Did you know that there are pieces of Mars sitting on the Antarctic ice sheets?
A Mars meteorite found in Antarctica (click to enlarge)

We do not need to travel to Mars to find pieces of the red planet, they have already come to us. Large asteroids or comets that hit a planet's surface eject rock fragments out into space. Over millions of years, these fragments disperse and, eventually, strike another planet. Recognizing a Mars rock on Earth is not so easy, but it can be done. For example, meteorites from all over the Solar System have been found in Antarctica, including several with trapped gases indicating an origin on Mars. For more on Martian meteorites click here.

|

|

|

|

Image courtesy of Nasa/JPL Cal-Tech

Return to the Astronomy Workshop