Science

Signs of recent volcanism on Mars

On Mars, volcanism is a very old story that researchers thought the page was definitely turned over. The planet was indeed active between three and four billion years ago and since then, with the exception of a few isolated eruptions which would have occurred until three million years ago, it is dead calm. But this interpretation is called into question with the discovery of recent deposits.

Implications for Life

These are images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a satellite orbiting the Red Planet since 2006, which identified an 8 km wide dark band along a 30 km long volcanic fissure located in the Cerberus Fossae fault complex, in the Elysium Planitia plain. It is in this region, 1,750 kilometers away, that the InSight geological station has been operating since November 2018. This band would be composed of ashes from a recent explosive eruption estimate the planetologists from the University of Arizona and the Planetary Science Institute who analyzed the images. It would date from 50,000 to 210,000 years ago and could mean that the planet Mars could, even today, host volcanic activity. A discovery that will require field surveys to be confirmed. But if this is the case, this late volcanism may have offered favorable conditions for the development or maintenance of life in the subsoil as explained in this article that we invite you to discover on the site of The research.

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