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Mars has way fewer minerals than Earth

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According to researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science, Mars does not have as many minerals as Earth. There are about 6,000 different minerals on Earth, while only 161 minerals have been recorded on Mars after more than 50 years of research.


A long time ago, minerals on Earth and Mars formed in similar ways. They crystallized from cooling magma of formed under the influence of hydrothermal activity. But over time, Earth and Mars diverged in their evolution. Plate tectonics and biological processes on Earth facilitated the formation of minerals, which cannot be said about Mars.

Earth has 57 mineral-forming mechanisms, while only 20 have been identified on Mars.

This difference between Earth and Mars is important for the study of exoplanets around other stars.

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