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Astrobiologist claims evidence for microbial mats on Mars

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posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 12:12 PM
This is an interesting discovery, and when coupled with the methane spike and organic molecule discovery in that area, seems pretty rock solid. I think they need to alter curiosity's mission and have it backtrack to this outcrop for further study. We are 95% of the way to proof of life here, all other science can wait.

"may not look like much — just an old rock with dust on it. But after careful examination of this and other images taken of the Martian surface, a geobiologist is now claiming that these distinctive surface features could have only come from one source: microbes.

This isn't proof that life once existed on Mars. Far from. But it's certainly one of the more intriguing hypotheses we've seen in quite some time.

Working under the (fairly safe) assumption that Mars once featured extensive and persistent surface water, Old Dominion University geobiologist Nora Noffke examined photos taken by Curiosity as the rover traveled through the Gillespie Lake outcrop in Yellowknife Bay in hopes of finding signs of MISS — microbially-induced sedimentary structures."

posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 04:03 PM
a reply to: Vdogg

Very interesting thread, although it's certainly difficult to make a distinction between microbial mats and other causes for the shapes we see. But all that is mentioned by Noffke himself and I like his A/B comparisons with similar terrestial features as seen below:

He also seems to have a good understanding of the erosional processes involved and the traces left behind by specimens that died off. IMO microbial mats on Mars would make perfect sense, given what Curiosity has discovered so far and it's also good to see that astrobiologists/geologists are increasingly chiming in with their opinion about potential past life on Mars.

Again: interesting thread ... S&F!

edit on 6-1-2015 by jeep3r because: text

posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 04:07 PM

That is some of the best evidence yet for past possible life.


posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 04:13 PM
The evidence, circumstantial and otherwise, continues to roll out. Every once in awhile a cigar is just life on Mars, and hopefully the accumulated and accumulating data will convince the people designing the next generation Mars rovers and other robot exploratory experiments to add hardware and software to their packages which, modified by theories such as this, can test them for accuracy.

posted on Jan, 6 2015 @ 09:14 PM
Thinking about the life we have here on earth deep underground makes me think that even in the event mars surface life was wiped out by (insert event here) that there has got to be something still living there in some form. Can't wait to see what they find.

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