Did This Rock Come From a Water-Covered Mars?

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Jan. 4 2013 2:03 PM

Did This Rock Come From a Water-Covered Mars?

Black Beauty isn't just a stallion anymore—it's also the nickname scientists gave Northwest Africa 7034, a 2-billion-year-old Martian rock found in the Moroccan desert.

The basaltic rock discovered in 2011 probably was propelled to Earth when an asteroid or comet slammed into Mars, and it's one of about 100 known Martian meteorites in collections globally. A year-long study has found that NWA 7034 is both older and has more water content than most others of its kind, leading scientists to believe it was created when the red planet had an abundance of water.

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Scientists hope NWA 7034 can help them understand why the red planet dried out and if it could have harbored life at one time.