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Mars Planet's Geology Is More Similar To Earth, Study Suggests

First Posted: Mar 23, 2017 04:13 AM EDT
Mars Planet Geology Is More Similar To Earth
Study of dead Martian volcanoes indicates that the planet is highly similar to Earth.
(Photo : Science Channel/YouTube screenshot)

The search for aliens has inspired scientists to study the geology and climate of alien planets. Mars is one of those planets that mankind knows most about. While the NASA Curiosity rover has multiplied the persisting data bank on Mars, that does not undermine the importance of several other research explorations going on that are expected to reveal hitherto unknown facts about the history of Mars.

A recent publication made by scientists from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, in the journal of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, indicates that the Arsia Mons volcano of Mars became dormant around the same time when Earth was going through the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction phase, the event that caused the extinction of dinosaurs.

Arsia Mons is the southernmost volcano of the previously identified Tharsis Montes volcano group that consists of three massive volcanoes in a straight line. The Tharsis Montes volcano group is present near the Olympus Mons, the largest volcano of the Solar System identified so far. The Caldera of the Arsia Mons volcano was calculated to be 69 miles in diameter and had volcanic vents, The Space Reporter reported

Live Science reported that the scientists from NASA developed a new computer model to analyze the high-resolution images captured by the Context Camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Further analysis of the images of the craters formed near the volcano revealed that the volcano was leaking lava until 10 million to 90 million years ago, in a process that was much similar to the volcanoes present on Earth.

According to Space Daily, a separate study done by the scientists from the Louisiana State University made an extensive analysis on the activity of Elysium volcano complex present just behind the Olympic Mons. It was found that the chemistry of the lava flows was consistent with primary magmatic processes. The study results also indicated the presence of a complex mantle beneath the volcanic surface that indicated that the geology of Mars is more "Earth-like than moon-like."

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