November 21, 2013

A meteorite from Mars found by Bedouin tribesmen in the Sahara last year has been used to determine the Red Planet’s crust was formed 4.4 billion years ago, scientists have said.

American and French geologists found tough crystals within the meteorite called zircons, which held traces of uranium, whose rate of decay can be used as a calculator of age.

“This date is about 100 million years after the first dust condensed in the solar system,” said Munir Humayun, a professor of Earth, ocean and atmospheric science at Florida State University.

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