According to NASA scientists, the composition of the atmosphere of ancient Mars needs to be reconsidered, because it may have contained a greater amount of oxygen than previously assumed.

Scientists have long believed that there was liquid water on Mars billions of years ago, so it is possible that life existed on the planet. NASA's Mars rover, Perseverance, set out to find out a few years ago, and is currently exploring Jezero Crater and collecting samples of its soil and rocks. Experts believe it is the bottom of an ancient lake, and therefore could have supported life.

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Of course, the fact that there is water on Mars does not automatically correlate with the pleasant warmth and environment of paradise. Its atmosphere would have been denser, saturated with carbon dioxide, and frosts and floods would have alternated on the surface. However, based on the latest analyses, NASA scientists have concluded that the atmosphere may have had a different composition than previously thought, and that it may have been much more similar to what we know on Earth, he writes. IFLScience.

The data comes from NASA's other Mars rover, Curiosity, which is investigating Gale Crater, which was once home to an ancient lake. The researchers found that manganese oxide levels were much higher than expected in the sedimentary rocks. In order to find the reason for this, several scenarios were examined, and in all of them they concluded that a strong oxidizing environment was necessary. In other words, the planet's atmosphere may have contained much more oxygen than assumed. The study in this regard is: A Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets It was published in the scientific journal

According to NASA scientist Patrick Gasda, deposits of this size are not uncommon on Earth, because photosynthesis produces a large amount of oxygen, and some microbes catalyze oxidation.

Since there is currently no evidence of life on Mars, it is not known how oxygen could enter the atmosphere, and the formation of manganese oxide is not entirely clear either. According to Gasda, the discovery points to larger processes in the atmosphere and surface waters that need to be more thoroughly studied to understand how oxidation occurs.

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