A bit of debate has broken out between scientists, following a suggestion by Dr Bernard Wood of Oxford University, (By a strange quirk of fate there
is also a Prof. Bernard Wood of George Washington University who also is involved with early times on planet Earth!), that four billion years ago,
before Earth had even started on its journey to life, the atmosphere on Mars may well have been rich in oxygen.
Comparing Martian rocks and Martian meteorites, which have different oxidisation, Dr Wood came to the conclusion that at one early time there was an
oxygen rich atmosphere.
"Dr Bernard Wood said the idea fits with the picture of a planet that was once warm, wet and habitable."
Against Dr Woods' theory, is a Dr Francis McCubbin, from the University of New Mexico, .who.. told BBC News: "I did not reach the conclusion that
their results imply an early oxygen-rich atmosphere on Mars, only that the upper mantle was more oxidised than the deep interior, which does not
actually require any oxygen gas to accomplish."
So it is possible that Mars once had a habitable atmosphere?
I have no idea what this all means, and to be honest, I do not fully understand what is being said, so nobody go about screaming, "See told you so,
there was life on Mars".
But if what is reported is a true hypothesis then there may well be scope for some interesting speculation.
The whole article is www.bbc.co.uk...
and there is an explanation for the colour of Mars as well.
I now await Phage to explain where it all goes wrong, over to you Phage....