Mars may not have been born alongside the other rocky planets | Science News

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Mars may not have been born alongside the other rocky planets

New origin story could explain mystery of Red Planet’s makeup

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7:00am, May 5, 2017
Mars

FAR OUT  Mars may have formed near what’s now the asteroid belt, much farther away from the sun than the other rocky planets.

Mars may have had a far-out birthplace.

Simulating the assembly of the solar system around 4.56 billion years ago, researchers propose that the Red Planet didn’t form in the inner solar system alongside the other terrestrial planets as previously thought. Mars instead may have formed around where the asteroid belt is now and migrated inward to its present-day orbit, the scientists report in the June 15 Earth and Planetary Science Letters. The proposal better explains why Mars has such a different chemical composition than Earth, says Stephen Mojzsis, a study coauthor and geologist at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The new work is an intuitive next step in a years-long rethink of the early solar system, says Kevin Walsh, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., who was not involved with the new simulation. “We only became

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