MARTIAN meteorites that fell to Earth over a hundred years ago now point to signs there may have been life giving water on the Red Planet

Asteroid collisions with the Red Planet 11million years ago caused chunks of meteorites to blast off the planets surface and hurtle through space. A group of these meteors fell to Earth in 1911, the first being in Egypt, and were named the nakhlites. These nakhlites have revealed there was once running water below the Red Planets surface.

Planetary scientists at the University of Glasgow used a technique to analyse these space rocks, claiming they shed light on the process which generated, the potentially live giving, liquid water on Mars.

University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences Research Associate Dr Luke Daly said: “There’s a huge amount of information about Mars locked inside the little pieces of the red planet which have fallen to Earth as meteorites.

“What we’ve seen is that the pattern of deformation in the minerals matches exactly the distribution of weathering veins that formed from the Martian fluids.”

The nakhlite analysis revealed the Martian space rocks were formed when the planet was hit by two asteroids, the first 633 million years ago and the second about 11 million years ago.

Mars was crushed by astroids creating water

Mars was crushed by astroids creating water (Image: Getty Images)

The Martian meteorites are being analysed

The Martian meteorites are being analysed (Image: Mirror)

The first formed a massive impact crater on the volcanic rock on the Martian surface.

Dr Daly said: “This impact was big enough and hot enough to melt the ice under the Martian surface and send it rushing through newly-formed cracks in the rock.

“It effectively formed a temporary hydrothermal system below the surface of Mars, which altered the composition of the minerals in the rocks, close to these cracks.

“It suggests an asteroid impact was the mystery mechanism for generating liquid water in the nakhlites long after the volcano that formed them on Mars had become extinct.”

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Mars' surface from the Mars Rover

Mars’ surface from the Mars Rover (Image: getty Images)

He added a second asteroid impacted, hundreds of millions of years later, “had the right combination of angle and force to blast the rocks off the surface of the planet and begin their long journey through space towards Earth”.

The team believe their findings provide new insight into how Mars’ landscape is formed.

Regular bombardments from asteroids could have had similar effects on the planets underground ice throughout the course of Martian history.

These coul

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