Orbital view from Mars Express of Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano on Mars, stretching some 13.6 miles (22 km, 72,000 feet) above the red Martian plains. Olympus Mons is 2 1/2 times taller than Mount Everest! Image via ESA/ Justin Cowart.
Is Mars still volcanically active? At first glance, it wouldn’t seem to be, since no eruptions have ever been observed from any of the numerous volcanoes dotting its desert surface. Recent findings from NASA’s InSight lander have shown that there’s still at least some residual geologic activity underground, however, in the form of marsquakes. Now, a newly announced study of a Martian meteorite has provided the first evidence of what scientists call magma convection on Mars – a rising and falling of currents in molten material beneath Mars’ surface – that took place in the planet’s mantle a few hundred million years ago. Perhaps this slow roiling of magma beneath Mars’ crust still occurs today.
The new peer-reviewed findings were published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science on May 7, 2020.
The intriguing results – reported in ScienceAlert by Michelle Star on May 11, 2020 – come from a new study of the Tissint Martian meteorite. A Martian meteorite is ...