Nature Geosience paper from our LEAP user Prof. D. Moser

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Prof. Desmond Moser and his colleagues from University of Western Ontario just published an important paper in Nature Geoscience.

Analyzing the oldest-known mineral grains from Mars, they found that almost all of them had only been slightly modified by the giant meteorite impacts on Mars. Earlier studies had concluded that the heavy bombardment of the inner planets ended 3.8 billion years ago, but Prof. Moser's findings suggests a much earlier wane 4.48 billion years ago, and a potential habitability of Mars around 4.2 to 3.5 billion years ago.

Prof. Moser and his team used a LEAP Atom Probe Tomograph for 3D nanoscale analysis of these 4.476 to 4.429 Gyr old zircon and baddeleyite grains, finding that 97% of them exhibit weak-to-no shock metamorphic features and no overprints from shock-induced melting.

Link to the full article by DE Moser et al.: Decline of giant impacts on Mars by 4.48 billion years ago and an early opportunity for habitability, Nature Geoscience. (2019). doi:10.1038/s41561-019-0380-0.