Glass found on Mars gives NASA new exploration target

(MEDIA GENERAL) – NASA has its sights set on the Red Planet. It has plans for a Mars mission in 2020. But, before then, it is learning all it can about the Red Planet and new information reveals beautiful glass deposits.

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) detected the glass deposits within impact craters on Mars. It’s possible these deposits could offer a glimpse into past life.

Research has shown past life preserved in glass on Earth. Organic molecules and plant matter can be trapped in glass formed millions of years ago.

This new information from MRO shows large glass deposits in several ancient, well-preserved, craters on Mars.

Scientists measured spectra of light to figure out what was glass on Mars and what wasn’t. They mixed similar chemicals in a lab to those found in rocks on Mars and then measured the spectral light signals from that glass to compare to the signals they got from the real Red Planet.

Then, scientists could determine where glass existed on Mars and how much was there.

Since these areas might be preserving early life on Mars, these places now give NASA a new target for robot or human explorers.


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