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NASA finds glass on Mars, which could help the hunt for alien life

NASA finds glass on Mars, which could help the hunt for alien life 1

For the first time, a spacecraft orbiting Mars has detected glass deposits inside craters on the red planet — a possible boon in the hunt for signs of past Martian life.

Researchers think that the glass was created when impactors (meteoroids, asteroids or comets) slammed into Mars, superheating the Martian dirt and turning parts of the surface into glass.

Scientists using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) were able to see glass on the surface of the red planet using the spacecraft’s sensors. The new Mars glass study was published this week in the journal Geology.

Researchers on Earth have been able to learn about past life on this planet by studying glass deposits left over from impacts, so it’s possible that researchers studying Mars can do the same thing with the red planet.

A study last year “found organic molecules and plant matter entombed in glass” created by an asteroid impact in Argentina millions of years ago, NASA said.

mro-art-compressor
An artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Brown University scientists Kevin Cannon and Jack Mustard decided to try to detect glass on Mars using lessons learned from the Earth-based study — but it’s not easy to detect glass on a world millions of miles away. So Cannon started in a lab.

He created glass by superheating powders and then measured the spectral signal — the unique band of colors emitted by the glass. Cannon provided that information to Mustard, the deputy principal investigator for MRO’s Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars instrument, who used that signal to compare it to other spectra gathered from the red planet.

Boom: Mustard found multiple matches. MRO data shows that several craters on Mars house glass deposits that were probably formed during impact events. Much of the glass was found in the central peaks of Martian craters, meaning they were likely created from impacts, according to NASA.

“The researchers’ analysis suggests glass deposits are relatively common impact features on Mars,” Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division, said in a statement. “These areas could be targets for future exploration as our robotic scientific explorers pave the way on the journey to Mars with humans in the 2030s.”

MRO arrived at Mars in 2006 and has been beaming back information about the red planet ever since.

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Source mashable.com

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20 Comments on "NASA finds glass on Mars, which could help the hunt for alien life"

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cool!

Guest

Glass bong.

Guest

Who would leave a glass on Mars?

Guest

An impact from a meteorite, perhaps.

Guest

a beer glass? Glass cup? Explain

Guest

nuclear dates back to the great vimanas

Guest

Lightning strikes cause the glass to form?

Guest

Or an impact?

Guest
lets be clear about one thing……..NASA is not looking for alien life….they know it exists, they are in contact with aliens and they try very hard to keep the rest of the worlds population in the dark regarding this. in fact they play dumb and make people believe that they are looking for alien life when in actuality they are looking for minerals of value. that is why there is a base on mars ( you didnt know that?) and there have been multiple covert visits back to the moon, although we have been told that they never went back………they… Read more »
Guest

Probably need sizable pair of eyeglasses 👓 for those big,black eyes 👀

Guest

Hmmm..

Guest

LOOK

Guest

love the comments everyone

Guest

Yeah, they use that in the windows of the colony they have up there…Duh!

Guest

This is like NASA is trying to discover a new plane that can’t never discover or have no life support,I don’t believe that NSA found glass on Mars, could help to hunt the alien and life Aliens? the Aliens have being here on earth since world History civilisation.

Guest

Give me a break! NASA already knows that there are alien life forms througout the galaxy and they are here right now on earth and inside the earth and have been for many years.

Guest

Agreed 🙂

Guest

In what way Vincenza Prete

Guest

No, this is not true!

Guest

Who knows, maybe they will get lucky and find signs of former life. ..but still I ask …..why does it have to be life as we know it. ..we are out there searching for something that could be totally different from anything we possibly know….it might breath sulfur, it may drink something totally toxic to us…..these scientists need to broaden their perspective on what alien life could be like

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