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In short, the more we know about Mars’ volcanic history, the most we will be able to learn about the Solar System’s formation and evolution.
A collection of rare and unusual meteroites are to go on sale at auction next month.
The six samples they examined are known as nakhlites, a class of Martian meteorite that formed from basaltic magma roughly 1.3 billion years ago.
Until recently, scientists have understood that Martian volcanic activity has been driven by sources other than tectonic movement, which the planet has been devoid of for billions of years.
Today, it is well understood that Mars is a cold, dry, and geologically dead planet.
However, billions of years ago when it was still young, the planet boasted a denser atmosphere and had liquid water on its surface.
It is also located about 2000 km (1243 mi) north of where the NASA Curiosity rover currently is.
As Cohen explained, NASA has some wonderfully detailed satellite images of this particular crater.
By conducting an analysis of Martian meteorites, the team was able to uncover about 90 million years’ worth of new information about Mars’ volcanic past.