Volcanic eruption lasting two billion years
In 2012, an unusual meteorite was found in Algeria. Small sizeóin the stone has been classified as a volcanic rock called serotite. It was named Northwest Africa 7635. So far, 11 similar rocks have been found, whichóre have a similar chemical composition. All were ejected from Mars at the same time. This probably occurred due to the impact of a sizable body on the surface of the Red Planet. In this wayób, thanks to the weak gravity of Mars, fragments of rocks were thrown into space, whichóSome of which have reached Earth.
It is thanks to such meteorites that we know the chemical composition of Martian volcanoesów. Analysis of these piecesóin the rocks provided us with information m.in. about the length spent in space, their age and how long they have already been on the surface of our planet.
Scientists have determined the age of previously found meteoritesóat approximately from 327 millionów to 600 millionóin years. Meanwhile, Northwest Africa 7635, according to researchers, is more than two billion years old. This indicates unheard of volcanic activity on Mars for a long time. This confirms that one of the longest active volcanoesóin the Solar System existed just on the Red Planet.
– This means that there was a constant eruption on the surface of Mars for about two billion years – Professor Marc Caffee of Purdue University said. – Nothing similar occurs on Earth. Nothing that would have lasted for two billion years in the same location – added.
Eyes of the scientistów immediately headed toward the extinct Martian volcano Olympus Mons, whichóry is the mainóThe main suspect. It is the largest volcano in the entire solar system. It is about 26 kilometers longóat. Its diameter at the base is 624 kilometers. The crater itself, located at the top of the góry is 85 kilometers longów, 60 kilometers wideóin and three kilometers deep. However, researchers are not sure that Northwest Africa 7635 originated there.
The results of the scientistscóin have been published on the „Science Advances”.
Sourceóbackground: Science Advances, Business Insider. Pictured is the Olympus Mons volcano, photo. NASA