Today it is difficult to imagine the existence of living organisms on Mars. But the latest research has confirmed that billions of years ago, this redstone world was a more favorable place than even the early Earth for biological life forms to develop on it.
Where did everything disappear and what does nuclear weapons have to do with it?
Scientists do not exclude that life on Mars originated earlier than on our planet. They found on it a wide distribution of minerals with a certain concentration of atoms on crystalline surfaces, most effectively forming the structures of RNA (one of the key molecular components of living organisms). NASA also conducted studies of deep Martian rocks.
As a result, a representative of the space agency announced that several million years ago the surface of the Red Planet was covered with forests, frogs splashed in lakes, and fish in rivers. Then suddenly everyone died. Initially, it was believed that the planet was left without an atmosphere by a satellite that fell on it. However, the latest discoveries made by rovers and orbiters force us to reconsider this hypothesis.
Apparently, the catastrophe did not happen in an instant, and there was more than one. John Brandenburg, a nuclear particle physicist, concluded that ancient life on Mars was destroyed by a series of nuclear explosions.
Analyzes of the Martian atmosphere have shown that it contains xenon-129 isotopes in large quantities. Exactly the same concentration of this element was recorded on Earth after the accident that occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. On the surface of Mars, thorium and uranium were found in abundance.
The Brandenburg study says that this number of isotopes in the atmosphere of the Red Planet indicates that a series of impressive nuclear explosions destroyed the ancient settlements in two parts of Mars: Utopia and Cydonia. The professor believes that the red color of the surface of Mars testifies in favor of the explosions that have occurred.
In Africa, for example, on the territory of Gabon there is the Oklo region. About a billion years ago, a natural nuclear reactor functioned there. There was a uranium deposit in that place, and groundwater interacted with it, cooling and slowing down the neutron flux. This did not allow the reaction to pass the critical threshold. Thus, plutonium has been produced for several million years.
According to Brandenburg, there is evidence that a similar reactor has formed in the western hemisphere of Mars in the northern Sea of Acidalia. Only it was much larger, and produced uranium-233 from thorium. Subsequently, it collapsed as a result of the explosions that occurred. As a result, a huge amount of radioactive substances was thrown to the surface.
The ore body that existed at the bottom of the Sea of Acidalia remained intact, since there is no tectonic movement of plates on Mars. It consisted of concentrated uranium, thorium and potassium. The physicist connects the onset of a nuclear reaction with the penetration of groundwater into the ore body at a time when the proportion of uranium-235 was 3%.
A few hundred million years later, this natural reactor began to produce uranium-233 and plutonium-239 faster than it could burn. The water boiled away, the neutron flux increased, and as a result, radioactive isotopes of potassium began to form in huge quantities. A spontaneous chain reaction began.
The energy was released with catastrophic force. As much ash and dust was ejected as is ejected from an asteroid impact. Brandenburg compared this event to the fall of a 30-kilometer asteroid. All radioactive dust and debris enriched with thorium and uranium settled in a thick layer on a significant part of the surface of Mars. And in the region of the Acidal Sea, a depression 400 kilometers in diameter formed. Its depth is not as great as that of impact craters, since the explosions were close to the surface.
Many scientists were quick to disagree with the American physicist. Lars Borg, for example, from the Livermore National Laboratory, says that the specific composition of the atmosphere and surface of Mars may not be associated with a nuclear reaction at all, but with ordinary geological processes.
Martian meteorites have been studied for 15 years and their isotopic composition is known just as much. But no one imagined that a natural nuclear explosion could occur on Mars.