted glass deposits have inspired the team to look at their formation process. So far, they are the only scientists who have managed to identify the glass deposits on the Martian territory.
Cannon has further provided us insights on the research technique that scientists have used to identify the pieces of glass. He explained the press that scientists measure the spectra of light that is usually reflected from Mars’ surface in order to determine the type of materials.
The first reports have indicated that the deposits within the craters were made out of glass, but scientists had to conduct additional researchers in order to correctly indicate the material. The main problem resulted from the fact that glass has a low light reflection, so researchers were not really sure whether the deposits were glass or other materials.
To elucidate this mystery, they have set out to reproduce the Martian soil within their own laboratory. Experts used special powder compositions, which were mixed together and fired in an attempt to recreate the same glass deposits.
At the end of the experiment they have scanned the resulting material using spectra of light. Results have shown that the trails in the ancient Martian craters are really made out of glass.
Researchers have now found new interesting leads to investigate. They think the glass deposits could contain other information related to the first signs of life on Mars. They have thus, agreed to closely look into this matter in the following period.
The results of the research have been published in the Journal Geology.
Image Source: News Brown.edu