Aussie scientists have found out the probable origin of where the annoying Martian meteorites came from. It’s definitely Mars, but now we have a good idea where on Mars.
“Wait, what Mars meteorites?” I hear you ask. Well, over the last 20 million years, Earth has been served fresh hot chunks of Mars – about 166 of them, in fact.
When we analyzed their makeup, our scientists were able to say that these meteorites came from Mars, but until now they did not really know where on Mars they came from.
That was until researchers at Curtin University began using a machine learning algorithm and a new database of 90 million impact craters to see where the rocks are being thrown from.
“By observing the secondary crater fields – or the small craters formed by the ejection ejected from the larger crater that was recently formed on the planet, we found that the Tooting crater is the most likely source of these meteorites. , which was ejected from Mars 1.1 million years ago, ”said Curtin University’s Dr. Anthony Lagain, senior scientist at Curtin’s Space Science and Technology Center at the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
“For the first time, through this research, the geological context of a group of Mars meteorites is available.”
What do these Mars meteorites mean?
It may not prove that aliens exist, but this is a pretty big deal for us, our future, and Mars as a habitable planet. First of all, let’s not emphasize how cool it is that a machine learning algorithm was able to locate this information – it’s pretty cool and is another smart application of that kind of technology.
But also, because we now have a pretty reasonable idea of where the meteorites came from (the Tooting crater, yes that’s the name the scientists have given it, I do not make the rules), the implications for Mars are quite significant. .
“This discovery suggests that volcanic eruptions occurred in this region 300 million years ago, which is very new on a geological time scale. It also provides new insights into the structure of the planet, beneath this volcanic province,” said Professor Gretchen Benedix, Co-Lead on the project, also from the Curtin Space Science and Technology Center.
“Mapping craters on Mars is a first step. The algorithm we developed can be retrained to perform automated digital mapping of any celestial body. It can be used on Earth to help deal with agriculture, the environment and even potentially natural disasters such as fires or floods. , ”Added Dr. Lagain.
Does this make the prospect of humans living on Mars better? Sure, but we still have a while before we get there.
The research into ‘Martian meteorites’ has been published in Nature Communications.