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New Study REWRITES the history of MARS! Red planet more likely to have had life


Artist’s impression. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre

藝術家的印象作品。圖片來源:NASA 戈達德太空飛行中心


A new study promises to rewrite the history of the red planet. According to a new research, our neighboring planet Mars might have been FAR MORE LIKELY to support life than we ever thought.




Everywhere on Earth where there’s water there’s life.

Scientists have recently discovered that the red planet was far ‘wetter’ than we ever imagined.

A new study simulated Martian meteorites in order for scientists to understand more about the ancient environment on the red planet. The finding suggests that everything we thought we knew about Mars is wrong.

The study published in the Journal Communications presents evidence that a mineral found inside of Martian metoerites—which had been considered as proof of an ancient dry environment on Mars—may have originally been a hydrogen-containing mineral that could indicate a more water-rich history for the Red Planet reports the Berkely Lab.

As scientists put it, water is considered one of the most important building blocks and requirements for life as we know it. And discover of water greatly improves chances that Mars was inhabited in the distant past.

Experts have also found that the material could help create phosphorus–one of the essential elements for life on Earth, and on Mars as scientists have found.

This changes EVERYTHING we thought we knew about Mars.


地球上每一個有水的角落都有生命。科學家最近發現,在過去,火星比我們想像的還要「潮濕」。有一個模擬火星隕石的新研究,它能讓科學家更了解火星的古代環境。在此研究中,研究人員發現我們以前對火星的所有認識都是錯的。根據Berkely Lab的報導,這個研究被刊登在通信學報(Journal Communications)上,其內容支持火星曾經比想像中更潮溼的理論:在火星隕石中發現的礦物曾被認為是古代火星環境乾燥的證據,但這個研究發現此礦物可能是含氫礦物,也就是說火星在過去應是一顆水分更為豐沛的星球。




To make this unprecedented discovery, scientists built a synthetic version of a mineral dubbed as whitlockite. Scientists performed shock compression experiments on the samples, simulating the conditions of being tossed on meteorite from Mars. Afterward, the sample was studied with X-Rays to understand its microscopic composition.

Shock compression inducesdeformation, phase transformations and chemical reactions in meteorites.


Experts found that whitlockite could become dehydrated from the shocks and form merrillite—an element commonly found in meteorites thrown to Earth from Mars but doesn’t occur here naturally.

If even a part of merrillite had been whitlockite before, it changes the water budget of Mars dramatically,” said Oliver Tschauner, a professor who co-led the study with Christopher Adcock.

Martin Kunz, a staff scientist at Berkeley Lab’s ALS who participated in X-ray studies of the samples, said: This is important for deducing how much water could have been on Mars, and whether the water was from Mars itself rather than comets or meteorites.”


這個史無前例的發現是這樣產生的:科學家做出綜合版的白磷,然後對它進行衝擊壓縮實驗,模擬火星隕石墜落的衝擊。接著,用X 光分析它的微觀成份。衝擊壓縮(Shock compression  )造成它的形變、相變、化學反應。專家發現,白磷會因為衝擊壓縮而脫水,並且形成磷鈣鈉石。這是一種常在墜落地球的火星隕石中發現的元素,但在這裡並不是自然產生的。


Christopher Adcock一同領導這項研究的Oliver Tschauner教授說:「如果一部份的磷鈣鈉石曾經是白磷,這將戲劇化地改變火星上的水收支(water budget)。」


Martin Kunz是在柏克萊實驗室研究同步加速器「先進光源(Advanced Light Source )」的資深科學家,他有參與這個研究的X 光分析。他說:「推測火星上曾有多少水量是很重要的。確定火星上的水是來自火星本身,而不是來自慧星或隕石,也很重要。」


Since whitlockite can be dissolved in water and has phosphorous, an essential element for life on Earth—and merrillite appears to be common to many Martian meteorites—the study could also have implications for the possibility of life on Mars.

The overarching question here is about water on Mars and its early history on Mars: Had there ever been an environment that enabled a generation of life on Mars?” Tschauner said.

Recently,experts have found enough water ice beneath the Martian surface to fill Lake Superior, our planet’s largest freshwater reservoir. The deposit varies in thickness from about 80 to 170 meters, with a composition which is from 50% to 85% water ice. Experts analyzed part of the Utopia Planitia region in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere of Mars with a radar instrument aboard the orbiter.




 Oliver Tschauner 教授說:「這裡的總括問題是關於火星上的水以及水在火星上的早期歷史:火星上曾有環境能啟動一個世代的生命嗎?」


最近,專家們在火星表面下找到水質冰,它們的量足以填滿蘇必利爾湖,也就是填滿地球上最大的淡水水庫。沈積物的厚度不同,從80 公尺到170 公尺都有,大約含有百分之五十到百分之八十五的水質冰。專家們使用搭載雷達儀器的探測器來分析烏托邦平原(Utopia Planitia)的部分地區,烏托邦平原位於火星北半球中緯度。


Animation of Site of Seasonal Flows in Hale Crater, Mars





Utopia Planitia is a basin with a diameter of about 2,050 miles (3,300 kilometers), resulting from a major impact early in Mars’ history and subsequently filled.

Data analyses of more than 600 flyovers revealed an icy reservoir with a larger area than the state of New Mexico.

The deposit varies in thickness from about 80 to 170 meters, with a composition which is from 50% to 85% water ice, mixed with powder or larger rock particles.

The so-called ‘frozen treasure’ is located halfway between the equator and the pole. The ice water cannot persist on the surface of Mars. It sublimates into water vapor in the thin, dry atmosphere of the planet.


烏托邦平原是一個盆地,直徑大約有2050 英里(3,300公里),是因為火星歷史上的一場巨大撞擊產生的,後來被填平。分析累積有超過600 次的飛行探勘資料後,一個比新墨西哥州還大的冰封水庫被發現。沈積物的厚度不同,從80 公尺到170 公尺都有,大約含有百分之五十到百分之八十五的水質冰,與塵土或岩石顆粒混在一起。這所謂的「冰封寶藏」位在火星赤道和極冠中間。冰水無法存在於火星表面。它在火星表面又薄又乾的大氣層中會昇華為水蒸氣。