Formerly, Mars was home to oceans and seas, and maybe even life. But the planet has long since dried up. Furthermore, major below-the-surface activities have come to an end too. But, recently, there have been signs of a volcanic eruption.
Mars Volcano Eruption just 53,000 years ago?
Older research suggests volcanic eruptions on Mars approximately 2.5 million years ago. But a new paper hints at an eruption as recent as 53,000 years ago. The eruption might have taken place in a region called Cerberus Fossae. This would be the youngest known volcanic eruption on Mars.
NASA’s stationary InSight lander is located about 1,000 miles west of Cerberus Fossae. The lander touched down in 2018 on Mars to study its tectonic activity.
Signs of Volcanic Eruption
Subsurface volcanic activity causes superheated volcanic ash and dust to burst through the surface. The Cerberus Fossae displays features similar to a recent fissure eruption and signs of a volcanic eruption.
It is believed that the eruption reached a height of several miles before falling back to the surface.
Watch this video to know more about the Mars Volcano Eruption
Youngest Known Volcanic Eruption on Mars
53,000 years is a very short time period in geological terms. It suggests that Mars might still be volcanically active now. The team dates the probable eruption ranging from 53,000 to 210,000 years ago. They reached this conclusion by counting the number of craters visible around the feature and in the deposit itself, which is roughly six miles across.
Volcanic Activity and Habitable Environment
The Mars volcano eruption could have big implications for the search for life on the red planet.
Present-day activity on Mars is indeed a mystery. It is the key to understand its evolution and habitability.
Watch to know more!