A new study conducted by a team of researchers from the Natural History Museum of Denmark that scrutinized a distinct meteorite known as “Black Beauty,” revealed that the Martian crust sheltering water bodies with life evolved on the Red Planet near about one hundred thirty million years prior to the evolution of the Earth’s surface.
The early Martian surface comprising of an ocean of liquid magma crystallized very rapidly about twenty million years post of the evolution of our Solar System. Next, a hard crust formed on the Red Planet that sheltered water bodies with life forms.
This study of the analysis of Martian meteorite Black Beauty has reportedly highlighted the era during which life forms could have lived on the Red Planet. The formation of the crust is a crucial asset in the evolution of planets. This is what makes the Black Beauty distinct as it consists of small bits of the Martian crust. Moreover, the Black Beauty consists of zircon, a rare mineral in which the researchers discovered high deposits of hafnium.
Martin Bizzarro, at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, said in a statement, “Zircon is a very robust mineral that is ideally suited to provide absolute ages.” Bizzaro stated, “Zircon also acts as a small time capsule as it preserves information about the environment where and when it was created.” Further, the researcher explained, “In this case, a time capsule with hafnium that originates from the earliest crust of Mars, which was present approximately 100 million years before the oldest zircon of Black Beauty was created.” Bizzaro added, “Thus, Mars got an early start compared to Earth, whose solid crust wasn’t formed until much later.”
Originally the heavy meteorite Black Beauty weighing about 319.8 grams was discovered in the Sahara Desert in the year 2011. Soon the researchers understood that it was a distinct meteorite. At the present, the Black Beauty meteorite has a selling price of around ten thousand dollars per gram.
Bizarro acquired around forty-four grams of the Black Beauty meteorite one year ago with support from different funding agencies. 44 grams reportedly generated 7 zircons, one being the earliest known zircon.