The planet could have originated from the asteroid belt

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Mars and Earth weren’t as close siblings as they are today, which would explain why they have such different personalities. This is according to new research which says that although Earth and Mars are currently neighbors, they may not have started that way – the red planet may have formed further from the sun and then moved on. is moved to us.

A new article in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters says pieces of Mars may have come together in the asteroid belt, which lies inside Jupiter’s orbit and separates the inner and outer solar systems .

If this model is correct, Mars formed about 1.5 times farther from the sun than where we see it today, a distance that helps explain why Earth and Mars look so different.

“A currently popular theory of planetary formation predicts that Mars formed near Earth and Venus and was then dispersed outward to its current location,” the study said. But the three planets have such different compositions that the new theory could better explain how the planets were born. “It is therefore probable that Mars has always remained significantly further from the Sun than the Earth; its growth was slowed down early and its mass remained relatively low.

An illustrated model shows our solar system and its planets. Photo: NASA / JPL

The only world in the solar system smaller than Mars is Mercury, the innermost burnt planet.

In addition, Mars has a different elemental composition from that of Earth.

The new research was to study a model of planetary formation in which a young Jupiter forced matter towards the sun, helping to form Venus and Earth, but detrimentally pushing matter away from Mars, which would have been much closer to Jupiter if he had been in the asteroid belt.

mars hubble A photo of Mars taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo: NASA

Jupiter’s gravity would later have pushed Mars into its current orbital position.

Scientists ran computer simulations to find that while the likelihood of these circumstances occurring was not very high, it was possible.

According to NASA’s Astrobiology magazine, this pattern could mean that the chances of finding alien life on Mars are not good.

“One implication of the formation of Mars further from the Sun is that the planet would have been cooler than originally thought – perhaps too cold for liquid water or to sustain life,” noted the magazine. “This theory seems to challenge the idea that Mars was once much hotter and wetter than it is now.”

However, it is still unclear how this pattern of planetary formation would affect Mars’ ability to accommodate alien life.

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