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Thread: Mars once had an oxygen rich atmosphere

  1. #1
    Donor Pattern's Avatar
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    Mars once had an oxygen rich atmosphere

    Isn't this a big deal?
    Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere four billion years ago
    The oxygen was either produced by life forms or by a chemical reaction in the atmosphere of Mars

    Press Association
    guardian.co.uk

    Scientists inferred the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere by comparing Martian meteorites with data from rocks examined by Nasa's Spirit Mars rover. Image: Nasa
    Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere more than a billion years before the Earth, say scientists. An examination of meteorites and rocks on the planet suggests that oxygen was affecting the Martian surface four billion years ago.

    On Earth, oxygen did not build up to appreciable quantities in the atmosphere for at least another 1.5bn years.

    The researchers compared Martian meteorites that have crashed onto the Earth with data from rocks examined by Nasa's Spirit Mars rover. Differences in their composition can best be explained by an abundance of oxygen early in Martian history.

    Spirit was exploring an ancient part of Mars containing rocks more than 3.7bn years old. The rocks bear the hallmarks of early exposure to oxygen before being "recycled" – drawn into shallow regions of the planet's interior and then spewed out in volcanic eruptions.

    Volcanic Martian meteorites, on the other hand, originate from deeper within the planet where they would be less affected by oxygen. The meteorites travel to Earth after being flung into space by massive eruptions or impacts.

    The new research, published in the journal Nature, has implications for the possibility of past life on Mars. On early Earth, the atmosphere was gradually filled with free oxygen by photosynthesising microbes. Scientists call this the Great Oxygenation Event.

    The link between oxygen and life on Mars is less certain. Oxygen could have been produced biologically, or by a chemical reaction in the atmosphere.

    Lead scientist Professor Bernard Wood of Oxford University said: "The implication is that Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere at a time, about 4,000 million years ago, well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth around 2,500 million years ago.

    "As oxidation is what gives Mars its distinctive colour, it is likely that the 'red planet' was wet, warm and rusty billions of years before Earth's atmosphere became oxygen-rich."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...ich-atmosphere
    or...

    Solving:


    ...might have become a just that little bit easier?

  2. #2
    My dick has an oxygen rich atmosphere.

  3. #3
    walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spasm View Post
    My dick has an oxygen rich atmosphere.
    put some pants on you slob.
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    But islamism IS a product of class warfare. Rich white countries come into developing brown dictatorships, wreck the leadership, infrastructure and economy and then act all surprised that religious fanaticism is on the rise.
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    walrus isnt a bad poster.
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    Yer a hoot

  4. #4
    Movember 2012 Zekk Pacus's Avatar
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    I would guess it's surrounded by other gaseous products, though.
    'I'm pro life. I'm a non-smoker. I'm a pro-life non-smoker. WOO, Let the party begin!'

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    NoirAvlaa's Avatar
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    my dick's caught in a vacuum.

  6. #6
    walrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoirAvlaa View Post
    my dick's caught in a vacuum.
    One must be quite limber to perform autofellatio.

    Impressive.
      Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by RazoR View Post
    But islamism IS a product of class warfare. Rich white countries come into developing brown dictatorships, wreck the leadership, infrastructure and economy and then act all surprised that religious fanaticism is on the rise.
    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenta View Post
    walrus isnt a bad poster.
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    also i like walrus.
    Quote Originally Posted by AmaNutin View Post
    Yer a hoot

  7. #7
    Super Baderator DonorGlobal Moderator cullnean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
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    Cullneshi the god of shitposting.
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  8. #8
    Donor EchoEpsilon23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere four billion years ago
    The oxygen was either produced by life forms or by a chemical reaction in the atmosphere of Mars

    Press Association
    guardian.co.uk

    Scientists inferred the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere by comparing Martian meteorites with data from rocks examined by Nasa's Spirit Mars rover. Image: Nasa
    Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere more than a billion years before the Earth, say scientists. An examination of meteorites and rocks on the planet suggests that oxygen was affecting the Martian surface four billion years ago.

    On Earth, oxygen did not build up to appreciable quantities in the atmosphere for at least another 1.5bn years.

    The researchers compared Martian meteorites that have crashed onto the Earth with data from rocks examined by Nasa's Spirit Mars rover. Differences in their composition can best be explained by an abundance of oxygen early in Martian history.

    Spirit was exploring an ancient part of Mars containing rocks more than 3.7bn years old. The rocks bear the hallmarks of early exposure to oxygen before being "recycled" – drawn into shallow regions of the planet's interior and then spewed out in volcanic eruptions.

    Volcanic Martian meteorites, on the other hand, originate from deeper within the planet where they would be less affected by oxygen. The meteorites travel to Earth after being flung into space by massive eruptions or impacts.

    The new research, published in the journal Nature, has implications for the possibility of past life on Mars. On early Earth, the atmosphere was gradually filled with free oxygen by photosynthesising microbes. Scientists call this the Great Oxygenation Event.

    The link between oxygen and life on Mars is less certain. Oxygen could have been produced biologically, or by a chemical reaction in the atmosphere.

    Lead scientist Professor Bernard Wood of Oxford University said: "The implication is that Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere at a time, about 4,000 million years ago, well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on Earth around 2,500 million years ago.

    "As oxidation is what gives Mars its distinctive colour, it is likely that the 'red planet' was wet, warm and rusty billions of years before Earth's atmosphere became oxygen-rich."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/20...ich-atmosphere
    or...

    Solving:


    ...might have become a just that little bit easier?
    It's clearly obvious that Mars had life long long ago, but then got into a war with an advanced alien race over water, that alien race took all the water and used it to dump more water on there homeworld, the moon of Europa. But because of the many nuclear weapons the early martians used to take vengeance on those Pesky Europans, Jupiter became way to radioactive to sustain life and thus the Europans all died out. Then the martians died out, because they didn't have the technology to ship all there water home, and thus there plants died, they resorted to cannibalism and stasis chamber, and on moonless nights these days, they come in there flying squares of doom! Come to eat our cows, and eat us but they only like our livers and bladders because they taste like a martian delicacy.

    [size=.5]~[/size]

  9. #9
    Donor Pattern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?

  10. #10
    Super Baderator DonorGlobal Moderator cullnean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    sir,

    you miss my point. oxygen on mars in the past is not a big deal.
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    Cullneshi the god of shitposting.
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  11. #11
    Donor Bielz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    Decomp of any oxide? ie: H202->H20 + o2

  12. #12
    Skidrowpunk's Avatar
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    So the plot of Mission to Mars was right after all.
    world of tanks derp gun world of tanks derp gun world of tanks derp gun

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  13. #13
    Pacefalm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    Wikipedia says photolysis of water and N2O
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    There are a couple of inorganic processes that can produce free oxygen, but they are so hilariously uncommon as to have no chance of producing a measurable quantity of oxygen in the atmosphere. And most of them basically require an oxygen rich environment to produce the reactants. (e.g. 2H2O2 -> H2O + O2, etc) (And as pointed out photolysis of H2O and N2O, except the N2O is almost completely produced by biological methods)

    Additionally, free oxygen breaks down insanely quickly in an anoxic environment, so to get the levels of oxygen in the atmosphere required to produce the mineralogy observed in the martian rover measurements basically requires life. It's the only mechanism that really can produce the amounts required, for the duration required, to get a substantial(read more then 0.0001% or so) percentage of an atmosphere to be free oxygen.

    It is oh-so-remotely possible that it wasn't life of some kind, but likelyhood is soo infinitesimally small that it is essentially impossible to calculate.
    "We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That's a clear prescription for disaster."
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  15. #15
    Donor Pattern's Avatar
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    Even disregarding the question, did Mars have life or not, out of 4 rocky/earth like planets, knowing 2 of them at some stage had oxygen rich atmospheres may be a good omen if we're ever interested in colonising another world without a fuck ton of terraforming, adaptation and/or biospheres.

  16. #16

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    Countdown to "lets drill for oil on Mars"! After all, isnt all you need organic matter and plate tectonics? Sure its static now, but might not have been in the past.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    sir,

    you miss my point. oxygen on mars in the past is not a big deal.
    Earth had a massive spike of oxygen in its past, due to life being present.

    It almost wiped out all life on our planet, because oxygen was a toxic by-product of simple life that existed at that time.

    Luckily, one of the myraid forms of life on our planet evolved to consume oxygen and the ecosystem stabilised. We are one of the descendants of those oxygen consumers. A massive spike in oxygen levels, followed by an absence of all life is basically would have happened here without our distant ancestors evolving.

    It's highly significant if a similar event occurred on Mars( without the evolution of an oxygen consumer to stabilise things). It would mean that our estimates about the frequency of life occurring are way, way off and that our universe is probably teaming with life.

    That has significant ramifications for science, religion and philosophy.
    Last edited by Nicholai Pestot; June 21 2013 at 12:56:35 AM.

  18. #18
    Steph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    I think it's kind of neat.

    Though I always thought it was known that Mars used to have an oxygen-rich atmosphere, its soil being rich in iron oxide after all.
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  19. #19
    Sobad Horribad's Avatar
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    is there any variety of rna that can catalyze oxygen production?

    doesn't necessarily have to be actual life, right? chemical evolution and such.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steph View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Pattern View Post
    Isn't this a big deal?
    nope
    So planets just naturally have free oxygen in their atmospheres because it's not highly reactive at all?

    Seriously though, could someone shed light on what none biological chemical processes could produce an oxygen rich atmosphere?
    I think it's kind of neat.

    Though I always thought it was known that Mars used to have an oxygen-rich atmosphere, its soil being rich in iron oxide after all.
    I wish it was just a big metal ball covered in a fuck ton of rust.

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