A comparison of meteorites from Mars that are on Earth and rocks still on Mars suggest that the red planet may have had an oxygen-rich atmosphere 4 billion years ago. Researchers at Oxford University in England say geochemical differences between the rocks may mean Mars was once inhabitable. "What we have shown is that both meteorites and surface volcanic rocks are consistent with similar origins in the deep interior of Mars, but that the surface rocks come from a more oxygen-rich environment, probably caused by recycling of oxygen-rich materials into the interior," said researcher Bernard Wood.

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