Scientists discover rocks from Mars on Earth, here’s how

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There are mysteries in space, but what about solving these mysteries here on Earth? That’s right! Scientists recently discovered meteorites found on Earth that originated from Mars. They used an age determination technique called “radiometric dating” to determine the true age of these rock fragments.
It is theorized that these meteorites must have come from Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system, located on Mars. These meteorites are hundreds of years old and can be traced back to recent volcanic activity on Mars.

Dr. Ben Cohen is determined to work with researchers from the University of Glasgow, the Natural History Museum and the University of Edinburgh to accurately determine the age of these meteorites.

Due to the numerous crater impacts on Mars, a huge amount of energy is released when they collide with the planet, creating a so-called ‘impact crater’.

The team used the “argon-argon” dating method, which assesses the decay of potassium-40 into argon-40. This technique allows accurate determination of the age of meteorites, regardless of their original age.

While some craters are small, possibly indicating small collisions, others are much larger, indicating more intense impacts. Previously, uranium-lead dating methods were used to estimate the age of meteorites, but now the argon-40 dating method is preferred.

This method has shown that the ages of these meteorites are relatively young and consistent with other dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating.

This discovery has sparked debate about the age of Mars’ surface, which is believed to be three to four billion years old. Despite the significant presence of “Sherrgotite” meteorites on the red surface, they are estimated to be only a few hundred million years old. This phenomenon is called the ‘Sherrgotite Age Paradox’.

Dr. Ben Cohen suggests that strong impacts on Mars created a loose layer of sediment known as the ‘regolith’ layer. This layer combines with freshly erupted rocks from the surface of Mars, reducing the chance that older rocks will be ejected into space.

This research represents a breakthrough in our understanding of the red planet, as several research programs have been launched, such as the Mars Perseverance Program in 2020, the Curiosity Rover in 2011, and the upcoming ExoMars mission scheduled for 2028.

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