In “Mars ‘remains in embryonic state’”( BBC News, 27 May 2011), Jennifer Carpenter floats an interesting idea about Mars:
Mars formed in record time, growing to its present size in a mere three million years, more quickly than scientists previously thought.Its rapid formation could explain why the Red Planet is about one tenth the mass of Earth.Earth is thought to have required tens of millions of years to attain its present size. The idea I that Mars started small early, stayed small, and was therefore less likely to experience collisions with other bodies. An embryo planet frozen in time.
Some wonder how this story meshes with Victoria Gill’s “Mars site may hold ‘buried life’” (29 July 2010), also at BBC News. If Mars’s history is as described in Carpenter’s story, how reasonable is it to expect life? Or ought we not to ask?