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Curiosity Confirms Origins of Martian Meteorites 35

littlesparkvt writes "Earth's most eminent emissary to Mars has just proven that those rare Martian visitors that sometimes drop in on Earth — a.k.a. Martian meteorites — really are from the Red Planet. A key new measurement of Mars' atmosphere by NASA's Curiosity rover provides the most definitive evidence yet of the origins of Mars meteorites while at the same time providing a way to rule out Martian origins of other meteorites."
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Curiosity Confirms Origins of Martian Meteorites

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  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @11:19PM (#45149391)

    Curiosity is just confirming the results of the Viking entry science neutral atmospheric composition experiment (different from the mass spectrometer operated on the surface). It's very nice to have this nailed down, but I don't think it changes anything.

    • by icebike ( 68054 )

      So a sample of gasses violently encapsulated in molten rock after a impact of a rather large body upon a planet with enough force to eject significant amounts of rock has the exact same components as the atmosphere it was blasted through?

      That's amazing. More amazing that a random rock from Mars landing on earth.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Oh no it has not the exact same composition. But certain elemental and isotopic ratios are characteristic enough. Look at this abstract for example

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Not that amazing when you're dealing with *isotopes* of a noble gas. There's not much opportunity for isotopic fractionation in an impact event and the subsequent rapid freezing of the melt to form glass. I'm sure the elemental composition of the gases has been skewed during the impact event, but the isotopic ratios of the argon? Not likely.

    • "Curiosity is just confirming ..."

      Curiosity has led to all the discoveries in the last couple of thousand years.
      Just the cat got killed by it.

  • by Laxori666 ( 748529 ) on Thursday October 17, 2013 @12:04AM (#45149591) Homepage
    Unfortunately, in the process of confirming the origin of martian meteorites, the rover ran over a martian cat.
  • While scientists state that there has to be a countless number of earth like planets out there... there can only be ONE Mars like planet. Dam these guys are good!

    • by lxs ( 131946 )

      Let's see on the one hand we have a confirmed Mars like planet nearby, at least orbiting the same star, on the other hand there may be faint evidence of Mars like planets so far away that we need huge resources to barely deduce a trace of their existence with no plausible mechanism of transporting that material to Earth. I'd say the chances are above 50/50 that Mars is the culprit.

    • The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one*, but the chances of anything coming from another solar system are mind-crushingly miniscule.

      *see Wayne et al

  • Curiosity Confirms Origins of Martian Meteorites

    I'm not surprised nobody is paying attention to the post

    • Oh, only us usual suspects stick around and create comments when writers' alliterative affinities yield yet another absolutely heinous headline.

  • Argon, *clap* *clap*, Argoff

  • I can't believe there hasn't been I sci-fi movie about this already. Is some way that mars could have once been like earth, but something happened. I'm still working on my degree in BS , so the only explanation I could come up with is Martians somehow used heat from the core of Mars to power their civilization, but in their bureaucratic greed cooled the core so much that it no longer created a magnetic field around Mars. Death fallowed shortly after....
    • It's a popular idea in SF. The "Earth-like Mars" part, at least, not sure about the bureaucracy part. I'm playing through a lovely iPhone game called Waking Mars right now which has its own take.

    • There was no Xenomorphic Climate Change on Mars. It is all natural process and if you observe last 15 years of data, you can see sharp increase in Mars average temperature, which clearly shows that previous billion years cool period is just cyclical and natural and very soon we will again have green Mars. Nobody has shown conclusive proof that PB and Llehs geometermal extractors have any influence on Martian atmosphere. Let's remember that climatology is not a strict science and you cannot generalize observ

  • Martian meteorites come from mars

  • No, What they confirmed is that the meteorites found on Mars surface are the same as the ones that fell to earth. Why oh why would one think that different rocks will only fall on certain planets? And what makes them think for a minute that argon does not exist elsewhere in the Universe? Where do they think Mars got its Argon from?

    Argon is a heavy gas, and yes it is more likely to settle on a planet that has lost atmosphere, but Mars is not the only place that it can happen, its just that they want to b

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What do supernovae and any kind of isotopic differentiation in them have to do with anything? The stuff that made up the solar system spun around and was pretty thoroughly isotopically mixed. Any isotopic differentiation would be long gone unless you're able to find intact pieces of material from the time before the protoplanetary disk that formed out solar system began. Otherwise it may as well have gone through a blender. It's pretty much a single batch, isotopically-speaking, and changes in Ar isotop

  • Curiosity Confirms Origins of Martian Meteorites

    Funny, I thought it was only good for killing cats...badum-ching!

    Thank you, thank you, remember to tip your waiters, I'm here all week! :P

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde