Meteorites reveal a dry Martian surface
does not exist on the surface of Mars, concludes an international research team, after examining meteorites on the red planet. The researchers point out that the Martian meteorites lack rust, indicating that the planet has been extremely dry for millions of years. To drive home the point, experts used data collected from Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and examined a meteorite cluster located at the Meridiani Planum, a plain situated south of the Mars equator. Scientists calculated the chemical weathering rate on the planet to determine how long it would take for rust to form on the meteorites' metallic iron components. Based on their findings, it would take between 10 and 10,000 times longer for Mars to reach the same rate of rust formation that the driest deserts on Earth are capable of. A study author said Mars once supported life, but evidence points to this as existing more than 3 billion years ago. For finding life, scientists have to look beneath the surface.