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A new study supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology program is providing details about how banded iron formations (BIFs) were deposited on the ancient Earth to become part of the planet’s geological record. Understanding the origin of BIFs is important to astrobiologists because these geological features could be a record of ancient microbial communities in Earth’s past, and would provide clues about the types of biosignatures that future missions could look for on other worlds like Mars.
BIFs are layers of sediment that are rich in iron and date to the Precambrian. Theories suggest that they are they resulted from the interplay of microbial metabolisms that involved the biogeochemical cycling of iron and organic matter (OM). However, BIFs found on Earth today are depleted in OM. The new study examines whether or not the depletion of OM could be the result of the oxidation of this material during the process of iron reduction.
originally posted by: schuyler
I just do not see what all the fuss is about. OF COURSE there is life elsewhere, very probably on Mars. So what if they find some little squiggly things under some rocks on Mars? Amoebas? Paramecium? If anyone is "surprised" when they finally find or announce this they have brains the size of amoebas to begin with. What an eye-roller! It is simply not a big deal.
originally posted by: dougie6665
I had hoped for disclosure in my lifetime. At age 55, I doubt it. I am at this point hoping they make it to Europa by 2035 and they definitively find life. That puts me at 70. Probably the best I can hope for at this point. I don't look at intelligent ET as a savior. But, I think it would be fascinating to understand how another planet has evolved. The only possibility for that to happen in my lifetime is if we can spot a biosignature planet with the new telescopes and we develop quantum entanglement messaging that can get there FTL. Possible in the next 20-30 years, but not likely.