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Life on Mars

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posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 09:12 PM
The microbes have similar structure to microbes here on Earth. They have a distinct head tail and long abdominal structure.
But how if life is so very conditional could they have evolved in almost exactly the same way as microbes on Earth , a completely different condition and environment?

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:22 PM
I watched the conference on NASA TV today. Did anyone else notice the answer of "We're not at liberty to discuss that." in response to a question about any additional data beyond the 2003 data they based this press opp on?

And personally, I loved it when the question was asked if the panelists could say which of the two mentioned sources for the methane emissions (geological or biological) were, in their minds, more likely based on the information they have now. The answer was a second's pause, followed by "Okay, how do we want to deal with this."

Nah. They don't know anything they didn't discuss today.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:35 PM

Originally posted by Anonymous ATS
The microbes have similar structure to microbes here on Earth. They have a distinct head tail and long abdominal structure.
But how if life is so very conditional could they have evolved in almost exactly the same way as microbes on Earth , a completely different condition and environment?

One could ask the same question about life on earth.

Why does every living thing on earth all use the same DNA? Every plant, animal, archaea, bacteria, and protist all share the smae similar cell structure and DNA? How and Why? Some say well its because one single cell spontaneously generated on earth and all life on earth goes back to that one cell. Every time I hear that I want to burst out laughing.

I think there will come a time that scientists discover that all life, regardless of its location, will possess the same basic cell structure and DNA.

There is more to life and its existence than meets the eye.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:38 PM
If this is true, and it is a pretty big if, then NASA owes a huge apology to the Viking team. Their probes showed a positive reaction for 2 out of 3 tests. Before the mission NASA had said that a positive indicator for any of the tests would indicate microbial life. After the 2 positives and a negative they said that it indicated a weak maybe, then they revised that to a no, then they revised that to "no trace of life". This all happened within a few days of the Viking landings.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:39 PM

Originally posted by Jay-in-AR
reply to post by Phage

Phage, you also didn't answer my question that I asked you in my first posting in this thread. Care to?
Namely THIS question: Phage, even if the methane was pent up in "cages" as they say, wouldn't you expect quakes be necessary in order to release them? If they were simply seeping out this entire time, why would they measure in amounts comparable to our modern coal industry plants over certain areas only? (without any evidence of quakes, or volcanic activity to jar it loose) I mean, if it were a common occurence, surely it wouldn't be even as recent a discovery as 2003, as obviously we have been searching for things such as methane since we first went there.

[edit on 15-1-2009 by Jay-in-AR]

[edit on 15-1-2009 by Jay-in-AR]

I sort of answered this earlier when I said:-

Originally posted by Nirgal
I would imagine if methane is stored in a porous rock formation systematic expansion or contraction of said rocks might be enough to release the gas into the atmosphere.

The implication being thermal expansion of some sort, in the same way water can crack rocks here on earth. There are temperature fluctuations caused by normal solar activity throughout the universe. Why should this mechanical process be much different just because the rock is a little further away?

Apologies for the late reply. Some people here in U.K. like to get some sleep prior to a full day of work.

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:43 PM

Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by Jay-in-AR

The plumes are not a slow release. They are seasonal, occurring in the summer, and represent a large volume of gas. This could indicate that the methane is trapped by ice during the winter and released as the ice sublimates. It isn't known whether the same areas release methane on a regular basis.

Something that is almost as interesting as the methane plumes is the fact that away from the plumes there is very little methane found, indication that something (other than sunlight) is "consuming" it.

Er... Quoted For Truth.

Is methane a gas that would readily evaporate out of the Martian atmosphere? It has been stated that there isn't much in the way of a magnetosphere; could this effect the 'evaporation' of such gas?

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:48 PM
reply to post by Novastar824

An article I read earlier tonight stated that the methane gas has been discovered and that it could be from microbes, but that is not a fact, only that the methane gas exists.

Here's a link about it

posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 11:55 PM
Has anyone mentioned the Water Bears we have on earth

These funny things could easily live on Mars. In fact studies released in October last year showed they could survive in Space.

One of the scientists involved even mentioned that Water Bears from Earth could of been blown by asteroid impacts on Earth to Mars, Europa and other places and survived.

'Alien' Water Bears Amaze Scientists

Some scientists think they may of even originated from space, but others disagree since they share the same basic cell and DNA structures of life on earth. Personally I think all life will one day be discovered to use those same basic cell and macromolecular structures. So who knows where they came from?

[edit on 15/1/09 by MikeboydUS]

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 12:39 AM
reply to post by MikeboydUS
I read the article on Water Bears a while back and it does capture the imagination. A lot of people speculate (as they should) that alien life might have a genetic code that we can't reference to anything we know. I've read one or two mentions of 'reverse helix' DNA, but think that sounds as creative as bad sci-fi. "That DNA is so's actually OPPOSITE to ours!"

I think it would make it much more interesting to find a form of life similar to the Water Bear. Earth has life in some extreme places. If Martian life shared similar gene markers, it could make concepts of astrobiology much more straightforward. Wickramasinghes and Hoyle's theory of Panspermia would gain more currency. Based on our Solar System, life would begin to look like a constant. Very cool
A Universe with more life than a tramp's vest.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 12:52 AM
And here is CNN Chiming in...

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 01:19 AM
Here the same story from ABC (Australia)

Scientists at the US space agency NASA have found new evidence of methane gas and water vapour in the atmosphere of Mars, which they say might have been produced by living organisms. But they stress that the discovery is not definite evidence of life on Mars. The scientists trained three highly-powerful infra-red telescopes onto the surface of Mars for seven years, and found large plumes of methane coming from beneath the crust of the planet. They believe the gas could have been produced by microbes, very small living organisms, which may now be extinct. Another possible explanation is that the gas might have formed as a result of volcanic activity. NASA is due to send a small, robotic, roving laboratory to Mars in 2012 to examine the gas more closely.

could everyone please stop jumping to conclusions. or should i say using this to back up conclusions they've already made.

all we can say so far is:

1- there is methane in the martian atmosphere.

2- that methane could come from current microbes, extinct microbes or from volcanic ativity.

3- the methane is coming out of the crust in large plumes from some sort of seismic or geological process.

we can NOT say (based on this announcement):

1- there IS life on mars.

2- there IS NOT life on mars.

lets just leave it at that until we have more data.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 02:18 AM
this is old news to the people of AREA51... if what happened, happened when an 'alien' life form was takin to it then NASA would have come across more than just small microbes. they just dont want to release any of this because this could spark up in numerous difictulties (Religions to be one) and would send the earth crazy. maybe keeping things away from us in secret is good for the sake of our lifes, who knows..

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 03:13 AM
I knew when I read the first page of The Sun a thread would pop up on this. None of the other tabloids reported this, and big sites like Space.Com and Spacedaily.Com never reported this. Sensationalism by The Sun to sell papers probably. Methane was detected on Mars as far back as 2003!

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 03:17 AM

Originally posted by Smugallo
I knew when I read the first page of The Sun a thread would pop up on this. None of the other tabloids reported this, and big sites like Space.Com and Spacedaily.Com never reported this. Sensationalism by The Sun to sell papers probably. Methane was detected on Mars as far back as 2003!

Well, it appears CNN and ABC Australia also reported it...
Does that count?

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 04:57 AM

Originally posted by spin-FX
lets just leave it at that until we have more data.

It is safe to assume, many members will agree with me, NASA is probably 90% certain of the source (we are talking about a discovery from 2005).

In fact, if you watch and study any space documentary - featuring NASA staff - they speak of life on Mars with absolute certainty.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 05:09 AM
Microbial life is probably the most common type of life in the universe. I personally subscribe to the theory of panspermia, which is the theory that life arose in space. There are bacteria that can survive unbelievable levels of radiation, either an evolutionary quirk, or something that evolved from eons in space. Also, some radio telescope scans have imaged particles in comets the exact same size as bacteria. There are billions of comets in the Oort cloud, and all the planets have been hit over the history of the solar system. So its entirely possible that both Mars and the earth have been seeded with life. Its interesting that almost as soon as the earth cools enough to allow liquid water, life shows up. I think as soon as conditions on earth became able to support life, microbes from space began to thrive here. If thats the case throughout the universe, then you are going to find life all over the place, not only life, but maybe even life forms that are distantly related genetically. I wont be a bit supprised if microbes found on mars are found to be related to earth microbes. We may ALL be aliens.

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 06:29 AM
I searched for a more reputable source before I let myself get excited about the first.

What great news!

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 06:32 AM
reply to post by Smugallo

"I knew when I read the first page of The Sun a thread would pop up on this. None of the other tabloids reported this, and big sites like Space.Com and Spacedaily.Com never reported this. Sensationalism by The Sun to sell papers probably."

The Telegraph and Fox along with numerous other 'mainstream' sources reported this.

The Sun isn't the only one guilty of Sensationalism - they just got the scoop.

Nice try though.


posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 06:32 AM
EDIT: I did notice the earlier comments of the 1976 results, Exuberant, so thanks for knowing more than 95% of the people who commented on this thread.

Since so few are introducing either new , or even old , information here i hope the following news snippets mind lend some perspective as to why claims for life on Mars are entirely redundant while NASA has never proposed a scientific reason for discounting their initial positive tests for life on Mars back in 1976.

Maybe Mars even has life today. The evidence sent back from Mars by two Viking Landers in 1976 and 1977 was not clearcut (6). In fact, NASA's first press release about the Viking tests announced that the results were positive. The "Labelled Release" (LR) experiments had given positive results. But after lengthy discussions in which Carl Sagan participated, NASA reversed its position, mainly because another experiment detected no organics in the soil. Yet Gilbert V. Levin, the principal designer of the LR experiment, still believes the tests pointed to life on Mars (7). When the same two experiments were run on soil from Antarctica, the same conflicting results were obtained (LR - positive; organics - negative.) Soil from Antarctica definitely contains life. The test for organics was negative because it is far less sensitive than the LR experiment. The same problem could have caused the organics test on Mars to give a false negative.


How many new that the test used to disqualify the original 'we found life' couldn't even detect life on Earth?

In 1998, NASA's Associate Administrator Wesley Huntress, Jr., stated, "Wherever liquid water and chemical energy are found, there is life. There is no exception."

Could there, then, be life on Mars? In the mid-1970s, the Viking Lander mission's Gas Exchange Experiment detected strong chemical activity in the martian soil. Liquid water seems to be the one element needed for the equation of life on Mars. The presence of water there, however, is still hotly contested.

The 1976 Viking Mission LR results met all the pre-mission criteria established for the experiment by NASA and its scientific review committees for proof of life on Mars.

However, the failure of the GCMS to find organic matter in the Martian surface material led to caution. Accordingly, Levin did not claim the LR experiment had detected life, but merely stated that the results were consistent with biology. Other scientists stated that, without organic matter, there could be no life.

All the links necessary for life on Mars have been forged:

* terrestrial microorganisms can live under Martian conditions; there is liquid water available to microorganisms on Mars;
* contrary to the GCMS results, organic matter seems certain to be on Mars (photo-chemically synthesized from the atmospheric gases and also deposited by meteorites);

Monday morning quarterbacking if i ever saw it. This is what happens when politicians signs the paychecks of the scientist.

"Confirm" is the word of choice because the Viking Landers already found evidence for Martian life in 1976. There are some scientists that will no doubt say the results were inconclusive, but for how much longer can they say this is the question.

Dr. Levin and Straat put together the scientific argument that the Viking GCMS should not have been used as "the court of appeals" on whether the Viking biology experiments found evidence for life on Mars or not.

In a scientific paper published in 1981, Levin and Straat demonstrated that in pre-flight-to-Mars testing of an Antarctic soil sample (#726), that their Viking Labeled Release experiment found microbial activity in the same sample of soil that was tested by the Viking GCMS.

The tests showed that the pre-flight Viking GCMS test model could not detect organic molecules in Antarctic soil sample that contained life. Yet this would be the instrument used to render the final verdict against any positive evidence of life on Mars that might have been found by the Viking biology instruments.

And for the severely lazy amongst you this all basically means that NASA employed one of the three tests to discount the positive findings of the other two. If NASA also told you that the test they used to discount the other failed to find life in Antarctica they would be laughed out of the room but since almost no one knows they have managed to maintain this massive fraud for more than a quarter century.

As for the unnecessary but additional methane ( and some other i wont get into now) evidence :

Methane has been found in the Martian atmosphere which scientists say could be a sign that life exists today on Mars.It was detected by telescopes on Earth and has recently been confirmed by instruments onboard the European Space Agency's orbiting Mars Express craft.

Methane lives for a short time in the Martian atmosphere so it must be being constantly replenished.There are two possible sources: either active volcanoes, none of which have been found yet on Mars, or microbes.

But maybe they found volcanoes but don't want to tell us about that either; i mean wouldn't it be embarrassing to miss active volcanoes?

"I stand before you and tell you, quite honestly, I'm shocked by these results," said Michael Mumma, an astrobiologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Mumma and colleagues discovered unusually high levels of methane at two places in Mars' atmosphere: above the Hellas Basin, a giant impact scar in Mars' southern hemisphere, and Valles Marineris, the great canyon system near the Martian equator.

Methane is a gas that, on Earth, is produced naturally by plants and animals, such as in wetlands and in the stomachs of cows. On Mars, methane is much rarer. It isn't produced in the atmosphere and likely would be destroyed there by chemical reactions within a few hundred years.

So finding methane in the atmosphere suggests that something on Mars' surface is producing it, Mumma said. The question is whether that something is alive.

A shocked planetary scientist....

Furthermore, he says winds should spread water vapour through the atmosphere too quickly for it to be concentrated in certain spots. "It would take a tremendous source of water in the surface to pump water into the atmosphere faster than it would be redistributed," he says.

Krasnopolsky, standing by his methane detection, says winds should spread the trace amounts of methane around too. He believes the methane he detected is produced by bacteria that live in "oases" where liquid water can exist - however briefly - on the Martian surface, due to heating by sunlight or by a hydrothermal source.

He argues that a non-biological source of methane is unlikely because crater-counting methods suggest no surface lava on Mars is younger than 10 million years old.

But he will not rule out the possibility that underground bubbles of methane from ancient volcanism might somehow be brought to the surface to replenish the atmosphere.

Because researchers believe that methane can persist in the Martian atmosphere for less than 300 years, any methane they find can be assumed to arise from recent biological processes, produced, for example, by methane-producing bacteria. This close link gives methne its less scientific name of swamp gas.

The European Mars Express mission is capable of detecting methane in the martian atmosphere. As Agustin Chicarro, Mars Express Project Scientist said, these "investigations will provide clues as to why the north of the planet is so smooth and the south so rugged, how the Tharsis and Elysium mounds were lifted up and whether active volcanoes exist on Mars today."

So basically there shouldn't be this much methane and they don't have any explanation other than the life they basically know they found back in 1976; on their first try at it. I mean why else have they chosen not to include mission biologist , or similarly knowledgeable person, on their Mars missions if they were still looking for it? Why look for something you have found beside the occasions press releases stating that you in fact are? Where not include instruments or specialist?

At the same meeting, NASA's Planetary Protection Officer, John Rummel, described the alternative explanations: "methane in the a detection from the planetary Fourier spectrometer. ESA, the European Space Agency, has put out an announcement that it's been detected at 10 to 20 parts per billion. Well, methane in the atmosphere on Mars can mean one of three things: either vulcanism, possibly microbial life, or maybe cows. We haven't seen the cows yet. I doubt that we'll find them. But one of the other two would be a very interesting thing to find out."

" Intense local enhancements", of methane and all the rest of the evidence i have seen have consistently been in favor of the initial positive finds back in 1976. Since NASA is primarily a military organization their funding isn't and never has been at risk and their continued existence in no way reliant on bringing us 'good' news from Mars or anywhere else.

NASA may eventually 'find' life in the decades to come but let it not be said that many scientist didn't long know this to be a fact.

If anyone has additional questions feel free to ask as i am sure i can help you to settle at least this issue.


[edit on 16-1-2009 by StellarX]

posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 06:41 AM
reply to post by StellarX

Thanks stellar, Your posts are awesome!

I mentioned the findings from 1976 earlier in the thread.

What is surprisingly stupid is how NASA is analyzing the gas in the atmosphere when they should be taking soil samples and analyzing those.

Of course they already did that with Viking, then dismissed the multiple positive tests that proved something was alive and at the very least it was actively metabolizing the test materials...

I wonder how much it will cost us to have them Say they found a single celled life form - probably another 30 billion. ;-(

NASA lies and photoshops things into images that they expect to find - take Io for Example, where NASA expected to find volcanoes and didn't, so the liars photoshopped them in (CGI Lava included):

[edit on 16-1-2009 by Exuberant1]

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