Mars may be a complete wasteland nowadays, with no active volcanoes. But if we take a look at the distant past of the Red Planet, we would see thousands of massive volcanic eruptions occurring. If we would only have a time machine! But even so, it is indeed possible to learn about the history of a planet without engaging in time travel. Furthermore, nobody can guarantee one hundred percent that time travel is possible.
NASA spoke about the tumultuous past of Mars – volcanoes erupting with great power represented something usual on our neighboring planet.
Arabia Terra was teeming with super volcanic eruptions
The “Arabia Terra” region of Mars was filled with supervolcanic eruptions, according to the new findings. There were thousands of these eruptions over a period that lasted for 500 million years.
Patrick Whelley, leader of the new study and also a geologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, declared as cited by the space agency’s website (nasa.gov):
Each one of these eruptions would have had a significant climate impact — maybe the released gas made the atmosphere thicker or blocked the Sun and made the atmosphere colder,
Modelers of the Martian climate will have some work to do to try to understand the impact of the volcanoes.
While it may be surprising for some people, Mars is only the second smallest planet from our Solar System. The smallest planet remains Mercury, which is also the first planet from the Sun.
The supervolcanic eruptions in question occurred on Mars roughly 4 billion years ago, which means that astronauts will have to worry about anything else when they’ll choose to land on the Red Planet.
The new study was published in Geophysical Research Letters.