Researchers from Brown University announce discovery of large deposits of glass formed by impactors on the surface of Mars. Similar impactors on Earth have preserved signatures of ancient life.
Using satellite data, the team detected deposits of glass within Martian craters. The glass, which was formed by unimaginable heat brought on by violent impact, could possibly offer a “delicate window into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.”
Could such a window exist in these unlikely circumstances? Research groups on Earth have shown that terrestrial ancient biosignatures can be preserved in impact glass. In one study, geologists found organic molecules and plant matter in glass that formed during an impact millions of years in the past. Evidence suggests the same process could have occurred on Mars.