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Past Life on Mars: Potential Fossilized Algae Imaged by Curiosity

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posted on Jul, 31 2016 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: jeep3r

Hopefully a "bingo" discovery. Nice work, looking forward to more analysis and data. Any geologists or microbiologists chiming in would be interesting.




posted on Jul, 31 2016 @ 11:46 PM
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a reply to: Aleister

Hopefully it will be! I might check what the guys over at UMSF have to say about it although their T&C's don't allow discussing astrobiology IIRC. But then again, they'd probably still find a way to address these features in some way.



posted on Jul, 31 2016 @ 11:51 PM
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originally posted by: smurfy
They could also be mineral streams, though I suppose that does not preclude anything else, probably enhances it in some ways.


Considering that fossils are essentially mineral build-up, you're of course right. And perhaps this would finally do R. Hoover some justice after all those years (if confirmed) ...



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 03:22 AM
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originally posted by: argentus
Interesting images! Good find.
I wonder......... do you have any idea of the scale of the Mars images?

The scale of the MAHLI photos changes with the distance from the target. This is what is written on the page for the photo in the OP:


When this image was obtained, the focus motor count position was 14695. This number indicates the internal position of the MAHLI lens at the time the image was acquired. This count also tells whether the dust cover was open or closed. Values between 0 and 6000 mean the dust cover was closed; values between 12500 and 16000 occur when the cover is open. For close-up images, the motor count can in some cases be used to estimate the distance between the MAHLI lens and target. For example, in-focus images obtained with the dust cover open for which the lens was 2.5 cm from the target have a motor count near 15270. If the lens is 5 cm from the target, the motor count is near 14360; if 7 cm, 13980; 10 cm, 13635; 15 cm, 13325; 20 cm, 13155; 25 cm, 13050; 30 cm, 12970. These correspond to image scales, in micrometers per pixel, of about 16, 25, 32, 42, 60, 77, 95, and 113.


As the focus motor count position was 14695, it means that the camera was between 2.5 and 5 cm from the target, with a resolution of something between 0.016 and 0.025 millimetres per pixel.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 04:00 AM
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That image is of a location (dubbed "Chibia") where Curiosity used its Dust Removal Tool (DRT) in preparation for possible drilling. The swirly patterns are most likely from the metallic fibres on that tool.


MSL drove another 44 meters on Sol 1414, into an area with larger blocks of bedrock. This looks like a good area to drill into the Murray Formation, so nearby targets were selected and we are planning a short drive to position the vehicle for drilling. But first, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe bedrock targets "Chibia" and "Dondo." Mastcam will also measure the dust in the atmosphere and take an image of the Sol 1414 ChemCam AEGIS target. Then the arm will be deployed for lots of contact science and standard images of the wheels. MAHLI will take pictures of Chibia before the DRT is used to brush it off, then take lots of stereo images of the brushed spot.


astrogeology.usgs.gov...
www.unmannedspaceflight.com...
edit on 1-8-2016 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 04:29 AM
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a reply to: Tjoran

current life on mars is almost impossible due to whats in the weak atmosphere. "The martian atmospheric composition will allow the Mars astronauts to take advantage of in-situ resource utilization to provide them with life support reserves as well as the propellant required by the MAV. The martian atmosphere is composed of approximately 95.3% carbon dioxide, 2.7% nitrogen, 1.6% argon, 0.13% oxygen, 0.08% carbon monoxide, and trace amounts of water, nitrogen oxide, neon, krypton and xenon. By utilizing simple reactions between martian carbon dioxide and imported hydrogen, the astronauts will be able to produce methane, water, and oxygen. Direct atmospheric extraction of nitrogen and argon will also be possible." source: nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov...



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 04:41 AM
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originally posted by: fightzone58
a reply to: Tjoran

current life on mars is almost impossible due to whats in the weak atmosphere.

Life doesn't necessarily need a suitable atmosphere. Microbes can exist in rock or underwater.

Lithotrophs
Chemosynthesis

When life first appeared on Earth, our atmosphere was quite unbreathable.

At the most basic level, life (as we know it) needs just two things: 1) a source of energy, and 2) enough pressure to sustain water in liquid state.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 05:41 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

microbes also produce 50% of earths oxygen. mars is 0.13% oxygen. it has no microbes



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 06:05 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace
That image is of a location (dubbed "Chibia") where Curiosity used its Dust Removal Tool (DRT) in preparation for possible drilling. The swirly patterns are most likely from the metallic fibres on that tool.

astrogeology.usgs.gov...
www.unmannedspaceflight.com...


Thanks for providing some context and additional links. Curiosity's dust removal tool (DRT) was among the first things I considered to be the possible culprit, but then again we've seen the drill (and the previous brushing) in action before and the surface never looked quite like this afterwards.

I also found a nice post of yours illustrating the DRT in action: it's quite different looking, although the scale is not exactly the same it seems like the DRT doesn't create these kinds of features.
edit on 1-8-2016 by jeep3r because: text



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 07:43 AM
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a reply to: Orionx2

what does it matter, it means a second genesis , life originating outside of earth!

it means that if that can happen on mars then it has to have happened everywhere



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 07:55 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

Having seen other cases of the action of that tool I don't think this is the same thing.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 07:57 AM
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originally posted by: fightzone58
a reply to: wildespace

microbes also produce 50% of earths oxygen. mars is 0.13% oxygen. it has no microbes

The only thing we can conclude is that it has no oxygen-producing microbes.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 08:17 AM
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originally posted by: sapien82
it means that if that can happen on mars then it has to have happened everywhere

No, it means that if it can happen on Mars then it can happen in other places.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:16 AM
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a reply to: wildespace


That image is of a location (dubbed "Chibia") where Curiosity used its Dust Removal Tool (DRT) in preparation for possible drilling. The swirly patterns are most likely from the metallic fibers on that tool.

Thanks wildespace, I was holding my mud, patiently reading along.

My best guess before I read your post was this rock came from earth with fossils in it. They claim rocks came from Mars, don't they?

Everyone knows life is impossible on Mars due to the low mass, no molten core, no dynamo, no magnetic field, eternally bombarded and sterilized by radiation form the sun.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 09:19 AM
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Upon closer inspection ,the fibers do appear to be on the rock and above it, not embedded...

(Click for FULLSIZE original image)



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:23 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr

Upon closer inspection ,the fibers do appear to be on the rock and above it, not embedded...

(Click for FULLSIZE original image)


If we take a step back and look at the entire area where the brush was active including the borders, it seems the streaks/features are a part of the rock:
Source image

In the OP image, it also looks as if different streaks (or fibers/tubes) are also differently shaded, some lighter, while others or a bit darker and more faint. Additionally, when looking closely we can also make out very subtle brush marks but it's two different things as far as I'm concerned.
edit on 1-8-2016 by jeep3r because: text



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: ArMaP

i should have edited my response to include " everywhere that has the requirements that can support life"



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 11:02 AM
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a reply to: jeep3r

That image is of the brushed area, they are fibers on the rock, not in it. I can tell because pf the shadowing beneath some and others half in, half out of focus.

You said, 'shaded' and 'more faint'. But thanks for showing the whole picture this time.

Indeed thats what they are, brush marks and fibers from pre drilling, shout out to wildespace.



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 11:04 AM
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a reply to: jeep3r

Bookmarking a spot in here to see where this heads! Nice thread!!



posted on Aug, 1 2016 @ 11:05 AM
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originally posted by: intrptr
a reply to: jeep3r

That image is of the brushed area, they are fibers on the rock, not in it. I can tell because pf the shadowing beneath some and others half in, half out of focus.

You said, 'shaded' and 'more faint'. But thanks for showing the whole picture this time.

Indeed thats what they are, brush marks and fibers from pre drilling, shout out to wildespace.


I don't think so. When comparing other brushed areas (of which there are quite a few) with this one, it becomes clear that such features have - to my knowledge - not been visible before and are likely not caused by the dust removal tool.




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