Does Mars’s Interior Have More Water Than Previously Thought?

Published in Geology magazine, a recent study indicates that Mars’s mantle contains approximately as much water as Earth’s mantle. “The research was led by former Carnegie postdoctoral scientist Francis McCubbin, now at the University of New Mexico. The analysis was performed by Carnegie Institution investigator Erik Hauri and team.”

By analyzing two meteorites that originated on Mars and landed on Earth, the scientists concluded that although the meteorites were different in some ways, they both contained the same amount of water. “The scientists estimated that the Martian mantle source from which the rocks were derived contained between 70 and 300 parts per million (ppm) water. For comparison, the upper mantle on Earth contains approximately 50-300 ppm water.”

Not only might this affect future Martian colony formation (assuming colonies can have drills, processing facilities, etc.), but it may also affect our theories of planet formation. It continues to amaze me that the more we learn about the universe, the more common planets and water seem to be. We live in exciting times.

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