Most astrophysicists agree that liquid water once existed on Mars. What is disputed, however, is how much water it was. In a new analysis, a research team from the University of Copenhagen concludes that the planet could have been covered by a 300-meter-deep ocean around 4.5 billion years ago. The study was published in the journal Science Advances. So was the Red Planet once blue and possibly harbored life?

“In its early stages, young Mars was bombarded with asteroids filled with ice,” says Martin Bizzarro from the Center for Star and Planet Formation at the University of Copenhagen, one of the lead authors of the study. “That happened within the first 100 million years of planetary development.” In addition to water, the icy asteroids also brought biologically relevant molecules such as amino acids with them. They occur in all living things known to date and serve as building blocks for proteins. “Although the rate of conservation of biologically relevant molecules depends on a number of factors, our results provide evidence that exotic organic matter has made its way to the surface of Mars,” the authors write.

The researchers were able to reconstruct the early history of Mars using a billion-year-old meteorite. The meteorite was once part of the crust of Mars and offers a unique insight into what happened at the time of the formation of the solar system. The chromium isotopes it contains provide information about the nucleosynthetic history and the time scales of the formation of planetary deposits. The secret lies in the way the Martian surface was formed, of which the meteorite was once a part, the study says, because the surface doesn’t move. On Earth the opposite is the case. The tectonic plates are in constant motion. This wiped out all traces of the first 500 million years of Earth’s history.

So, the Martian meteorites provide clues about the composition of the original Martian crust, including the existence of exotic material on the planet’s surface. The scientists use their geochemical analyzes and subsequent computer-aided modeling to conclude how deep the ocean of liquid water on Mars might once have been.

Only recently, an international research team led by Neil Arnold from the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge made the data-based assumption in the journal “Nature Astronomy” that there could still be liquid water under the ice of the south pole of Mars today.

Success for animal rights activists. The British king has banned foie gras from the palaces of his kingdom. This was confirmed by the animal rights organization PETA. Stuffing geese and ducks is considered cruel and illegal in the UK, but importing the product is not.

Just over ten million people watched “Wetten, dass…?” on Saturday evening with Thomas Gottschalk. The show was a clear winner – but lost a lot of ratings compared to the previous year.

After leaving Downing Street, Boris Johnson began a second, quite lucrative career. He gets an hourly wage of more than 37,000 euros. Travel and accommodation costs can also be paid additionally.

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The original of this article “The past of the red planet – 300 meters deep ocean” comes from