It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Surface of Mars an Unlikely Place for Life After 600-Million-Year Drought, Say Scientists

page: 1
4

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 11:49 PM
link   
"Surface of Mars an Unlikely Place for Life After 600-Million-Year Drought, Say Scientists"


Mars may have been arid for more than 600 million years, making it too hostile for any life to survive on the planet's surface, according to researchers who have been carrying out the painstaking task of analysing individual particles of Martian soil...

The results of the soil analysis at the Phoenix site suggest the surface of Mars has been arid for hundreds of millions of years, despite the presence of ice and the fact that previous research has shown that Mars may have had a warmer and wetter period in its earlier history more than three billion years ago. The team also estimated that the soil on Mars had been exposed to liquid water for at most 5,000 years since its formation billions of years ago.
I'm usually not easily surprised, but I must admit, part of this surprises me.

Not that part that the surface of Mars has been arid for a long time...as that is pretty much what I expected to hear. The part that surprises me, is this part: "The team also estimated that the soil on Mars had been exposed to liquid water for at most 5,000 years since its formation". I always thought we would find that Mars had a wet surface billions of years ago, that lasted much, much longer than 5000 years which would have allowed life to evolve in the ancient Mars oceans like it did in ancient Earth oceans, however, 5000 years hardly seems long enough for much to happen.

My first reaction on reading this was, "how do they know it was only 5000 years?" I can't quote the whole article so you'll have to read it but I actually found their explanation sounds somewhat plausible.

Next was the claim that the entire surface of Mars is relatively uniform. While I don't dispute this may be indicated from satellite measurements, I think more sampling of various points on the surface with this type of analysis may be needed to confirm this.

This kind of kills my idea that Mars may have been somewhat Earth-like in ancient times, because if this is true, it wasn't.

However this doesn't rule out the possibility of life evolving underground as it only states the surface has been arid. While this isn't the news I wanted to hear, it's better to learn the truth than to live in a fantasy. However I must admit my fantasy of an ancient Earth-like Mars is kind of hard to say goodbye to.

So if this study is correct, and the surface of Mars was too dry for life, except for roughly a 5000 year long period, could life have evolved underground and if so, what do you think is the most complex type of life form that might be able to do so?

Any other thoughts on this? Am I the only one who thought ancient Mars was probably wet like Earth for a longer time? And is anyone else disappointed that it was only wet for a measly 5000 years (if that estimate is correct)?




posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 11:55 PM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Good find,although without any polar activity minus atmostfear and water.....pretty rusty for the minors
i love planets



posted on Feb, 5 2012 @ 11:57 PM
link   
I find Mars, although interesting, probably one of the least interesting planets to send billions of dollars to. While, it's relatively an easy place to land on and study, the study's suggest its unlikely to support life. However, there is the chance that something tiny might be there under a rock I guess, but chances are slim.

To rebutt, myself, and the article a bit, I thought there is quite a bit of erosion evident in surface features, this would suggest to me a far longer period than 5000 years of having water would it not?

Anyway, the moons, are in my book far more interesting places to investigate! Send the billions there!



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:03 AM
link   
But bacteria can still living in the "liquid water" they found Mars surface. But hey you never know, we was always wrong and will always be proven wrong.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:03 AM
link   
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I reread what you said..there could of been a sun blast that knocked mars out i think maybe sometimes..Is europa a moon of mars?...super nova deleted it and earth took cover......i love planets



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:12 AM
link   

Originally posted by Qumulys
To rebutt, myself, and the article a bit, I thought there is quite a bit of erosion evident in surface features, this would suggest to me a far longer period than 5000 years of having water would it not?
That's exactly what I thought before I read that article. And I still reserve a possibility that they may find a different result in other parts of the planet.


Anyway, the moons, are in my book far more interesting places to investigate! Send the billions there!
I don't know if they are more interesting, but they are certainly a lot safer and the moons of Mars will probably be a human destination before Mars itself for that reason...some of those Mars dust storms could be brutal on new visitors to Mars.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:15 AM
link   
I really think NASA needs to start opening thier eyes to other ways life may have evolved in other parts of the universe. The ecosystems in place on Earth are not all that common, and life may have found other ways to persist. Some examples of possible alternative biochemistry.




Metallic Life:Various metals, together with oxygen, form very complex and thermally stable structures rivaling those of organic compounds. Some metal oxides are similar to Carbon in thier ability to form nanotube structures, and diamond-like crystals. Metals are all more abundant in Earth's crust than Carbon. Therefore metal-oxide based life is theoretically possible, and could occur in areas(such as in high tempatures) where carbon based life is not possible.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus Biochemistry: These are another possible basis for organic molecules. Phosphorus, like Carbon, is capable of forming long chains and macromolecules. These compounds become much less reactive in combination with Nitrogen.

Alternative Solvents: Water is required as a solvent for all life on Earth. However possible alternative solvent liquids have been discussed. Compounds discussed include ammonia, sulphuric acid, formamide, hydrocarbons, and at extremely low tempatures liquid nitrogen, or hydrogen as supercritical fluids.


There is alot more to this subject, but don't ever count life out!



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:18 AM
link   
reply to post by saroncan
 


en.wikipedia.org...

Mars, with little or no magnetic field is thought to have lost much of its former oceans and atmosphere to space in part due to the direct impact of the solar wind. Venus with its thick atmosphere is thought to have lost most of its water to space in large part owing to solar wind ablation.

I think we owe our abundant supply of water to, among other things, the Earth's magnetic field which prevented the water from being ablated as happened on Venus and Mars. You said "sun blast" but Wikipedia just calls it "solar wind" though some solar flares/CMEs could speed up the process.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:22 AM
link   

Originally posted by Shark_Feeder
I really think NASA needs to start opening thier eyes to other ways life may have evolved in other parts of the universe. The ecosystems in place on Earth are not all that common, and life may have found other ways to persist. Some examples of possible alternative biochemistry.
I see those as possibilities. However, when people ask why doesn't NASA search for these alternate life forms, I think the answer is, because they don't know what to look for. Once we find such an alternate form of life, then we can develop an idea how it works and learn how to search for it. But it's kind of hard to look for something when you don't know exactly what you're looking for.

Even the experiments on Mars for the kind of life we DO know about have had their challenges!



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:23 AM
link   
what we know about earth is, there are massive water reservoirs under the largest deserts on the planet, and if this being true then if mars ever had liquid H2O on it, then as with earths deserts, mars would have the same going for it as well, or at least should have?

as like on earth, when you go several feet below the surface the temperature becomes more insulated from the other elements, and by what i have seen from satellite images of mars there are deep recesses, cave formations, and deep crevasses, where temperatures could normalize to sustain condensation and even life, and what we know of life on this planet, on mars it could be anything, and possibly something like what we have here, like insects, or bacteria, maybe even a form of salamander that lives in the subterranean wells, or caves, where water is sure to exist



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 12:45 AM
link   

Originally posted by sweetnlow
what we know about earth is, there are massive water reservoirs under the largest deserts on the planet, and if this being true then if mars ever had liquid H2O on it, then as with earths deserts, mars would have the same going for it as well, or at least should have?
I think so. I think the article referenced in the OP was careful to specify surface water. It doesn't really address the amount of subsurface water, and there could be a lot of it I suppose, though I don't really have any idea how much and I'm not sure scientists know either.

However, even if the quantity of Martian subsurface water is uncertain, I don't think there's any doubt that it exists in some amount.



posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 01:36 AM
link   
They say the surface, but where is much of the liquid water and ice located? Underneath the surface. I think if life would be anywhere on Mars if it exists right now, it would be with or very near the ice/water.



new topics

top topics



 
4

log in

join