The study of Mars gives new clues to understanding the origin of life on Earth

The discovery of hydrothermal deposits on the bottom of the ancient Martian sea allows for a deeper understanding of the processes of the origin of life taking place on our planet.

The new scientific report analyzes observational data collected using the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Compact Reconnaissance Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) tool. These observations reveal massive deposits in one of the depressions in the southern part of Mars, called the Eridanya Depression. The authors interpret this data as evidence that these deposits formed as a result of heating the water upon contact with the substance of the volcanic active site of the planet’s crust, which appeared at the bottom of the great sea many years ago.

Standing water and volcanic activity can create conditions in which life can develop. Today, Mars has neither standing water nor volcanic activity, but researchers believe that these Martian hydrothermal deposits were formed back in antiquity, about 3.7 billion years. Similar hydrothermal conditions that existed on Earth around the same time could become a source of life on our planet. On Earth, so far, conditions exist in which life forms can exist at the expense of chemical energy derived from rocks without the participation of sunlight. However, in view of the fact that the Earth’s crust has a high activity, it is difficult to find geological evidence on our planet since the birth of life, therefore it is very important to study such evidence on the surfaces of other planets such as Mars,

The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Communications; the main author is Joseph R. Michalski (Joseph R. Michalski).