A RARE meteorite from Mars has stunned scientists who want to know if life once existed on the planet.
The so-called “Black Beauty” was discovered in the Sahara desert in 2011, and now experts believe it reveals some key clues about the Red Planet.
When first studied in 2013, it was believed that the rock was dated to about 2.1 billion years ago.
Boffins looked at different minerals to see if it gave anything away.
While they still can’t say for certain whether life will actually develop on Mars, if so they now have a better idea of the timing.
Previous studies predicted that the red planet might have had suitable conditions for life about 4.2 billion years ago.
But this is not based on evidence of concussion damage from large-scale impacts, like the one that finally ended the dinosaurs on Earth.
One particular material caught the eye of scientists, called zircon, because it appeared to have endured a tough test at one point.
This means that the “habitat window” on the planet could be millions of years later than thought.
Experts think it could be like 3.7 billion to 3.9 billion years ago.
“This particle is truly a one-time gift from the Red Planet,” said Morgan Cox from Curtin’s Center for Space Science and Technology.
“Strain due to high pressure shock has not been previously found in any minerals from Black Beauty.
“The discovery of concussion damage in a 4.45 billion-year-old Martian zircon provides new evidence of the dynamical processes that influenced the surface of early Mars.”
So while we still don’t know if there’s life at all, we do know how long ago it could be home to something.
The study was published in the journal Science Advances.
In other news, Apple has revealed a bunch of New emojis for iPhonewhich includes a pregnant man and two saucy icons.
Experts have warned that the future Space launches can be dangerous if “stupid” regimes like Russia don’t stop blowing up the sky creating debris.
And most popular phone since a millennium has been announced, with many people shocked to learn it’s not an iPhone.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4605657/black-beauty-meteorite-life-on-mars/ Massive ‘Black Beauty’ meteorite from MARS found in Sahara reveals clues to life on Red Planet