Ancient Martian meteorite preserves chunks of planet’s early crust

Rock could reveal what Mars was like 4.4 billion years ago

By Andrew Grant, 12:38 PM November 20, 2013

Pieces of Mars’ original 4.4-billion-year-old crust have shown up in fragments of a smooth black rock recovered in the Sahara Desert, researchers report November 20 in Nature. The meteorite pieces are among the oldest planetary artifacts ever discovered and could provide insight into surface conditions on Mars during its infancy.

Along with the other planets in the solar system, Mars formed more than 4.4 billion years ago. But you’d never know that by studying meteorites that got blasted off t...

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