Talk about hot stuff: A massive volcano on Mars erupted continuously for 2 billion years, a new scientific study reports.
“For 2 billion years, there’s been sort of a steady plume of magma in one location on the surface of Mars,” study co-author Mark Caffee of Purdue University confirms in a statement.
“We don’t have anything like that on Earth,” he added.
How do we know the volcano belched rock and magma for that long? Credit goes to a 7-ounce meteorite that was blasted from Mars to Earth. It was found in Algeria in 2012.
The 2.4-billion-year-old-meteorite’s journey to Earth began when something slammed into the surface of Mars, hitting a volcano or lava plain. The impact ejected rocks into space, and fragments of these rocks eventually fell to Earth as meteorites.
“Even though we’ve never had astronauts walk on Mars, we still have pieces of the Martian surface to study, thanks to these meteorites,” Caffee said. The meteorites allow scientists to research the geology on the surface of Mars, he said.