Researchers have discovered traces of opal on Mars, leading them to believe it may help prove that the Red Planet was once home to life. The gemstone was discovered in a Martian meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1911.
The opal was discovered by Glasgow University earth scientist Martin Lee and his team while examining the Nakhla meteorite, which fell from Mars to Egypt over a century ago.
After studying the space rock with a scanning electron microscope, the researchers found trace amounts of the gemstone, confirming readings from Martian rovers that opal indeed exists in the Red Planet’s crust.
The gemstone was likely created by the interaction of water with silica. It is the first time that a piece of Mars on Earth has been found to contain opal.