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Western researchers, leading an international team, have shown that the first 'real chance' of Mars developing life started early, 4.48 billion years ago, when giant, life-inhibiting meteorites stopped striking the Red Planet. The findings not only clarify possibilities for Earth's nearest neighbour, but may reset the timeline for life on our home planet, as well.
The study, "Decline of giant impacts on Mars by 4.48 billion years ago and an early opportunity for habitability," was published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience.
Researchers - Conditions - Life - Mars - Years
Western researchers suggest that conditions under which life could have thrived may have occurred on Mars from around 3.5-4.2 billion years ago. This predates the earliest evidence of life on Earth by up to 500 million years.
"Giant meteorite impacts on Mars may have actually accelerated the release of early waters from the interior of the planet setting the stage for life-forming reactions," Western researcher Desmond Moser said. "This work may point out good places to get samples returned from Mars."
Earth - Sciences - Geography - Professor - Number
The Earth Sciences and Geography professor explained that it is known that the number and size of meteorite impacts on Mars and Earth gradually declined after the planets formed. Eventually, impacts became small and infrequent enough that...
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