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Scientists may have discovered an active volcano on Mars.

At the same time, NASA is exploring Mars’s Jezero Crater, a new study suggests the volcano is still usable on the red planet. It is thought that the last volcanic eruption occurred on Mars somewhere between three and four billion years ago, with the most recent tremors and eruptions that occurred three million years ago. Now, a new study published in Icarus It said scientists have discovered new evidence of a volcanic eruption that occurred on the fourth rock some 50,000 years ago, indicating that the planet was technically still active in volcanic activity.

Research by the Planetary Sciences Institute uses data obtained from spacecraft orbiting the Earth. One image obtained by the orbiter shows a crack on the planet̵

7;s surface about eight miles long. Studies of this fissure, located in Mar’s Elysium Planitia region near the equator, show evidence of a pyroclastic eruption, where magma exploded and erupted through the surface due to expanding gas trapped below.

“This may be the youngest volcanic deposit yet to be recorded on Mars,” study lead author David Horvath said in a statement received from the study. CNN“If we were to cram the geological history of Mars into a single day, it would have happened at the last moment.”

He added “This feature is above the surrounding lava flow and appears to be a relatively fresh ash and rock formation, representing a different eruption pattern than the classic pyrotechnics described earlier. This may spew ash as high as 6 miles, the atmosphere of Mars is likely to have more deposition. But has been eroded or buried. “

The study did not provide an exact date as to when the eruption occurred.

Separating from the study of volcanoes is NASA’s persistence mission, one that is scrubbing the planet’s Jezero Crater in hopes of finding signs of microbial life.

“This landing is one of the pivotal moments for NASA, the United States and global space exploration when we know we are in the beginning of our discovery and sharpen our pencils to speak to write a new textbook. Former Acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk at a press conference on when NASA’s efforts were successful on Earth, “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission shows the perseverance of our nation’s spirit, even in the most challenging situations, inspiring. Thematic and scientific advances and exploration. This mission demonstrates human ideals to strive for the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s. ”

Cover image via Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

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