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So is this how it hits the fan? What a way to find out, yes, there is life on mars.
Overnight the internet has been awash with speculation that the instruments, including the Atomic Force Microscope from Nanosurf, held in the MECA suite on the Phoenix Mars Lander has found life on Mars.
Speculation is rife that the Lander has found samples that could only be a form of faeces. More likely is the finding of a carbon compound that is somehow animal or plant related. Although NASA has denied the rumours they have found something. The MECA team were absent from a White House briefing last week where evidence was presented to the President proving the existence of water on Mars. At that time they said the MECA team had no findings to discuss - but now they do.
Updates will be posted on our Nanotechnology in Space Special Feature.
Posted 4th August 2008
"On Earth, if you have a lot of ammonium and nitrate it usually means there is organic activity. We excrete it as waste and other organisms use it."
High volumes of such chemistry in a river could point to effluent run-off from a farm. While not life itself, "it could be a sign of biology. Ammonium nitrate is a fertiliser and if present might indicate greater habitability," Dr Clarke said.