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Tuesday, November 7, 2006



Minerals point to martian oceans

Possible Martian Glaciers
Possible Martian Glaciers
Credit: NASA
The discovery of certain soil chemicals by NASA's rovers suggests an ocean of water was once quite abundant on Mars. But the same chemicals also indicate that life was not widespread on the planet at that time. Some researchers argue that the broad, flat area in Mars's northern hemisphere is the remains of a once massive ocean. The uniform phosphorus-to-sulphur ratio detected by both Mars rovers is the first chemical evidence that such a large body of water could have existed. Sadly, the large amounts of phosphates point to a rather small biosphere for Mars because, on Earth, phosphates are quickly used up by biological processes.

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