A team of researchers has revised the timeline which explores the formation of Mars, and it seems that the planet may have been suitable for life before Earth was habitable. So, life on Mars could have existed billions of years ago, in the Red Planet’s early history.
The team elaborated a study which presents the revamped timings of meteorite bombardments, and it is thought that life could have surfaced between 4.2 billion and 3.5 billion years ago. In this case, it would predate Earth by a considerable margin since life appeared on our planet almost 3.5 billion years ago.
It is well-known that the inner solar system and most of the planets formed almost 4.5 billion years ago. The area was still fresh, and meteor impacts helped planets to become more prominent. This period is known in the scientific community as the Late Heavy Bombardment.
In the case of Mars, the Late Heavy Bombardment ended approximately 4.48 billion years ago. As the wave of meteorites stopped life on Mars had a chance to flourish.
Life on Mars could have appeared before life on Earth
The theory has been the subject of heated debates among the scientific community. The scientists have studied some of the oldest minerals which were recovered from select meteorites which may have come from the southern areas of Mars.
While they used to be a part of Mars, a powerful impact pushed them into space, and some of them fell on Earth. There are approximately 120 samples which have been identified until now.
These samples were analyzed at a high-detail level and provided valuable information about how the surface of the Red Planet may have been billions of years ago. Some of the oldest minerals found within the meteors date back to 4.43 and 4.48 billion years ago.
As the samples didn’t feature the signature signs of meteor impacts, it is believed that they formed after the bombardment stopped. The 500 million years head means that life may have existed at some point, but further research is need before a definitive answer will be available.