Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New research suggests planet had oxygen-rich atmosphere long before Earth.

Scientists believe they have discovered evidence which shows Mars once had an oxygen-rich atmosphere about 1.5 billion years before Earth did. That means four billion years ago, the Martian atmosphere might have been more hospitable to life.

Mars once had an oxygen-rich atmosphere which is why the planet is covered in rust.

Mars once had an oxygen-rich atmosphere which is why the planet is covered in rust.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/20/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Mars, Oxygen, life, science, tests, evolution, rust, water, carbon dioxide, search, implications


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Scientists have concluded that the Martian atmosphere was rich in oxygen about 1.5 billion years before oxygen was common on Earth. They reached this conclusion after examining meteorites and rocks on the Martian surface and comparing them to those on Earth. Key differences in the rocks are best explained by shifts in the amount of oxygen in both planets' atmospheres.

Their research has been published in the journal Nature.

What's most tantalizing to consider is how oxygen may have occurred on Mars. On Earth, early microbial life consumed carbon dioxide, which was rich in the early atmosphere, and produced oxygen. Eventually, enough oxygen built up to the point that animal life became possible.

More mysterious is Mars. It is possible that chemical reactions made the early Martian atmosphere oxygen rich, but it is also possible that primitive life could have made it too. 

By applying Occam's razor to the question, it seems more logical to assume that chemical processes were responsible for the Martian oxygen; however only by means of scientific study will we be able to discern the truth.

Several studies have previously hinted at the possibility of life, but no study has ever been conclusive and the majority of studies suggest that Mars has always been sterile.

Nonetheless, as the best candidate for primitive life in the solar system, beyond Earth, the search for life continues on Mars. The prevalence of oxygen in the early atmosphere is a tantalizing mystery that suggests life could have once existed. Certainly, billions of years ago, Mars was once warmer, wetter, and had a thicker, more Earth-like atmosphere.

The prevalence of oxygen in the Martian atmosphere is also the reason why the planet is covered in reddish dust, the product of oxidization in an environment rich in oxygen and water. That reaction produces rust.

The search for life on Mars is important because if life can occur on Mars, it would suggest that life could be abundant throughout the universe. Conversely, if Mars was once hospitable, but never harbored any life, then it suggests that the processes needed to create microbial life are far more difficult to achieve without complex input.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Robot arms cook up meals in kitchen at Asian electronics show Watch

Image of Designed by the Shadow Robot Company, which also provides technologies to NASA, the arms consist of 20 motors, 24 joints, and 129 sensors allowing them to mimic the movements and dexterity of human hands.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Visitors to the inaugural Consumer Electronics Show, or CES held in Shanghai got a very special, delicious treat. Food cooked up by robotic arms that served up hot and tasty dishes to attendees. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Designed by London-based Moley ... continue reading


Mysterious heavenly body rightfully earns nickname as 'Nasty 1' Watch

Image of An artist's conception of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dubbed "Nasty 1" a mysterious new star is starting to live up to its weird nickname. Scientists viewing the star from the Hubble Space Telescope say the massive, mysterious star is surrounded by a huge, pancake-shaped disk of gas. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Flickr's auto-tagging feature creates racist and discriminating stirs Watch

Image of Instead of tagging a photo of a woman wearing a white mask as

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pictures are known to capture people's lives, nature and other events in history. This is the reason why Flickr, Yahoo's photo sharing / social networking site has become so popular amongst those who are found of taking snap shots of everything and anything ... continue reading


3 things Christians must refrain from posting about on Facebook Watch

Image of Be careful what you post on your Facebook.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians are becoming more and more active in the use of technology, as well as within participation on social media. While it is obvious that the trend of social networking has its scary downsides, it is also serving as one of the most popular platform to share ... continue reading


Feeling ill? Wi-Fi may be to blame for mysterious illnesses Watch

Image of Wi-fi sensitivity may be a real illness caused by wireless networks.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Do you use Wi-Fi on a regular basis? If you're using any sort of modern technology, that answer is yes, and while it certainly makes daily life easier, there may be a hidden danger. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Suzanne Hoyt, during an interview ... continue reading


Warning: Porn will currently not be blocked from Oculus' headset Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rift, Virtual Reality (VR) headset from Facebook-owned Oculus, is an open platform that owners can manipulate and use for whatever software they want, according to Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - As of the moment, there ... continue reading


A new danger in the skies? Hacker takes control of airplane's engine mid-flight Watch

Image of A cyber security expert is being investigated by the F.B.I. because of a hacking incident which occurred in April, where an airplane's engines were hacked in flight.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new document filed in U.S. federal court reveals that an airplane's engines were hacked mid-flight by a well known American hacker, using of all things, its inflight entertainment system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chris Roberts, a cyber security ... continue reading


Technology takes us one step closer to immortality Watch

Image of In the future, a person may be able to store their brain on a hard drive so they can seemingly live forever.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Through modern technology, it is now possible to upload a brain to a computer. Martine Rothblatt and Ray Kurweil believe that human beings can actually live forever through the utilization of technological advancements. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Are you sure they are safe? Google's self-driving cars to hit the road this summer - to expected indifference Watch

Image of Google's self-driving cars, a squat two-seater is intended to shepherd fleets of vehicles that can drive with no need for human intervention.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Google is set to unveil and sent out on to Northern Californian driveways their self-driving cars. While sounding fun and futuristic, the cars - dubbed by some as "clown cars" or "koala cars," are expected to met with mass indifference. Only 25 of the said ... continue reading


Why didn't Dell or HP do this? $9 computer raises $1 million on Kickstarter Watch

Image of Always with a keen eye on miniaturization, both in size and price, the computer world is looking towards CHIP with abiding interest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

All it costs is $9, and it plugs into existing desktop setups. Called the CHIP, the tiny computer that could has raised more than $1 million in just five short days on Kickstarter. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 2.5-inch motherboard costs about the same ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter