Mars was not always red, according to a new theory for how the planet took on its characteristic ruddy hue.
Until recently, Mars' color
"That was a surprise to everybody," said Jonathan
Now new research has found a possible mechanism to explain
In the lab
To test the idea, Merrison and colleagues sealed samples of
The scientists then added powdered magnetite, an iron oxide
As the researchers continued to tumble the samples, they
"We think we have a process that explains how the dust
As the sand grains turned over in the flasks and hit each
Hematite is an iron oxide that is deep red in color. It only
"When we finished we could see red stuff on the side of
Same on Mars?
Though they can't yet prove that this is what happened on
In fact, since the process can occur relatively quickly, it
"I think it means that Mars wasn't always red,"
Merrison presented the results last week at the European