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Mars may have lost much of its atmosphere during asteroid impacts early in its history
- Title Mars may have lost much of its atmosphere during asteroid impacts early in its history
- Released 11/04/2003 2:51 pm
- Copyright Illustration by Medialab, ESA 2001
Mars may have lost much of its atmosphere during asteroid impacts early in its history.
The Beagle 2 lander will look for signatures of life on Mars, whether long-dead
or still-living, by measuring the ratio of two different types of carbon
in the rocks. Biological processes on Earth favour the lighter isotope of
carbon, carbon-12, over the heavier carbon-13. Hence, a high carbon-12 to
carbon-13 ratio is taken as evidence of life and has
been found in rocks up to 4 billion years old, even
where geological processing has occurred. The hope
is that the same occurred on Mars.
- Id 204490
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