Ancient Comets, Asteroids created Environment Conducive for Life on Mars

Ancient Comets, Asteroids created Environment Conducive for Life on Mars

A study has indicated that Mars had life-supporting conditions about four billion years ago. Comet bombardment during that time created environment conditions that are necessary for life, stated the study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The research has found possibilities suggesting that a long time ago, asteroids and comets slammed into the Red Planet and became the reason of life-supporting conditions there, said Dr. Stephen Mojzsis, a professor from geological sciences department of the University of Colorado Boulder and lead researcher of the study.

“But up to now we have no convincing evidence life ever existed there, so we don’t know if early Mars was a crucible of life or a haven for life”, Mojzsis added in a statement.

The comets and asteroids that hit earth’s neighbor were very large in size. They could be as large as a US state like West Virginia, as per the researchers. Effects of such collisions increased the Red Planet’s atmospheric pressure, heating it to a level which may dormant water cycle.

For the study, the researchers developed a three-dimensional model of Mars to check temperatures under a number of craters. They also studied effects of comet bombardment on the planet. Janus supercomputer cluster was used by that took about two weeks to run.

According to the researchers, they found that asteroid bombardment alone is enough to keep the planet warm for a long time. This period could start life on the Red Planet, said the researchers. These effects remain for a few million years before the planet again become as it is today.

The study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters was supported by the NASA and the John Templeton Foundation.

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