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Proof of Life on Mars TBC? It's an idea.

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posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 12:46 PM
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Scientists are going to re-examine certain Martian meteorites that have been recovered on Earth. In the past we've had at least one that famously appeared to show fossilized remains of microbial life. The image below (for the unfamiliar) is from Meteorite ALH84001...



Calling 'OMG! Alien life!!' is a huge step for a scientist. It's not the same as us saying that MUST be life. They need to be completely sure that it originated on Mars. Unfortunately, the apparently fossilized microbes could have been from the meteorite's collision in the Antarctic. If there's even a small doubt, it remains inconclusive and the search would then continue. It isn't science 'in denial' or 'too scared to handle it,' it needs to be near to 100% sure before cracking a beer.

These guys have decided to review the evidence using more and better techniques...


"We do not yet believe that we have rigorously proven there is [or was ] life on Mars." says David S. McKay, chief of astrobiology at the NASA Johnson Space Center. "But we do believe that we are very, very close to proving there is or has been life there," McKay tells Spaceflight Now.
Three Martian meteorites triple evidence for Mars life

They are in the process of analyzing the fragments through the latest technology in an attempt to definitively rule out the possibility that it originated on Mars or elsewhere...


Scientists have been reexamining the controversial Allen Hills meteorite since it sparked reaction from both NASA and the White House in 1996. But now better instruments have turned up possible Martian fossils inside two more meteorites, including a chunk of space rock that has sat inside the British Museum of Natural History in London for almost 100 years.



New tools for the investigation include a nifty Ion Microprobe that can fire streams of ions onto micro-fossil samples. The ions transform the sample into plasma that can be analyzed via spectrometer for each chemical or mineral part.
Proof of Life in Three Martian Rocks May Come This Year

If their findings offer 'proof' that life has definitely existed elsewhere, off-Earth, the search for life won't be over. Instead, it'll gather urgency and change the context of current searches like the Kepler Mission.

EDIT for using !!!! I don't know what came over me...


[edit on 15-1-2010 by Kandinsky]




posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 01:16 PM
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Intresting, but I keep wondering how rocks on the surfae of Mars ends up on Earth ?? Some incident must have accured here in the past right ?

And life is life, regardless of size, maybe the Evo dudes can watch these microbes grow into humans...



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by ChemBreather
 
Hiya Chem, the theory behind moon and Mars meteorites landing on Earth is that a large body strikes a planet/moon and debris is smashed out of the gravity of the planet/moon. A small percentage of the debris eventually hits Earth. A small percentage of those are discovered by us.

If the research can prove that life has existed in our solar system, it'll be historic. To us ATS geeks it could be the biggest news in our lifetimes.



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
...If the research can prove that life has existed in our solar system, it'll be historic. To us ATS geeks it could be the biggest news in our lifetimes.

I agree -- if life is found to have developed independently in the same solar system twice, that means that life is probably very common and ubiquitous throughout the universe.

but to play "devils advocate" for a moment:
What if they verify this is life on that meteorite, and that life came from Mars,
OR, if some space probe someday finds proof of life on Mars...

...HOWEVER, that life on Mars is shown to be very similar to life on Earth.

Could it be proven that the life found on Mars and the life on Earth both formed INDEPENDENTLY of one another? If not, then who's to say that the only reason life shows up twice in the same solar system is because the life on both planets came from a single source -- i.e., Mars seeded Earth with life, or Earth seeded Mars with life, or both planets were seeded with life from a third source. The seeding of life could be done via a meteorite such as the one in question.

In that scenario, finding life on Mars would not in itself prove that life in the universe is ubiquitous.

For the record, I believe life DOES exist all over the universe, and in fact I think other independently-formed life may exist withing the solar system -- perhaps on Enceladus, Titan, Europa, the clouds of Venus, pr perhaps in the Martin soil.



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