Found evidence of the hot bowels of Mars
Scientists claim that a meteorite formed deep beneath the surface of Mars is the first chemical evidence of magma convection (its constant movement) in the mantle layer.
For many years, we thought Mars was dead. A dusty, dry, barren planet where nothing happens. Only the winds blow. However, evidence has recently begun to appear that there is volcanic and geological activity on Mars.
Crystals of olivine (rock-forming mineral) in the Tissint meteorite, which fell to the Earth in 2011, could be formed only at temperature differences of about 574-582 million years ago. And this process can take place on the Red Planet today.
“Previously, there was no evidence of convection on Mars,” explains planetary geologist Nicola Marie of the University of Glasgow. “This is the first study that proves activity in the bowels of Mars from a chemical point of view and using a real Martian sample.”
When Marie and his colleagues began to study olivine crystals in the Tissint meteorite, they discovered something strange: the crystals were distributed unevenly in a piece of rock, forming phosphorus-rich veins. The same veins are found on Earth - a trap of solute. It was unexpected to find them on Mars.
“This happens when the crystal growth rate exceeds the rate at which phosphorus can be evenly distributed throughout the rock, penetrating its crystalline structure,” explained Nicola Marie. Traces of nickel and cobalt have confirmed previous evidence that a piece of rock came from the depths of the Martian crust - from 40 to 80 kilometers below the surface of Mars.
The Martian mantle probably had a temperature of about 1560 degrees Celsius. The Earth’s mantle (1650 degrees Celsius) 2.5-4 million years ago had the same temperature.
This does not mean that Mars is like the early Earth. But this means that Mars could store a lot of heat. “I think Mars can still be volcanically active - the results of the study indicate this,” said Marie. “We may not observe a volcanic eruption on Mars for the next 5 million years, but this does not mean that the planet is inactive. This may mean that the periods between eruptions on Mars and the Earth are different. "