Like our blue planet, Mars has its own geographic formations that together create a unique landscape. One of the most remarkable results of Mars’s enormous transformations is a volcano that surpasses two times the height of Mount Everest above the sea level. The Martian volcano is called Olympus Mons, and it is probably the largest one in the entire Solar System.
However, its remarkable size of 13.6 miles in height is not the only peculiarity of the Martian volcano. Scientists have just discovered that the same formations do not respect the rules of their Earth counterparts. The main difference is related to the period of time for which the act of eruption lasts. One major clue for the scientific world in regards to the nature of Olympus Mons is actually an unusual meteorite that impacted Earth in 2012.
Scientists discovered the rock in Algeria. Even though it is of such small dimensions that it weighs only 0.4 pounds, the discovery is of great significance. The new meteorite was named Northwest Africa/ NWA 7635 based on its impact location, and it revealed some interesting facts about the volcanoes on Mars. The journal Science Advances published the paper written based on these findings.
One of the strangest things about the new meteorite was its age of 2.4 billion years old. There were around 100 meteorites that originated from Mars and ended up on Earth. Out of these 100, there were ten samples categorized in the same group with the new NWA 7635. All of them were not older than 500 million years.
One of the members of the research team, Dr. Marc Caffee, a professor of astronomy and physics at the Purdue University, confessed that he never saw anything similar to the Algerian meteorite. The group of 11 Martian rocks shared too many similarities to classify them as different. All of them showed signs of a 1.1 million year exposure to cosmic rays. However, the latest discovery showed an age gap that led scientists to believe that one Martian volcano erupted for a period of at least 2 billion years.
Dr. Caffee explained the strange phenomenon as an unstable volcano activity. While scientists don’t have many proves, they still find the largest volcano in the Solar System to be the creator of such a natural event.
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