Evidence of Relatively Warm Temperatures on Surface of Early Mars

According to study lead author Itay Halevy, a geochemist at the California Institute of Technology with the help analysis of an ancient meteorite from Mars the oldest known fragment of the Red Planet’s crust astronomers revealed “the first direct evidence for relatively warm temperatures on the surface of early Mars”. The Mars rock known as the Martian meteorite ALH84001 was discovered in Antarctica in 1984. By testing a sample from this 5-pound (2-kilogram) meteorite, Halevy and his colleagues inferred the watery nature and mild temperature of the environment the rock originally formed in on early Mars. Specifically, the researchers analyzed isotopes of carbon and oxygen in carbonates in the meteorite.

All isotopes of an element have the same number of protons in their atoms, but each has a different number of neutrons for instance, atoms of carbon 12 each have six neutrons while atoms of carbon 13 each have seven. However, although these findings suggest that parts of Mars were warm and watery, it don’t mean there was life on Mars.