Ancient Mars could have been more like Earth than we thought

June 30, 2016 by  
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NASA’s racked up some thrilling new finds about Mars lately, and they’re at it again. The Curiosity Rover discovered manganese oxides on the red planet. The seemingly simple find actually has mind-boggling implications: ancient Mars could have been a lot more like Earth than we thought. During research in Mars’ Gale crater, in the Kimberley Region, the Curiosity Rover detected manganese oxides. Los Alamos National Laboratory planetary scientist Nina Lanza said said in a NASA press release , “Now we’re seeing manganese oxides on Mars, and we’re wondering how the heck these could have formed?” According to Lanza, on Earth, the process to make such manganese oxides involves either microbes or atmospheric oxygen . Related: NASA scientist thinks lasers could send a craft the distance to Mars in just 30 minutes Turns out microbes are probably out of the realm of possibility, at least based on research up to this point, but atmospheric oxygen is a strong possibility. That means Mars probably had a lot more oxygen in its atmosphere at one point. The Gale crater isn’t the only place where manganese was detected. NASA’s Opportunity rover also recently found ” high manganese deposits thousands of miles from Curiosity .” So what happened to all that Martian oxygen? Lanza said as Mars lost its magnetic field , the water once on the planet could have broken down. As the magnetic field fell apart, radiation may have split the water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. Without much gravity , light hydrogen atoms escaped, but the planet retained the heavier oxygen atoms. The oxygen helped create the red dust for which Mars is known. That particular process doesn’t need much oxygen, but for manganese oxides to form, there would have had to be far more oxygen than we thought Mars had. Lanza said, “It’s hard to confirm whether this scenario for Martian atmospheric oxygen actually occurred. But it’s important to note that this idea represents a departure in our understanding for how planetary atmospheres might become oxygenated.” She’s the lead author on a paper published this month in Geophysical Research Letters . Several other scientists from the U.S., Canada, France, Denmark, and Sweden contributed to the research. Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia Commons and NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

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Ancient Mars could have been more like Earth than we thought

Eco Tech: Nissan develops new battery to boost EV range to twice as much

December 1, 2009 by  
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Eco Factor: New battery technology doubles the operating range of electric vehicles.

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Eco Tech: Nissan develops new battery to boost EV range to twice as much

With New Battery, Nissan Plans to Double EV Range by 2015

December 1, 2009 by  
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In a breakthrough that might change a few minds about the battery-swap concept, Nissan says that they have succeeded in tests that would extend the range of the LEAF and other electric cars up to 186 miles on each charge, almost double today’s range with an improved battery.

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With New Battery, Nissan Plans to Double EV Range by 2015

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