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|Culture & Science - Science|
|Thursday, 26 May 2011 20:08|
Apparently, Mars would have had a growth spurt that shot during the first 2 million years of the development of our neighboring planet.
About half of its current size would have formed during this rapid growth, according to a study published today in the journal Nature .
In general, the rocky planets of our solar system were formed by massive collisions between planetary embryos titanium between 1,000 and 5,000 miles wide.
In the case of Earth, the last of these collisions have been involved a Mars-sized protoplanet, which led, in theory, the formation of the Moon, about 50 or 150 million years after solar system was born.
In the new study, scientists found that Mars apparently grew too fast, having accumulated enough dust protoplanetary disk that once surrounded the Sun thus managed to get half its current size in just 1.8 million years or less .
The researchers examined specific isotopes found in Martian meteorites. Analyzing and comparing these isotopes can get an idea of how old Martian rocks are and determine how the planet evolved.
Compared to the rapid growth of Mars, Earth, almost double the size of Mars, was taken between 50 and 100 million years to develop.
The difference seems to lie in the collision. While the Earth and Venus were supplied from dust and minor planets that collided against protoplanetary surfaces, Mars.
If rapid growth of Mars has something to do with the potential to harbor life, remains unknown.
"A brief acceleration like Mars could, hypothetically speaking, are more likely to develop early life on the planet. But I must stress that this is pure speculation, "says Ali Pourmand, a researcher at the University of Miami. "Each planet has a different evolutionary history."