Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/20/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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 June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


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


Comments


More Technology

Hundreds of iPhone users hit with worrisome 'blue screen of death' Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Complaints have piled up against Apple iPhones, reaching social media, after several iPhones of various models were hit by the "blue screen of death" just before rebooting without any notice. The random occurrences became somewhat of an outbreak, after people revealed ... continue reading


Samsung's amazing new technology promises to help lower car accident fatalities Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Traffic accidents are horrifying and in an effort to prevent road accidents involving trucks, Samsung has introduced its new product, the "Safety Truck." The common response of drivers annoyed by a blocked view of a slow running big truck is they want to get ahead, but ... continue reading


Tokyo's Lexus creates levitating hoverboard -- A reality? Or another hoax? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You may find it hard to believe, but a working model for a hoverboard is actually here. The Tokyo branch of Lexus in Japan has developed a model for the hoverboard. It seems to act like magic - at least for now - as the hoverboard promises to carry a person using ... continue reading


Facial recognition technology taking over the world, even APPEARING IN CHURCHES Watch

Image of Facial recognition technology can identify you, even if you're not completely facing a camera.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Companies and events are utilizing facial recognition technology to identify a person's face, even if the face is partially hidden. Facebook uses their vast facial recognition database, which can recognize a face even when it's hidden. Google's new Photos app can now ... continue reading


Strange new COCKROACH ROBOT squeezes through impenetrable gaps Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a robot based on a cockroach. The new technology is so innovative; it is hard not to find yourself stunned to witness the cockroach bot escape into an extremely miniscule gap. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Extra-terrestrial life exists - but not at Area 51 Watch

Image of There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden. He was on hand to greet a crowd of curious British schoolchildren, and said that there are so many planets like our ... continue reading


Is there water - and life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Watch

Image of Jupiter is about 390 million miles from Earth when the two planets are at their closest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons, and is approximately the size of Earth's moon. Many astronomers say the moon has the greatest potential for life in our solar system. To this end, NASA is planning a more in-depth study and mission to this mysterious ... continue reading


Is a 706 MPG car possible? BMW hopes of creating stunning new electric car Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several months after the release of BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, rumors are circulating about a new model. According to the rumors', the German automaker is currently focusing on the development of a more efficient model than the previous i8. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


'Jurassic World' creates fear of bioengineered animals in real life Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Jurassic World," the fourth installment of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park", took takes place on Isla Nubar. Fans will remember that Isla Nubar was where the first "Jurassic Park" movie took place, 22 years ago. "Jurassic World" showcases a world where dinosaurs ... continue reading


HALF HUMAN? Google engineer predicts humanity will be hybrid - by 2030's Watch

Image of By the time we get to the late 2030s or the early 2040s, Ray Kurzweil believes our thinking will be predominately non-biological . man becoming machine.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Google engineer and scarily accurate futurist Ray Kurzweil sees human consciousness gradually becoming part of an immense cloud and that humans will be able to "back up their brains" as a result. While this seems fantastical and hard to believe, Kurzweil ... 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, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the “Protomartyrs of ... 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